European Glaucoma REsearch Training program for Accelerating the Approach to Advanced Glaucoma

EGRET-AAA is a joint doctorate program to provide training in glaucoma research, leading to joint doctoral degrees for 15 ESRs. It converts existing partnerships between universities into long-lasting ones. Together with many private and societal partners, our consortium forms a cradle for a European network of highly skilled, resilient, entrepreneurial and creative researchers, who will inspire each other to excel in glaucoma research, both during and long after the funding period.

EGRET-AAA will produce innovative treatments to protect and restore vision in patients with progressive eye disease glaucoma. By using revolutionary human retinal organoids, we will accelerate the development of new treatments and bring gene therapy and stem cell-based approaches a major step closer to clinical implementation, while minimizing the need for animal research. Through our findings, we will be able to protect the regenerated eye-brain connections and develop diagnostic techniques to select patients suitable for treatment and to evaluate intervention effects. By doing so, we will ultimately save approximately 1 million Europeans from blindness, and another 5 million from significant vision loss, thereby increasing their quality of life, and dramatically reducing societal and health care costs.

Through our interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral training, the 15 ESRs will gain essential skills and assets for success in a broad range of careers in academia and beyond. Based on our previous experience gained on multiple training networks, we believe that this timely program provides an in-depth graduate research training environment of unrivalled quality and pertinence, far greater and better than the sum of its parts. By anticipating continued demand for the skills and experience of our ESRs, we see EGRET-AAA as the precursor of a permanent and sustainable glaucoma-focused European doctoral program.