The film encompasses a high-level examination of Dr. Kuppermann as a scientist, student, and leader. Dr. Kuppermann’s career work is acknowledged through the understanding of his ethnic roots, family structure, extensive education, and historic scientific contributions. Throughout its 7-minute runtime, audiences meet the individual behind significant retina breakthroughs.
Los Angeles based director Andreas Casanova specializes in social change narratives that seek to inform the minds and touch the hearts of the world. That is why he was so drawn to Dr. Kupperman’s quest for knowledge and the mechanics of learning and how that quest drew him to the optic complications of aids, to how neurons rewire themselves, and to his work in macular degeneration. Enjoy this portrait of a life very well lived.
Dr Christine Curcio considers herself a hope machine. With close to 40 years of research under her belt, she has been able to bring hope to patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD was once considered a hopeless disease but upon further research Dr Curcio was able to see the effects of AMD in the retina and in her own words, "if we can see it, we can treat it". With the help of her husband, Dr Kenneth Sloan, a computer scientist, they were able to marry computer technology and microscopes to further dive into the retina and study AMD. Dr Curcio has collaborated with many other scientists and ophthalmologists over the years to get a clearer picture of AMD and to develop new technologies and machines that will help detect and monitor the progression of the disease. Because of her work, todays AMD patients have a more hopeful outlook.
Our next film tribute honors Dr. Christine Curcio and her work on age-related macular degeneration. three time Emmy-award winning video producer and content creator Lance Holloway specializes in telling the stories of accomplished people in compelling ways. He has certainly achieved his goal in telling Dr. Curcio’s story, outlining her journey through photography, computer science, and photo microscopy to the study of the brain and neuro-degeneration in the retina. Her passion and humanity shine through in her commitment to extend both the life span and the health span of us all.
Scientists are inherently skeptics. The scientific method implores users to question everything and take no data for granted. Any scientist or one creating advancements in science or medicine can expect heavy scrutiny. Jean Bennett and her husband, Albert Maguire, were no different.
The husband and wife spent decades developing rational approaches for treating retinal-based diseases: their approach, Gene Therapy.
Gene Therapy was a word of science fiction when they started their research. They faced scrutiny from their professors, colleagues, and even friends, yet that did not deter them. Driven by the data and the logical reasoning behind gene therapy, they were confident in their approach. Ultimately Jean and Al lead the team of scientists to create the first FDA-approved gene therapy. The treatment developed by the team results in the reversal of blindness caused by the eye disorder Leber congenital amaurosis.
After the FDA approval, they led their team to continue growing the field of gene therapy. They still, to this day, are recruiting new scientists and physicians to aid them in the continued growth of Gene Therapy.
Our final film tribute honors Doctors Jean Bennett and Albert Maguire and their discovery of the first gene therapy approved to cure a type of blindness in America and Europe. Philadelphia based video producer and cinematographer Greg Gant captures their dogged pursuit of rigorous scientific inquiry to successfully apply gene therapy in optometry. As in the previous films, the legacy of achievement is balanced with the call for the next generation to build on the contributions of these giants.