Corneal donation and transplantation are only part of the solution to creating a world without blindness. Debilitating eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are not related to the cornea—and no effective treatment or cures exist.
Promising research is underway. But by far, the top challenge for researchers is the lack of donated human eye tissue to study. Researchers report waiting years for the right type of eye tissue to be available.
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the Eversight Center for Vision and Eye Banking Research is pioneering research that promises new therapies and discoveries to prevent blindness, including a new focus on retinal procurement, preparation and research to one day treat and prevent non-corneal vision loss.
Our capabilities and services include:
- Developing eye banking practices that expand the availability of eye tissue for critical studies requiring specific types of tissue to gain new knowledge for future treatment and cures.
- Procuring, processing and preserving critically needed corneal and non-corneal tissue.
- Performing fluorescence, bright field and phase-contrast microscopy.
- Providing molecular biology and RNA isolation service lines for research partners, as well as services utilizing crucial R&D instrumentation, including a Leica DMi8 fluorescence microscope, a cooling centrifuge for molecular biology experimentation and a Bio-Rad Thermal Cycler for performing cDNA synthesis.
Our research and clinical leadership and staff are highly involved primary and co-investigators, performing research and authoring publications that expand the boundaries of vision science, knowledge and possibility. In 2019, we received the Eye Bank Association of America’s coveted High Impact Research Grant for our work with the Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, for research into therapies that one day hope to mitigate the global cornea shortage.
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Since 1980, we have awarded seed money for promising new research through the Eversight Eye & Vision Research Grant Program. In 2019, we awarded grants to advance studies on transplant failure, corneal regenerative potential, unexplainable eye pain, chorioretinal degenerations and herpes stromal keratitis, led by researchers at Kellogg Eye Center, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical Center.
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Our in-house research also pioneers new eye banking practices. We developed two new retinal dissection techniques in 2019 that enable our team to procure tissue for research under specific parameters and tight timelines. We are now delivering these critical tissues to researchers who have otherwise been unable to further their investigations due to a lack of access to human tissue.
"Every donation is important—every single one. Getting more people to understand the importance of research can give hope to those who are struggling with their vision and need our help.”
—Patrice Fort, PhD, neuroscientist
Meet our research director
Onkar B. Sawant, PhD, named a 2018 Emerging Vision Scientist by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, leads the Eversight Center for Vision and Eye Banking Research in Cleveland.
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See our latest publications
Eversight leadership and staff produce ongoing work as investigators and authors for research and publications that advance scientific knowledge and clinical practice in vision health.
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Eversight recovers tissue under strict time and environmental conditions and offers comprehensive donor medical, ocular and social history information with serology results upon request.
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