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April 2016

Increasing the Availability and Quality of Donor Eyes for Research

Author Affiliations
  • 1Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids
  • 2Duke University Eye Center, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134(4):351-352. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.5492

Availability of human eye tissues has fueled major advances in understanding the mechanisms of blinding diseases through laboratory research. This is particularly true for eye diseases that occur primarily in humans, such as age-related macular degeneration and open-angle glaucoma. As a recent example, experimentation on human eye tissue laid the foundation for recent development of Rho-kinase inhibitors, a novel class of glaucoma therapeutics that increase aqueous humor outflow facility.1 Unfortunately, during a time of some of the greatest discoveries in vision science, researchers face a shortage of human eye tissue, as the number of eyes donated for research continues to decline.2