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Dr Shalesh Kaushal

Eyes on UMass

Dr. John (Jack) Strobis, a graduate of UMass Medical School is giving back to his alma mater in support of a cause that has touched him personally. When Dr. Strobis, who now resides and practices in Boca Raton, Florida, learned about the recruitment of Dr. Shalesh Kaushal, chair of ophthalmology, and the re-establishment of the ophthalmology department at our institution, he was intrigued and expressed an interest in learning more. After meeting with Dr. Kaushal last winter, he was inspired to support the innovative eye research being conducted at UMass. Dr. Strobis’ son, Justin, suffers from a rare eye disease, Iridocorneal Endothelial (ICE) syndrome, and lost his vision in one eye from glaucoma by the age of 30. Frustrated by the lack of research being conducted for ICE, which eventually can cause glaucoma and vision loss, Dr. Strobis founded The Strobis Glaucoma Foundation, Inc. in 2002. Through this Foundation, he has given generously to organizations dedicated to research and treatment of glaucoma and other diseases of the human eye.

"With Dr. Strobis' generous support, my laboratory team has been able to identify new molecules (drugs) to protect retinal cells, including those affected in macular degeneration and glaucoma. This support is allowing us to evaluate them more rapidly in clinical trials for retinal and optic nerve diseases," says Dr. Kaushal. This gift and others is contributing to Dr. Kaushal’s research and has the potential to allow the many individuals who suffer eye diseases to keep one of the greatest gifts in life—the gift of sight.