Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Stephen J. Ryan

David R. Hinton Scholarship Program


The Stephen J. Ryan Initiative for Macular Research (RIMR), an evolution of the Beckman Initiative for Macular Research, was the brainchild of a visionary in our field, the late Dr. Stephen Ryan. The RIMR Initiative brings together outstanding basic scientists, engineers, medical researchers, and clinicians to develop a better understanding of age-related atrophic macular degeneration (AMD), with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. At annual RIMR conferences, these accomplished leaders from very different backgrounds and disciplines explore technologies, discoveries, and ideas. By sharing their diverse perspectives in interdisciplinary discussions and research collaborations, RIMR participants are improving AMD diagnostics, and expanding the prospect of new treatments for the number one cause of visual impairment and blindness in older Americans.

Originally the Beckman Initiative for Macular Research, the program was renamed in 2016 to honor founder, Steve Ryan. More….

AMD is a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. It causes damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina and the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision. Age is a major risk factor for AMD. The disease is most likely to occur after age 60, but it can occur earlier. AMD by itself does not lead to complete blindness. However, the loss of central vision in AMD can interfere with simple everyday activities, such as the ability to see faces, drive, read, or write. (Excerpt from the National Eye Institute’s Facts About Age-related Macular Degeneration).