Submitted for Publication: January 11, 2013; final revision received June 17, 2013; accepted June 18, 2013.
Study concept and design: Bird, Hageman.
Acquisition of data: All authors.
Analysis and interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: All authors.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Bird, Hageman.
Statistical analysis: Bird, Phillips.
Obtained funding: Hageman.
Administrative, technical, and material support: Phillips, Hageman.
Study supervision: Bird, Hageman.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Hageman is a CAB member for Sequenom Inc; scientific founder and shareholder for Optherion Inc; SAB member for AGTC Inc; and scientific founder and shareholder for Voyant Biotherapeutics LLC. No other disclosures were reported.
Funding/Support: This research was funded in part by National Institutes of Health grant R24-EY017404 (Dr Hageman), a grant from the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (Dr Hageman), and an unrestricted grant to the University of Utah Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (Moran Eye Center) from Research to Prevent Blindness Inc.
Role of the Sponsor: The funders had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Previous Presentation: The findings in this study formed the basis of the Charles Schepens Lecture presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology; October 9, 2012; Chicago, Illinois.
Additional Contributions: We are extremely grateful to Lisa Hancox, BS, Ryan Lee, DDS, Heather Stockman, BA, COT, Jill Hageman, RN, Sheri McCormick, BA, and Julie Donahue, BA, for their assistance in the processing of tissues and acquisition of donor records. Their salaries were paid, in part, by National Institutes of Health grant R24-EY017404 (Dr Hageman). We also thank the Iowa Lions and Utah Lions Eye Banks for their dedication to eye and tissue donation. This study could not have been conducted without the precious gift of eyes from donors and their families.