Research & Innovation

2019 grant recipients pursue essential optical research

2019 Eye & Vision Research Grants were awarded to investigators at Kellogg Eye Center at the University of Michigan Medical School, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical Center to advance promising eye and vision research. Recipients were announced on July 22 and presented with award certificates.

Scroll down or click on each investigator's name to learn more about their research.

Reza Dana, M.D. | Abigail Fahim, M.D., Ph.D. | Victor Guaiquil, Ph.D.

Pedram Hamrah, M.D. | Kai Kang, M.D. | Susmit Suvas, Ph.D.

Applications for the Eversight Eye & Vision Research Grant Program will reopen in early 2020.


Reza Dana, M.D.

Dr. Dana is investigating aqueous humor cytokines and chemokines in DMEK vs. DSEK graft failure. His findings may broaden the field’s understanding of the role of immune system factors responsible for endothelial keratoplasty graft failure, which could inform future efforts to improve procedural success rates.

Eversight Partner Relations Director Caithlin Lopes, Reza Dana, M.D. and Eversight Director of Research Onkar B. Sawant, Ph.D.


Abigail Fahim, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Fahim is investigating choroideremia pathophysiology using iPSC-derived retinal pigment epithelium. Her findings may determine potential new therapeutic agents for chorioretinal degenerations, including age-related macular degeneration, expanding treatment options for patients.

Eversight Partner Relations Manager Ebony Johnson and Abigail Fahim, M.D., Ph.D.


Victor Guaiquil, Ph.D.

Dr. Guaiquil is investigating the role of axon guidance proteins in the injured cornea. His gene and protein expression analysis may explain the molecular mechanisms of corneal neuropathies and further inform the prevention and treatment of unexplainable eye pain.

Eversight Director of Research Onkar B. Sawant, Ph.D., Victor Guaiquil, Ph.D. and Eversight Senior Partner Relations Director Ronnie Arora.


Pedram Hamrah, M.D.

Dr. Hamrah is investigating the efficacy of plasmacytoid dendritic cell local adoptive transfer on host immune response to corneal graft and graft survival. His findings may yield fundamental information about the significance of plasmacytoid dendritic cells in corneal transplantation and could lead to novel therapeutic approaches for other corneal inflammatory conditions, as well as other solid-tissue transplants.

Eversight Partner Relations Director Caithlin Lopes, Eversight Director of Research Onkar B. Sawant, Ph.D., Pedram Hamrah, M.D. and Tufts Medical Center Ophthalmology Chair Jay Duker, M.D.


Kai Kang, M.D.

Dr. Kang is investigating the effect of microbiome on corneal epithelial healing and corneal regenerative potential. His findings may shed light on the exact mechanism of the corneal-microbiome interaction and initiate further inquiry into the feasibility of corneal regeneration.

Eversight Director of Research Onkar B. Sawant, Ph.D., Kai Kang, M.D. and Eversight Senior Partner Relations Director Ronnie Arora.


Susmit Suvas, Ph.D.

Dr. Suvas is investigating novel therapeutic approaches to alleviate the severity of necrotizing herpes stromal keratitis. His findings may create a promising therapy to effectively reduce stromal inflammation for patients and improve healing of corneal epithelium in those who are developing herpes stromal keratitis.

Susmit Suvas, Ph.D.