Celebrating 50 Years of Bold Research

Help us ring in 50 years of bold research at our 50th Anniversary Celebration in Washington, D.C. This extraordinary gathering will spotlight exemplary scientists and advocates who are driving the most exciting research to end Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

Honoring Excellence in Research Science and Advocacy

BrightFocus Scientific Impact Award

Gerard D. Schellenberg, PhD

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research

Mae Gordon, PhD

Washington University in St. Louis

Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research

Michael Kass, MD

Washington University in St. Louis

BrightFocus Community Impact Award

Debra Tann, EdD


Hear From This Year's Presenting Cocktail Scientists

Four BrightFocus grantees will share their unique approaches to finding cures for Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

Ganesh Babulal, MSCI, OTD, PhD

Washington University School of Medicine

Oleg Butovsky, PhD

Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Thomas V. Johnson III, MD, PhD

Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University

Daisy Shu, PhD

The Schepens Eye Research Institute

Special Musical Guest

Musical Performance by

Megan Hilty

Megan Hilty is probably most recognizable for her portrayal of Ivy Lynn in the NBC Musical Drama “Smash.” Before that, Hilty started her career on Broadway, playing Glinda in “Wicked,” originating the role of Doralee Rhodes in “9 to 5 The Musical,” and Brooke Ashton in “Noises Off,” which earned her a Tony Award Nomination. Other stage credits include Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors” (Kennedy Center), Annie Oakley in “Annie Get Your Gun” (Encores/NY City Center) and Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (Encores/NY City Center). Her numerous television credits include  “Sean Saves The World” with Sean Hayes, “Difficult People,” “Braindead,” “The Good Fight,” playing the iconic Patsy Cline in “Patsy and Loretta” (earning her a Critic’s Choice Award nomination for Best Actress) and Lily in NBC’s “Annie Live!”  She is currently filming “The Pradeeps From Pittsburgh” which is set to air on Amazon in early 2024. Megan’s voiceover work spans from audiobooks to kids animated favorites like "TrollsTopia" on Hulu, "TOTS" on Disney Jr, "Centaurworld" on Netflix, "Tinkerbell" on Disney, "Madagascar-A Little Wild" and "It’s Pony!" on Nickelodeon - and even some shows for adults like "Family Guy," "American Dad," "Robot Chicken" and "Tuca & Bertie." Hilty continues to tour her cabaret show with her band, which has been taped for “Live from Lincoln Center” on PBS, and regularly appears with world renowned orchestras including the NY Pops, Boston Pops, and the National Symphony Orchestra.

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We Gratefully Acknowledge Our
50th Anniversary Sponsors

Golden Anniversary Sponsors
Solid Gold Sponsors
Good as Gold Sponsors
Heart of Gold Sponsors

Apellis Pharmaceuticals

Stacy Pagos Haller


Iveric Bio

J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Nancy Lynn & James Keach

Perlman & Perlman, LLP


Brian Regan, PhD


Sandy Spring Bank

Patricia Stewart, CFP®

Jan Stouffer, PhD

BrightFocus Foundation's Global Alzheimer's Disease Partners


Stichting Alzheimer Onderzoek


Fondation Vaincre Alzheimer


Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V.

The Netherlands

Alzheimer Nederland