The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute is building on its track record for funding research in the USA and on its 6-year legacy of making direct treatment interventions in India.
A new series of grants will support innovative UK technology, science and research projects that can help to alleviate and end corneal blindness by 2035.
The limitations of existing treatments for corneal blindness have created a substantial treatment gap in the poorer countries where 90% of visually impaired people live.
LONDON, April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, a longstanding project of philanthropist Tej Kohli, has established a series of grants to support UK-based innovations in science and technology with a clear pathway to alleviating corneal blindness. Annual grants are available to UK-based projects led by scientists, ophthalmologists, doctors, researchers and influencers in science and technology. The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute has also paid out an emergency grant of £80,000 toward the development of a genetic vaccine for COVID-19.
The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute's move to support innovations borne from UK based scientific ingenuity reflects the need to develop brand new solutions that can bridge the corneal blindness treatment gap. The Institute will build on its track record for funding research in the USA. It will also leverage its existing knowledge and expertise gained from making thousands of treatment interventions to alleviate corneal blindness in India between 2015 and 2019.
An Advisory Board that includes experts in ophthalmology and experimental medicine from institutions such as Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology will connect the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute with high-impact scientific projects across the UK.
"The UK ranks third out of 128 counties in the 2019 Global Innovation Index and more than half of UK postgraduate researchers come from outside of the UK. This UK ecosystem will enable the kind of unique interdisciplinary innovation that is needed to develop novel new solutions."
Sajjad Ahmad, consultant corneal surgeon and clinical academic at Moorfields Eye Hospital, and Tej Kohli Cornea Institute Advisory Board member, said:
"The UK is a leader in translating experimental medicine and laboratory science into corneal therapies. These grants will help to support UK ingenuity in developing new treatments that can be made accessible in poorer communities around the world."