Medical Research

Cornea Research Foundation of America Inc

  • Indianapolis, IN

Mission Statement

We are a globally focused not for profit clinical research and educational organization located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our mission is "to give each person the opportunity for the best possible vision by innovating solutions for vision impairment and sharing results through relevant educational channels to reach a global audience. We expand possibilities and enrich lives by optimizing sight."

Main Programs

  1. Cornea Transplant Database
Service Areas



The Cornea Research Foundation of America is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Foundation serves individuals all over the United States in developing better techniques for cornea transplants and other vision research.

ruling year


Principal Officer


Dr. Marianne Price, PhD

Co Principal Officer


Francis W. Price, Jr. M.D.



Indiana, Indianapolis, United States, Nationwide, America, Research, Cornea, Cornea Research, Foundation, Research Foundation, Vision Research, Fuchs Dystrophy, Keratoconus, Cataracts, Glaucoma

Notes from the Nonprofit

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Also Known As

Cornea Research Foundation of America





Physical Address

Cornea Research Foundation of America 9002 N. Meridian St. Ste 212

Indianapolis, IN 46260


Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Eye (H41)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (U05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (P05)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

Here are just a few of the many ways in which CRFA has made an impact:

Successfully helped to pioneer a new cornea transplant method called endothelial keratoplasty (EK, DSEK, and DMEK). These methods dramatically improve outcomes for patients in terms of surgical healing time, optimizing visual recovery and reducing transplant rejection rates from 20 percent to less than 1 percent.

Provide education to eye care professionals through the training of more than 600 ophthalmic surgeons from over 30 countries on cutting-edge techniques to treat conditions such as Fuchs’ dystrophy, keratoconus, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Provided thousands of hours of continuing education to optometrists throughout the Midwest on how to identify and treat conditions and when to refer patients to specialists.

Published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters sharing key study results with eye surgeons around the globe.

Played a key role in a number of research studies that have resulted in the approval and usage of modern medications and devices for the treatment of cataracts, glaucoma, refractive errors (LASIK vision correction) and much more!


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Cornea Transplant Database

Since 1988, we have been tracking long-term cornea transplant patient outcomes. We now have records on more than 8,000 patients in what is known as the Cornea Transplant Database, the largest such database in the Americas.
Picture1.jpgThis database has assisted in making many discoveries by allowing us to see trends—what’s working well and what’s not working so well, so we can continually refine surgical techniques and patient care resulting in better outcomes. We use this database to assist us in identifying areas in which more research is needed. Here are just a few examples illustrating how this database has proven invaluable:
Dr. Price was an early pioneer of small incision transplants (DSEK and DMEK). Our database helped prove that these newer methods are safer and provide much faster visual recovery than full thickness transplants, which had been the previous standard of care.
We showed that cataract surgery can be combined safely with DSEK or DMEK thereby allowing patients to have cataract and corneal problems treated at the same time. A single surgery is safer, easier for people, and more cost effective than separate surgeries.
Many of our patients have conditions that cause both corneas to go bad. We’ve demonstrated that we can safely treat the second eye with DMEK just one week after the first so that people can get back to work and resume daily activities sooner.
Transplant rejection has long been a leading reason for transplant failure. Our data has proven that DMEK has a far lower risk of being rejected by the recipient than earlier transplant techniques.
Taking advantage of the low risk of rejection with DMEK (<1% risk), we’ve shown that we can safely reduce the strength and dosing frequency of anti-rejection medication and reduce medication-associated side effects.
Our proven results are instrumental in convincing transplant surgeons to adopt these newer techniques and improve outcomes for patients worldwide.

- See more at:


Eye Diseases, Blindness & Vision Impairments Research

Population(s) Served

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens


General Public/Unspecified



Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Foundation has tracked the progress of thousands of patients, helped pioneer small incision corneal transplants and conducted more than 100 innovative clinical research studies. All of which has led to improved treatment options and the approval of drugs and devices for use in the United States. This effort has given thousands of people back the use of their eyes, putting them back to work and improving their quality of life. Looking forward, there’s still much to do.
    • GOAL #1: Drive advances in cornea transplant outcomes
    • GOAL #2: Provide new vision restorative treatments to patients through clinical studies in collaboration with partners around the globe

    Education has a profound effect on the success of our goals to provide the best vision care through research. Without education to the providers and users in the medical community, research has little impact. Our goal is to empower both doctors and patients with the knowledge and tools necessary to provide and receive the best patient care resulting in optimized outcomes. In the past 25 years, the Foundation has provided intensive training to more than 600 eye surgeons on the latest surgical techniques, and provided thousands of hours of continuing education to optometrists (often the first point of contact for eye care) so they can appropriately identify conditions and provide information to patients to help prevent vision loss.
    • GOAL #1: Educate ophthalmologists on the latest advancements
    • GOAL #2: Educate optometrists on the latest advancements in eye care
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    o Action A: Grow the largest cornea transplant database in Western hemisphere
    o Action B: Leverage this resource through strategic data analyses to discern and document technique and drug improvements
    o Action C: Conduct clinical trials of new treatments for cataracts, glaucoma, corneal problems, and refractive eye conditions to benefit patients, including short-term evaluation studies or multi-year initiatives
    o Action D: Partner with companies on innovative new products to treat degenerative conditions of the eye and nervous system through restorative and regenerative technologies.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The Cornea Research Foundation of America (CRFA) was founded by Francis W. Price Jr., M.D. in 1988 with a goal to establish a world center for clinical research and education specializing in corneal disease, corneal transplantation and intraocular lens surgery. A visionary physician, Dr. Price understood that corneal surgeries were increasing, in part, due to complications following cataract surgeries. In response, he created a database to store and track preoperative, surgical and postoperative statistics for transplants performed since 1982 within Price Vision Group.

    His efforts were strengthened when the Indiana Lions Eye Bank became involved with the Foundation in 1990. Their contributions and many generous supporters have helped maintain the burgeoning Cornea Transplant Database that now houses data more than 8,000 transplants. Although the Foundation’s primary focus is on transplant data, its mission has evolved to include many other vision research initiatives.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Building on philanthropic activities currently in place, the Foundation will strengthen its sustainability through greater donor cultivation and diversifying gift types, which will allow us to make new breakthroughs and purchase instruments as needed.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    The Board of Directors provide leadership and guidance which assists in defining and maintaining the Foundation’s strategic direction. Board engagement is a critical component to the success of the strategic imperatives through both philanthropic activities and evaluating progress based on the metrics defined in the organization's Strategic Plan.
Service Areas



The Cornea Research Foundation of America is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Foundation serves individuals all over the United States in developing better techniques for cornea transplants and other vision research.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Cornea Research Foundation of America Inc



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Dr. Marianne Price, PhD

Co Principal Officer

Francis W. Price, Jr. M.D.


Dr. Marianne Price joined the Cornea Research Foundation of America in 2002 as Executive Director. She directs the research and education programs of the Foundation, overseeing finances and supervising the daily activities of four professional staff members.

Dr. Price and her spouse, Francis W. Price, Jr. M.D., jointly publish an average of seven articles annually in peer-reviewed clinical research journals and conduct a minimum of 12 research studies annually.

A respected scientist, Dr. Price was previously employed as a project manager and senior project engineer for Union Carbide. She is a sought after speaker and published author, a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, and Ophthalmic Women Leaders. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Prevent Blindness Indiana and on the Research Committee of the Eye Bank Association of America.

Marianne Price, Ph.D. holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science from Notre Dame, and both an MBA in Finance and a doctorate in Medical and Molecular Genetics from Indiana University.



Francis Price, MD


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Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?