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Yi (Fay) Zhai, MD, PhD

Dr. Yi Zhai receives the Oster Family Research Award

This important research will provide a best-in-class way to evaluate the impact of future scientific research into choroideremia.”
— Neal Bench, CRF board president

SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, July 31, 2020 / -- The Choroideremia Research Foundation (CRF) is pleased to announce funding for a research study by Yi (Fay) Zhai, MD, PhD, Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at University of Alberta. In special appreciation for 20 years of foundation support, the CRF has named this study the Oster Family Research Award.

In Dr. Zhai’s proposal project, Measuring the en face ellipsoid zone (EZ) area as a biomarker of photoreceptor structure/function in Choroideremia (CHM), the aim is to determine the optimal method whereby the remaining photoreceptor in a patient with choroideremia can be mapped. The new mapping method will be compared to existing evaluation techniques such as autofluorescence area, horizontal and vertical EZ length, and microperimetry. The goal is to establish a standardized method of mapping photoreceptors that can be used to assess the efficacy of novel therapeutics in future clinical trials. Further, this study might be instructive as to the natural history of disease progression in choroideremia. To accomplish this project, 20 known subjects with choroideremia will be recruited. Optical coherence tomography and a variety of additional visual tests will be performed and a comprehensive map of the retina produced. It is Dr. Zhai’s second study on the efficacy of trial therapeutics.

“We are proud to announce our support of Dr. Zhai’s research in cooperation with the Choroideremia Research Foundation Canada,” said Neal Bench, CRF board president. “This important research will provide a best-in-class way to evaluate the impact of future scientific research into choroideremia.”

For more information about all research studies the CRF supports, please visit

Kathleen Wagner
Choroideremia Research Foundation Inc
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