Fall 2022 Kenzi Valentyn Vision Research Grant recipients

The McPherson Eye Research Institute is pleased to announce the Fall 2022 Kenzi Valentyn Vision Research Grant recipients. These one-year grants of $7500 each are funded by the Institute’s annual Cycle for Sight event, which raises money to support research in McPherson ERI member labs and programs.

David Barnett, MD, mentor Michelle Ciucci, PhD / Freya Mowat, BVSc, PhD, Surgery: Translational Visual System Biomarkers in a Mouse Model of Parkinson Disease

Mason Shipley, mentor Donna Neumann, PhD, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences: In Vivo Knockdown of HSV-1 Latency Associated Transcripts for Prevention of Recurrent Viral Ocular Disease

Praveen Susaimanickam, PhD, mentor David Gamm, MD, PhD, Waisman Center, Identification and Utilization of Selective Cell Surface Markers for Human Cone Photoreceptor Isolation and Transplantation

Serena Wisner, mentor Mrinalini Hoon, PhD, Neuroscience Training Program, Role of Photoreceptor Input for Synapse Formation Across Inner Retinal Neurons

Ruosen “Alex” Xie, PhD, mentor Shaoqin “Sarah” Gong, PhD, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Developing Non-Viral Vectors for Gene Therapy in the Retina

Kenzi Valentyn Vision Research Awards, the McPherson Eye Research Institute’s annual research grant opportunity for trainees, were established in 2017. They are named after Kenzi Valentyn, in honor of her courage and positive attitude throughout her long battle with Kearns–Sayre syndrome, a degenerative disease with symptoms including vision loss, which ended with her passing at age 30 in March 2017. Her many friends and family members, including her parents Tim and Nancy, brothers Brett and Connor, and sister-in-law Mackenzie, have ridden in Cycle for Sight as “Kenzi’s Team” since 2014. The McPherson ERI is sincerely grateful for the Valentyn family’s dedication to vision research.