The Gilbert Family Foundation is excited to welcome 28 researchers to our 2022 Vision Restoration Initiative (VRI) annual meeting. From July 18 to 19, we will be discussing the latest breakthroughs in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) optic pathway glioma and vision restoration research, and how the Gilbert Family Foundation can continue to support this critical field.

The VRI is an important part of our mission to end NF1 by developing solutions for one detrimental impact of the disease. Approximately one in five patients with NF1 develop tumors on the nerves that connect the eyes to the brain, causing degradation of the optic nerve and in many cases resulting in a chronic loss of eyesight. There is currently no treatment to restore vision loss as a result of optic pathway gliomas (OPGs). The Gilbert Family Foundation’s VRI targets this problem by bringing together NF1 experts, ophthalmologists and neuroscientists who are dedicated to working collaboratively to research and develop different therapeutic products to protect or regenerate the optic nerve.

Over the two-day event, our leading researchers will be giving talks and updates on each of these three therapy types, which include neuroprotection/neuroenhancement therapy, exogeneous retinal ganglion cell (RGC) replacement therapy, and endogenous RGC replacement therapy, as well as planning for the next three years of research. We will also discuss and refine a VRI Roadmap towards accelerating promising therapies through drug development. We are looking forward to exploring these findings that will lead us closer to restoring sight in NF1 patients. You can learn more about the three therapeutic interventions we’re developing on our website here.

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