The Foundation's research discoveries in the first 10 years form the basis for improved vision care which could save an estimated 500,000 years of lost eyesight each year in perpetuity. Over only a 10-year period, this amounts to a little more than one dollar spent by the Foundation for each year of eyesight savable! This is the power of effective research.
After establishing a successful intramural research program, the Foundation is now concentrating on expanding its extramural vision research program and extending its efforts to include speech and hearing research and education.
Retinal Surgery Research Center
Something as small as a bit of scar tissue can be one of the greatest threats to the gift of sight. The Helen Keller Foundation has researched how scar tissue forms in the eye and, more importantly, how it can be prevented. We are removing scar tissue membranes on the center of vision approximately one-eighth the thickness of a human hair. Several Sight-restoring procedures have been developed.
Read about our medical breakthroughs
Read about our research projects
Helen Keller Professors
The Foundation pursues sight-saving breakthroughs by working with many of the most distinguished vision researchers in the world. Donors can specify glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or another area of research they may wish to support. Helen Keller Professors are then designated at select universities, and Helen Keller Fellows and pilot studies are funded under their direction. We are now seeking funding for ten Helen Keller Professors at distinguished universities that partner with the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education.
Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research
The Foundation believes that vision research will advance in direct proportion to the public's awareness of research efforts to end blindness. The Helen Keller Prize is a powerful symbol for vision researchers worldwide who labor to preserve the precious gift of sight.
Helen Keller Laureates are selected by an international panel of vision researchers. The prize is awarded at the annual convention of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), an international conclave that attracts more than 7,000 scientists and physicians. The prize stipend supports the recipient's vision research. The Foundation considers this program to be one of its most important efforts to end blindness.
Read about The Helen Keller Prize
Read about The Helen Keller Laureates
Much like Helen Keller herself, Foundation representatives have lectured around the globe. In the first decade of vision research, presentations have been made in countries from Norway to South Africa, from China to Austria—totaling over 500 scientific lectures in 21 countries on six continents.
Published works include 101 articles and book chapters in professional journals such as the American Journal of Ophthalmology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Publications and Presentations
World Eye Injury Registry
The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education has sponsored the World Eye Injury Registry. It is the largest databank of eye injury information in the world. We don't want anyone, no matter how remote their location, to lose a chance at sight because they had no access to information. Physicians and organizations worldwide may consult and contribute to the Registry to further advance vision research and eye injury care.
United States Eye Injury Registry (USEIR)
World Eye Injury Registry (WEIR)
Saving Sight, Speech and Hearing
The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education (HKFRE) targets three vision research areas:
- The Child's Eye
- The Injured Eye
- The Aging Eye
Read about these specific areas of research