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

MHBB 2019: MARCH 21 & 22, 2019


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This Year's Research Program



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MHBB 2018 Donations
will go toward amazing research
at 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. The program is chosen for its innovative approach and focus on treating and finding cures to blinding conditions.

This year, funds from March Hoops to BEAT Blindness 2018 will go to support the research of Dr. Maria Woodward, MD, MS, who is working to develop ways to manage corneal diseases and minimize the need for transplantation.

One of Dr. Woodward's current research programs is investigating ways to use today's technology to capture and transmit images which would assist treating patients remotely.

What Is Exciting About This Research?

What if we could help and treat people across the whole world?

That is the question Dr. Woodward asks, as she investigates the use of high-tech imaging systems and telemedicine techniques. Through image study and data analysis, Dr. Woodward is working to determine the extent to which corneal diseases can be identified and the treatments can be managed. This work aims to leverage low cost systems and current technology, to make the access to care even more widespread.

These methods can reach all sorts of areas where patients have a difficult time accessing treatment options, including remote locations around the world where people cannot find doctors with the expertise they need.


One million people worldwide develop debilitating infectious corneal ulcers each year.

Approximately 200,000 cases in the US per year.

Image result for corneal ulcersA leading cause of blindness in working-age adults worldwide.

Cause severe pain; patients can't go to work or function, and they bear high medication costs for the duration of the ulcer.

Ophthalmologists prescribe powerful, but imprecise broad-spectrum antimicrobials to all patients because ulcers require rapid intervention to prevent eye perforation and blindness. Widespread use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials is strongly and detrimentally associated with increasing microbial resistance.

Annually, patients receive 750,000 antimicrobial prescriptions for presumed corneal infection in the USA.

What Are Corneal Diseases?

The cornea is the transparent layer on the front surface of the eye and it covers the iris (the colored part of the eye) and the pupil (the black dot in the center). Since it is so exposed, the cornea is also susceptible to a variety of diseases, such as corneal ulcers, keratitis, corneal dystrophy, and many others, as well as damage like abrasions, injury, dry eye syndrome, and the like.

Most of these conditions are difficult to treat after they have developed, and medication regiments can be costly as well. In particularly severe cases, corneal transplants become necessary.

This is an excellent area to work toward remote care and telehealth techniques. Current technology offers low costs opportunities to capture corneal images, and with the right study and analysis, effective treatments can be developed using those means.

How Does This Research Help BEAT Blindness?

By developing these techniques, Dr. Woodward aims to help clinicians around the world manage diseases and potentially diagnose them, which could also prevent the diseases from developing.

More information about "eHealth" (the use of technology to remotely provide care and disease monitoring) in ophthalmology can be found here: eHealth

How Will MHBB Help?

Much research is needed in this area to develop effective techniques and technology that can be used to provide successful treatments. MHBB funds will help Dr. Woodward's efforts to analyze images which are transmitted from remote clinics, and to fund data analysis, grant costs, and patient participation expenses.

More study is needed! Your donation to MHBB 2018 will support this important research at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center !