Next week is a big week for both me and the Foundation. I’ll be heading to Israel, for the first time in my life, to visit with Foundation business and research partners. So the next couple blog posts you see will come straight from places like Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Why Israel? Because it’s a hotbed of cutting-edge retinal disease research activity, covering everything from pharmaceuticals to stem cells. The Foundation, as you may know, does not just invest in U.S.-based research; we go wherever there’s promising work.
Although I won’t know exact details until I get there, I can give you hints as to what I and one of FFB’s board members, David Brint, will observe and do in Israel. We’ll meet, in Haifa, with researchers looking to move a drug treatment for Usher syndrome, which also has the potential for treating other retinal diseases, into clinical trials. In Jerusalem, at the Hadassah Medical Organization, we’ll catch up on a stem cell project. And in Tel Aviv, I’ll attend a conference hosted by the Israeli chapter of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, or ARVO, where, no doubt, I’ll come across much to write about.
On a personal note, as someone of Jewish heritage it’ll be exciting to visit Israel for the first time. I intend to take in a few historic sites, including the Wailing Wall and Masada, and look forward to sharing photos of what I observe, both personally and professionally.
So, please, check back next week. I’ll have lots to share with you.
Photo courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism.