As a non profit corporation registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, research, education and charitable purposes comprise the mission of the Philadelphia Retina Endowment Fund (PREF). Inherited diseases of the eye including macular degeneration has been and continues to be the primary research focus of the foundation. Educational activities include compiling a comprehensive guide for low vision as well as the publication of scholarly articles related to this subject. Through Oppy the Ophthalmosaurs, a dinosaur with the largest eyes in proportion to its body, a comprehensive childrens educational program has been developed.
Larry A. Donoso, MD, PhD of PREF is a member of the steering committee of the Lasker/IRRF Initiative for Innovation in Vision Research. The purpose of the Initiative is to foster discussion and collaborations between premier vision scientists worldwide. The present Initiative is related to diabetic retinopathy. Recently, Napoleone Ferrara was given the 2010 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for his research related to choroidal neovascularization of the eye.
Survey of Ophthalmology
Recently members and affiliates of the Philadelphia Retina Endowment Fund published an article in the Survey of Ophthalmology regarding the Role of Inflammation in the pathogenesis of Age Related Macular Degeneration. This article is the number one cited article in that journal during the last five years. In 2010 a follow up article related to the role of Factor H in the pathogenesis of Age Related Macular Degeneration was published in the same journal.
These men and women had visions of the world that changed it forever. Benjamin Franklin was a visionary in the truest sense of the word. During his lifetime in Philadelphia
he made significant contributions in many diverse fields. In addition to his successful career in printing,
Franklin helped to create the first library, where a book was purchased from the funds of many, making
knowledge affordable. Everyone knows of his experiments with electricity. Perhaps less well known is
that Franklin was responsible for the first fire department in Philadelphia, and the first hospital which
is located with two blocks of Wills Eye Hospital. He was also a prominent figure in politics and
signed the Constitution. A true visionary.