Gavin Herbert Eye Institute gets $2 million to establish cornea and retina centers

New units will oversee keratoconus and macular degeneration outreach programs

May 17, 2016
The Discovery Eye Foundation – a Los Angeles-based organization that supports research, education, advocacy and treatment related to sight-threatening eye diseases – has given $2 million to UC Irvine Health’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute to establish dedicated hubs for cornea and retina outreach programs and research.

The new Discovery Cornea Center and Discovery Retina Center will house the National Keratoconus Foundation and Macular Degeneration Partnership outreach programs, which were introduced by the Discovery Eye Foundation more than two decades ago. They are expected to offer even more up-to-date information about the causes, treatments and potential cures for keratoconus, macular degeneration and other sight-threatening diseases.

As an integral part of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, the programs will have access to clinical and research resources, technology and communication capabilities that were not as readily available to the Discovery Eye Foundation. The enhanced programs will support our growing virtual community – from clinicians to research scientists to patients and families who live with these diseases on a daily basis,” said Jack Schoellerman, chairman of the Discovery Eye Foundation’s board.

Over the years, the organization has made several gifts enabling the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute to pursue its vision of eradicating preventable blindness.

The foundation has been a steadfast supporter of innovation at the institute, advancing important eye research through funding for our Discovery Center for Eye Research and contributions to groundbreaking ocular herpes and age-related macular degeneration studies,” said Dr. Roger Steinert, founding director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. “This most recent gift, which will allow us to expand well-established outreach programs, gives the institute new ways to serve those who have an interest in vision health.”

The outreach programs will be overseen by Mary Prudden, executive program director for the center at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. For information on keratoconus and the National Keratoconus Foundation, visit For information on age-related macular degeneration and the Macular Degeneration Partnership, visit

The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and the UC Irvine Health Department of Ophthalmology provide highly specialized training to future ophthalmologists, access to leading-edge clinical trials, and sight-saving treatments and therapies for many eye disorders. The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute's mission is to develop educational programs, technologies and clinical solutions that enhance visual health and performance for people in Orange County, the nation and the world through cooperation with medical professionals, industry and the community. Visit for more information.

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