“In 2003, I received my first Fight for Sight grant as a postdoctoral student at Baylor College of Medicine. It was my first research award in the second year of my postdoctoral studies. This grant allowed me to work on a research project that isolated corneal epithelial stem cells to use them in ocular surface reconstruction. Thanks to FFS, this funded research led me to an Institutional Training Grant at Baylor College of Medicine, followed by a competitive NEI/NIH F32 award. In 2008, after being appointed as an assistant professor, I received a second FFS grant for work on the effects of aging on the ocular surface and lacrimal gland inflammation in an autoimmune model of Sjögren Syndrome.
Since then, I have received many other awards and am published in top tier journals. But my first FFS award was a stepping stone that helped launch my career as an independent eye scientist and one that is very dear to me.” —Cintia de Paiva, MD, PhD, 2003 & 2008 FFS Grantee
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