The Knights Templar Eye Foundation selected Dr. Andrea James of University of Northern Colorado as the recipient of its $65,000 “Career-Starter Research Grant.”

Dr. Andrea James, an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley, hopes that her scientific research on the Zebrafish will help her to unveil the secrets of eye development and abnormalities in humans — and eventually eradicate blindness in young children.

And now, thanks to the “Career-Starter Research Grant” she received from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF), on May 22, she’s $65,000 worth of research closer to her goal. The grant will enable James to “get her research off the ground, and will allow her an opportunity to succeed,” a statement from KTEF said.

In order to be selected as the recipient, James had to apply for the funds and then undergo a detailed review process by a panel of ophthalmologists and experts in the field. Grants are typically awarded to promising young scientists who have earned an M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent degree and are still at the beginning of their careers.

Since its beginning in 1956, the KTEF — a national nonprofit that “seeks to eradicate childhood blindness worldwide” — has put $148 million into the research of ophthalmology, as well as patient care and education. James is one of 19 scientists in the country to be awarded the grant this year and is the only recipient from Colorado.

The Knights Templar are a Christian Order of the Masonic Fraternity.

Read more about James and her research here. Congratulations, Dr. James!

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