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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Ophthalmology Research


Private donations are an important source of research funding for every institution including a state university as ours. You might be surprised to learn that less then 12% of our operating revenue comes from state sources. Our faculty generates the remainder of our budget – either as tuition, clinical income or grant dollars. Thus, your gift is important to us.

We have active research programs in:

  • Glaucoma – the silent thief of sight;
  • Neovascular diseases of the retina in adults and infants – the major cause of blindness in the developed world;
  • Inherited and acquired retinal degeneration that robs sight from millions of people world-wide.

Our researchers are at work developing gene-based therapies, interventional therapies and collaborating on the development of novel approaches using nanoscale technologies. Indeed our faculty successfully competes for federal and state grants as well as private foundation and intramural funding. Our faculty have or are supported by: the National Eye Institute; the National Institute for Neurological Disease and Stroke; National Science Foundation; the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.; and the E.Matilida Ziegler Foundation. We have also received clinical research contracts from Allergan, Pfizer, Alcon.

Your private gift provides us with a unique resource:

  • to launch prospective and retrospective studies assessing the clinical needs in our patient population;
  • to conduct feasibility projects that lead to advances in the next generation of therapies and diagnostics;
  • cushion us from fluctuations in the government funding of biomedical research.

With such funds we are studying the long-term effects on vision of shaken baby syndrome; we have concluded a study of the vision robbing effects of lead-containing eye makeup that is leading to new public health guidelines.

There are multiple opportunities for giving. Unrestricted gifts are the best of course and these can be given to the 20/20 Fund or to the Troutman Chair.

One hundred percent of your unrestricted donation will be used to support innovative translation research and research training for the next generation of vision scientists. If you prefer to direct your gift to support a particular aspect of our work, we can work with you to define a gift that suits your interest.

Please consider a directed gift such as:

Named professorship – to support a specific the start-up fund for new researcher or support an existing researcher. Our ability to recruit research faculty is limited by the funds to outfit their laboratories, this support would greatly enhance our program.

Named lectureship series – to support our program of visiting lectures which are vital to keeping our staff and students current. We currently bring in at least two visiting faculty per month; our costs are largely travel and accommodations. Your gift here would allow us to expand our net to recruit international rather than regional leaders.

Student research assistantships – to support the stipends of research students (medical, undergraduate or graduate). Our ability to recruit and train students is limited only by our funds to provide them with research stipends. This support would enhance our overall goals.

Contact Institutional Advancement & Philanthropy or email Dr. John Danias for more information.

Please join with our other donors and support SEI Brooklyn by giving to the 20/20 Fund. Be sure to select 20/20 Fund from the drop down list.

Your donation is tax deductible to the extent provided by law and 100% of your donation goes to support our research and research training programs.