All May See Foundation Announces $300,000 in Department of Ophthalmology Chair Awards

April 21, 2023

Periodically, All May See Foundation awards special funding to the Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology to support residents, medical students, clinical fellows, shared lab support, faculty travel, and more.

All May See Foundation is pleased to announce this year’s chair awards, approved at its April 2023 Board meeting, to support the following programs of UCSF Department of Ophthalmology:

Shared Faculty and Microsurgery Laboratory Support
One of All May See’s longstanding goals has been to support promising vision research that has not yet reached the stage that would make it competitive for external funding. A key departmental component of that strategy has been the maintenance of a core laboratory shared by numerous clinical faculty members who need access to high-quality laboratory facilities for aspects of their work, but who do not have dedicated National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for this purpose.

Support for the shared space has been instrumental in enabling translation of ideas into funded projects for multiple faculty members who bring clinical insight into their applied research projects. Support from All May See helps fund the research specialist/technician position that provides ongoing hands-on expertise in this lab, which thereby allows faculty members to explore early-stage, high-risk/high-reward projects in an expedited fashion so that they do not need to await funding cycles and staff hiring to move the experimentation forward. This facility continues to be one of the most academically productive investments All May See makes towards the department’s research program and has directly led to NIH support for numerous high-value projects.

Faculty Scientific Meeting Participation
A critical element in the development of new concepts and therapeutic approaches is the free exchange of ideas amongst experts across diverse fields that occurs at scientific conferences. These face-to-face interactions of faculty with their peers from other institutions across the globe that occur at professional meetings are invaluable, particularly with regards to the earliest emerging work.

The Department therefore strongly encourages its faculty involved in research and education to attend and actively participate in subspecialty and scientific meetings. We also encourage meeting participation for our graduate students and postdoctoral candidates who find these experiences to be extremely valuable in getting early feedback from a diverse group of experts in oftentimes very specialized areas.

The purpose of this grant award is to supplement Departmental support that allows full-time faculty to participate in scientific meetings directly related to their areas of research and clinical expertise, with the goal of advancing their investigation and care in those specific areas.

Resident Education Fund
By supporting residency education, All May See has contributed to the professional development of a new generation of leaders in academic and clinical ophthalmology. Support for the Residency Program allows the department to recruit the highest-caliber residents who are trained in research as well as patient care, who conduct mentored research, write papers, present at national scientific meetings, and continue on in training to develop their own research and clinical care programs, becoming distinguished scholars and clinicians throughout the country.

Fellow Research Fund
The clinical fellowship programs represent the highest level of clinical training offered in ophthalmology. The goal is to provide an environment that encourages the development of an academic career path, with fellow graduates seeking out full-time academic careers in which they will advance the understanding, development of treatments for, and care of patients with visual disability and blindness. UCSF Ophthalmology actively supports mentored research by clinical fellows and the presentation of this research at national conferences.

Medical Student Education Fund
Funds will be used to support new curricular and didactic materials, student travel and conference fees, preparation of conference papers at national meetings, academic mentoring, materials and equipment for the student microsurgery skills lab, a student-directed ophthalmology lecture series and the Medical Student Analyst.

All May See Foundation is proud to support these initiatives and is committed to saving and restoring sight and inspiring hope that, one day, all may see.