Raising Awareness and Funds to Support Research and Programs at the Kellogg Eye Center

MHBB 2023 - March 16 & 17, 2023


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Event Description

History of the Event

This Year's Research Program



Contact Information


MHBB 2020 Donations will go toward Amazing Research at University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center

Every year, the proceeds from March Hoops To BEAT Blindness are dedicated to a specific research program at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. MHBB funds are tracked in Kellogg's financial system as a separate fund. The Department Chair and Kellogg leadership will direct MHBB funds to specific research programs. MHBB funds support vision scientists to advance research across Kellogg subspecialties for the benefit of patients and people around the world.

Below is a sampling of research programs that MHBB funds have assisted with in the past.
Thank you for supporting my efforts to raise funds in support of these and other important research programs at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center!!!


Dr. Rajesh Rao, M.D., studied how epigenetics influence the development of eye and orbit cancers, and focused on retinoblastoma, a potentially blinding and deadly eye cancer that affects infants and young children.

As part of his research, Dr. Rao studied the tumor samples of all retinoblastoma patients in the UofM health system - including Brendan's own tumor sample that was taken when his retinoblastoma tumor was removed!






Dr. Karen DeLoss, OD, FAAO led the PROSE Clinic at the Kellogg Eye Center and partnered with cornea specialists to work with patients to provide a custom-fitted device that is comfortable for their unique eye size and shape. The results made an enormous difference in the lives the hundreds of patients who received this device! The Kellogg Eye Center was one of only a few clinics in the country to offer this treatment.

Dr. DeLoss' research on using the BostonSight PROSE device included ocular surface disease and understanding long-term efficacy of this course of treatment, as well as how to translate its use into other areas of ocular surface disease processes and research.

Dr. Steve Abcouwer, Dr. David Antonetti, Dr. Patrice Fort and Dr. Tom Gardner conducted progressive research on developing methods to diagnose conditions in diabetics which can lead to vision impairment. They researched the development of therapies to curtail and prevent vision loss for diabetics. Their work used advanced techniques and technologies, and MHBB funds helped obtain specific key equipment to support their work.


One year we took the rare opportunity to contribute to the creation of the new Kellogg Eye Center building! March Hoops to BEAT Blindness funds were used specifically to purchase and build the play area in the pediatrics waiting room!

I can tell you from experience what a great blessing this play area is to the children who are patients at Kellogg - and their parents! In many cases, when eyes are examined, special eye drops need to be used to dilate their eyes. It is never a simple proposition to get a child to allow a doctor to put eye drops in their eyes, and usually they have to be held down to get the job done. To add to the discomfort, the drops sting slightly too! Then the child is sent back to the waiting room for about 30-40 minutes while the eyes dilate. When they arrive back in the waiting room, the child is usually upset and wound up all at once! This playscape gives them a fun distraction during their waiting room time, and it is still in use to this day!

Dr. Maria Woodward, MD, MS, researched ways to manage corneal diseases and to minimize the need for transplantation. She used current technology to capture and transmit images which would assist treating patients remotely. These techniques assisted clinicians around the world to manage diseases and potentially diagnose them, which could also prevent the diseases from developing.

Image result for corneal ulcers



Dr. Yannis Paulus, MD, FACS research in his Retinal Imaging and Laser Laboratory worked on developing techniques for early disease diagnosis and treatment monitoring for Macular Degeneration. He focused on learning to detect - or even predict - the disease before it results in vision loss, to stop the progression of the disease, and to preserve vision. Early diagnosis of macular degeneration is important to prevent vision loss or halt it in those who are already experiencing loss of vision. He researched techniques to identify patients at risk to developing this blinding disease, and treatments which will prevent it.



Dr. Lindsey De Lott , MD, MS. focused research on vision problems related to the brain. This field is important since nearly half of our brains are devoted to sight and eye movement. One specific area of interest was investigating treatments for optic neuritis. Dr. De Lott pursued methods to accurately predict visual outcomes and to identify effective treatments paths for patients with optic neuritis. In addition, her research looked for ways to minimize vision loss and even try to find ways to reverse vision loss from optic neuritis.


Dr. Brenda Bohnsack, M.D., PhD. conducted research which investigated genetic causes of congenital eye diseases. She sought to identify the genes involved in eye development and to learn about the normal, and abnormal, developmental paths. As these genes are identified, and their impact on eye formation is better understood, treatments to cure and prevent worsening conditions can be found. Babies with congenital eye diseases, and their parents and families, face very difficult physical and emotional circumstances. Dr. Bohnsack's research aimed to give them reason for hope and relief.

Dr. K. Thiran Jayasundera, M.D., FACS, FRSC, FRANZCO
and his team worked to create an automated diagnostic tool for diagnosing retinal dystrophies. They investigated using image processing and algorithms to identify features of different diseases, so that a doctor anywhere in the world could access the information and compare their patient to the database, and identify likely diagnosis and causative genes, with the aim to confirm the diagnosis, order appropriate genetic testing, and determine if any treatments or clinical trials are available for the patient's vision-threatening condition.

Dr. Jayasundera also worked with the Argus II device, which is an artificial retina also referred to as the "bionic eye". This device could lead to providing partial sight for patients with late-stage retinitis pigmentosa (a specific group of diseases which cause a slow but progressive loss of vision due to the loss of retinal cells). The system involved a retinal prosthesis and special eye glasses. The retinal prosthesis is implanted in the eye and the patient wears glasses equipped with a special camera which transmits wirelessly to the prosthesis. The prosthesis sends the signals of the images from the camera to the brain.

Retinal prosthesis implantGlasses, a video processing unit (VPU) and a cable are part of the Argus II System


Dr. Cagri Besirli, M.D., PhD. research program investigated a new cancer drug originally developed for glioma (a form of brain cancer), and testing its potential for treating retinoblastoma. He focused on the toxicity of the drug, that is, the affect it has on healthy cells and how effectively it kills cancer cells. He conducted additional testing to learn how effectively the drug could kill retinoblastoma cells. MHBB funds were used to provide lab materials, support analysis and publishing activities, and grant applications and proposal submissions.

How Will MHBB Help?

MHBB funds will be used to support cutting edge, innovative research programs at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.

More study is needed! Your donation to MHBB will support the important research at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center!