From the Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2023 - see full report in PDF.

The Vision Research Foundation (VRF) exists to move beyond the safe and incremental, to attract the funding and knowledge needed to make life-changing discoveries, and to unlock the potential medical talent shut out by inequity.

Professor Helen Danesh-Meyer (pictured above), its Scientific Director, started the VRF in 2022 with the support of a generous philanthropist, and it has since attracted further direct donations and bequests.

In June 2023 they set up the Vision Research Foundation Fund at Momentum Waikato, to grow and diversify its income streams and provide a longer-term investment gateway for its current and potential donors.

Good vision and eye health are precious, as our eyes connect us to the world and are a window into our health. We will all be impacted by vision-related disorders at some stage of our lives, whether for ourselves or our family and friends, and we all face neurological and degenerative conditions as we age.

“Our journey through these challenges is being much improved by transformative medical discoveries that directly influence the course of our well-being,” said Helen.

“The Vision Research Foundation therefore has a laser-sharp focus on three goals. First, to support young researchers and keep bright minds in New Zealand.

“Second, we back research that challenges current thinking and paradigms, in particular in the areas of glaucoma and neurological diseases.

“Third, we are committed to developing the entire research environment, which means building diverse research teams, addressing research culture, and supporting the next generation,” said Helen.

“We are at a time when technology is developing faster than most research ideas.

“The Vision Research Foundation is therefore aimed at using those rapidly developing technological advances to disrupt traditional modes of eye care and research.

“Our philosophy is that by challenging established paradigms we can make transformative discoveries in vision science.”

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