Research to Prevent Blindness

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Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) is a nonprofit organization created in 1960 by Jules Stein, the founder of Music Corporation of America, to stimulate research to eliminate blinding diseases.

RPB makes free information available to the public on a multitude of eye diseases, and maintains an extensive, online archive of thousands of published studies conducted with its support.

Mission statement[edit]

"RPB is committed to stimulate, sustain and intensify a concerted research effort, with the goal of developing preventives, cures and effective treatments for all diseases of the visual system that damage and destroy sight. To this end, RPB mobilizes financial resources in support of eye research, making available essential laboratory space, scientific personnel and advanced technological equipment in its mission to preserve vision and restore sight."[1]

Eye diseases researched[edit]

Eye diseases addressed by grants from RPB include macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye, corneal diseases, uveitis, low vision, amblyopia and strabismus, retinitis pigmentosa, color blindness and ocular cancers.


Shortly after it was founded, RPB conducted the first comprehensive survey of the state of eye research in the United States. Among the findings was strong support within the eye research community for a separate National Eye Institute as part of the National Institutes of Health. RPB then led the movement that caused Congress in 1968 to establish the National Eye Institute.[2] In the following years, RPB became a major influence in stimulating legislative interest and support for the work of the National Eye Institute.

Another finding was lack of sufficient laboratory space—across the country—for eye research. Over a span of years, RPB organized capital campaigns for the construction of modern eye research centers in large population areas: University of California, Los Angeles, The Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, University of Louisville, Medical College of Wisconsin, Baylor College of Medicine and Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland.

Through a grants program, Research to Prevent Blindness has channeled more than $276 million into eye research.


RPB works with medical institutions throughout the United States to strengthen their programs in eye research.[3] Unrestricted grant programs are intended to produce new scientific investigations, accelerate the pace of research and complement government grants.

Research to Prevent Blindness grants are directed toward investigators at all stages of a career, beginning with Medical Student Fellowships. A $25 million Jules and Doris Stein RPB Professorship program brings outstanding basic scientists to the study of the eye and its diseases.

Since its founding, RPB grant support has been identified with virtually every major scientific advance in eye research including the development of laser surgery for eye conditions, new drugs that prevent blindness, and refinements to the intraocular lenses used in cataract surgery.


External links[edit]