Dr. Balwantray Chauhan

International Philanthropy Impacts Glaucoma Research at Dalhousie

One Doctor’s Legacy Continued: Heidelberg Engineering Pledges Five More Years of Support for Glaucoma Research

Heidelberg Engineering is a high-tech imaging solutions company that designs, manufactures and distributes diagnostic instruments for eye care professionals around the world. Headquartered in Germany, Heidelberg Engineering’s products assist in disease detection, management and the prevention of the most common causes of blindness. 

Recognizing the wealth of world-class ophthalmological research taking place at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine, Heidelberg Engineering began its partnership with Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation in 2010 through a donation in support of Dr. Balwantray Chauhan’s leading-edge research in clinical and experimental glaucoma. A pervasive eye disease that involves damage to the optic nerve, Glaucoma affects more than 400,000 Canadians and over 67 million people worldwide. 

Today, a strong relationship still exists between Heidelberg Engineering, DMRF and Dr. Chauhan, in large part thanks to Heidelberg Engineering’s Co-Founder and former Managing Director, the late Dr. Gerhard Zinser. A pioneering scientist and inventor, Dr. Zinser was the driving force behind many of Heidelberg Engineering’s groundbreaking technologies and products, and a champion of the company’s support for Dr. Chauhan’s work. After seven years of steadfast contributions to DRMF and Dr. Chauhan’s lab, Dr. Zinser would be proud to see that Heidelberg Engineering has further demonstrated their commitment, recently pledging an additional five years of support. 

"Our collaborative partnership with Dr. Zinser and Heidelberg Engineering has led to research which has been translated into clinical practice; for example, a new and accurate way to image the optic nerve and retina.”

- Dr. Balwantray Chauhan, Mathers Professor and Research Director of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences; Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Dalhousie University

Heidelberg Engineering’s next investment will support two major projects in Dr. Chauhan’s lab.  The first project is related to progression in glaucoma, while the second will define phenotypes of the normal optic nerve head in a global multi-centre study.  The funds for the first project will be used primarily for trainees, including both post-doctoral fellows and summer students, while the funds for the second project will be used to partially support a research coordinator to oversee the global study.

Honouring Dr. Zinser

In honour of the role Dr. Zinser played in establishing and growing Heidelberg Engineering’s relationship with DMRF and Dr. Chauhan’s lab, a portion of this pledge will be used to create the Dr. Gerhard Zinser Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ophthalmology.  This named fellowship honours Dr. Zinser’s immense contributions to DMRF and the field of ophthalmology.

“Dr. Zinser has sincerely bettered the lives of thousands of patients through his support for research, and by pioneering diagnostic devices for eye doctors through collaborations with experts all over the world. His contributions to our field are immense, and will continue to become more and more apparent with time.”

- Dr. Balwantray Chauhan, Mathers Professor and Research Director of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences; Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Dalhousie University