Roche Supports Collaborative Research Fellowships
Awards presented to three outstanding researchers from developing countries

Rockville, Md. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) today announced the 2019 recipients of the Roche Collaborative Research Fellowships. Srilekha Sundaramurthy, PhD, of India; Jeremias Galletti, MD, PhD, of Argentina and Samuel Kyei, OD, PhD, of Ghana are the recipients of the fellowships that are now being generously funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., through the ARVO Foundation.

Roche has generously partnered with the ARVO Foundation as the new funder of the Collaborative Research Fellowships and has expanded the program to include three annual fellowships to individuals from developing countries. These Fellowships promote international scientific interaction and innovative research by pairing researchers from developing countries with well-established research scientists for a one-year collaborative project.

“The mentor and mentee collaboration provided through this fellowship is crucial to the advancement of young researchers,” said ARVO Foundation Board of Governors Chair Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD, FARVO. “We are very pleased to partner with Roche to award the fellowship to these three deserving scientists. We look forward to seeing the future results of their work and collaborations.”

Sundaramurthy will collaborate with Patrick Yu-Wai-Man, BMedSci (Hons), MBBS (Hons), PhD, FRCPath, FRCOphth, of the University of Cambridge and Moorfields Eye Hospital. Galletti will work with Cintia de Paiva, MD, PhD, from the Baylor College of Medicine. Kyei will collaborate with Lyne Racette, PhD, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“Our mission through these awards is to break down barriers that often stand in the way of research breakthroughs, allowing outstanding scientists to make discoveries alongside industry-leading mentors,” said Ash Jayagopal of Roche Ophthalmology. “We are pleased to support a program that reflects Roche’s objective to advance research efforts and our understanding of ocular diseases and conditions.”

Applications reopen July 1, 2019 and close on Sept. 1, 2019.

Srilekha Sundaramurthy
Srilekha Sundaramurthy, PhD, of the Vision Research Foundation Sankara Nethralaya of Chennai, India, is a geneticist noted for her research and understanding of the genetic contribution to diseases and is interested in mitochondrial genetics, as well as taking care of the in-house molecular diagnostics testing for LHON. Sundaramurthy recently received ARVO’s Developing Country Eye Research Fellowship (DCERF) award in 2018.

Jeremias Galletti
Jeremias Galletti, MD, PhD, is a clinician-scientist at the Institute of Experimental Medicine of the National Academy of Medicine in Buenos Aires. The aim of his and Dr. De Paiva’s project is to identify and characterize the immune cells that are responsible for keeping the ocular surface without inflammation. The eyes are continuously exposed to diverse threats from the environment, yet they become inflamed on seldom occasions. A better understanding of which cells control ocular surface inflammation and how they work could lead to new and better therapies for inflammatory eye disorders, such as dry eye and ocular allergy.

Samuel Kyei
Samuel Kyei, OD, PhD, is a senior lecturer at the Department of Optometry and Vision Science of the University of Cape Coast. This award will foster an international collaboration between Dr. Samuel Kyei and Dr. Lyne Racette (U.S.). The work of the collaborative team will focus on identifying the rate of adherence in Ghana and on determining the factors associated with adherence in this country. This is innovative because adherence has not yet been measured objectively in Africa. The prevalence of glaucoma in Ghana is high and improving adherence to therapy has the potential to lead to improved treatment outcomes and to the preservation of sight in a high-risk population.

For more information about the Roche Collaborate Research Fellowships, visit ARVO’s website.


About ARVO: The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include nearly 12,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. Learn more at

About the ARVO Foundation: Established in 2001, the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research raises funds through partnerships, grants and sponsorships to support ARVO’s world-class education and career development resources for eye and vision researchers of all stages of career and education. Learn more at

About Roche: Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also a world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. For more information, please visit

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Julene Joy