Western University of Health Sciences welcomed dignitaries, including state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, and vision care experts for a check presentation and tour of campus on Nov. 10, 2010.

Sen. McLeod was asked to present a $40,000 check to WesternU on behalf of OneSight because of her support of diabetes research and the university, which is in her district.

The money will fund diabetic retinopathy research by Raj Kandpal, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific.

“I’m grateful to OneSight Foundation,” Kandpal said. “Without them, we could not have started this research.”

This is the second year that OneSight has provided funding for diabetic retinopathy research. Kandpal is investigating the changes diabetic retinopathy creates on a molecular level in order to develop potential treatments. Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the eye’s retina that occurs with long-term diabetes.

OneSight, a Luxottica Group Foundation, is a family of charitable vision care programs dedicated to improving vision through outreach, research and education. Since 1988, these charitable efforts have provided free vision care and eyewear to more than six million people in need around the world and have granted millions toward research and education.

Optometrists are often the first to see symptoms and diagnose diabetes, said Glenn Kawaguchi, OD, with Sears Optical, which is part of OneSight. WesternU’s philosophy of integrated health care fits well into treating this disease.

“Diabetes is a disease in which different aspects of health care need to get involved,” he said.