Degenerative diseases of the retina are devastating conditions leading to severe visual impairment and blindness. Their causes and paths of treatment have long evaded scientists. Since 2008, the Lasker Foundation and the International Retinal Research Foundation have been engaged in a collaborative effort to accelerate discovery of sight-saving treatments and ways to prevent retinal degenerative diseases. Chaired by John Dowling of Harvard University, the Initiative produced four reports and several review articles that identify knowledge gaps in research and apply innovative solutions to retinal diseases.

2018 marks the end of a 10-year fruitful collaboration between the Lasker Foundation and IRRF. The Initiative was celebrated by holding two special interest group sessions at the Annual Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting held in Honolulu, Hawaii on April 30 and May 1, 2018.

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