$5 Million Gift to Support Vision Research

Wills Eye Hospital Announces $5 Million Gift to Support Vision Research - Ushering in New Era of Scientific Advancements

Hospital’s Vision Research Department is renamed
The Vickie and Jack Farber Vision Research Center at Wills Eye

Jack and Vickie Farber_Vision Research Gift to Wills Eye
Vickie and Jack Farber shown at a Wills Eye Hospital event.

Wills Eye Hospital is proud to announce that a gift of $5 million has been made to the hospital by philanthropists Vickie and Jack Farber to create the Vickie and Jack Farber Vision Research Center at Wills Eye.

This gift builds on their initial $2 million grant that empowered Wills Eye Hospital’s internationally-renowned center for ophthalmologic care to expand and build new foundations for vision-related research and to recruit internationally-recognized vision epidemiologist, Leslie Hyman, Ph.D to Wills Eye Hospital.  Now, the creation of the Farber Vision Research Center will allow these initiatives to enter a new phase of growth.

“Wills Eye is a great institution with incredibly talented people who are motivated, forward thinking and committed to advancing scientific knowledge. If you put those energies together with financial support to accelerate the rate of progress, you truly make a difference in patients' lives,” said Jack Farber.

The gift will support development of new research initiatives in data mining and analytics, tele-ophthalmology, expanded community-based research, and the creation of a new clinical trials unit.

The support of Vickie and Jack Farber reflects the growing collaboration of Wills Eye and the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University. The study of many eye diseases and the study of neurologic disease are closely related. The new research center at Wills Eye Hospital will work in conjunction with Jefferson’s Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience to better understand, and find cures for, these diseases.

“Wills Eye Hospital has always been an international leader in clinical care; and the heart of where passionate, dedicated physicians train and teach in the field of ophthalmology. This marks an exciting new chapter at Wills Eye Hospital in our vision research capabilities. On behalf of everyone at Wills Eye Hospital, we are truly grateful for the Farber family’s deep friendship and steadfast support” said Julia A. Haller, MD, Ophthalmologist-in-Chief, Wills Eye Hospital.  

We are deeply grateful to Vickie and Jack Farber for their ongoing support and astute eye toward the future. A robust and vibrant centralized research program at Wills takes this great institution to a new level,” said Joseph P. Bilson, Chief Executive Officer, Wills Eye Hospital.

ABOUT THE FARBERS: Vickie and Jack Farber have had a lifelong philosophy of giving back, whether it’s through financial support or giving of one’s time. Married 63 years, the Farbers each came from modest beginnings in Philadelphia. A strong sense of family and purpose have guided the Farbers together through life and their professional success through the years has enabled them to dedicate their support to purposes that mean the most to them. Vickie and Jack Farber have personally experienced seeing loved ones touched by neurodegenerative diseases. Vickie lost her father to ALS and her mother to Alzheimer’s Disease. Understanding the vital role medical research plays in discovering cures  -coupled with knowing the valuable pathway our eyes and vision provide in achieving a greater understanding of our overall health led the Farbers to supporting Wills Eye Hospital through its next chapter of vision research. “We always went to Wills -- where else would you go?” said Vickie Farber.

ABOUT WILLS EYE HOPITAL: Wills Eye Hospital is a global leader in ophthalmology, established in 1832 as the nation’s first hospital specializing in eye care. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Wills Eye as one of America’s top ophthalmology centers since the survey began and has the most nationally ranked ophthalmologists in the country. Wills Eye is a premier training site for all levels of medical education. Its resident and post-graduate training programs are among the most competitive in the country. One of the core strengths of Wills is the close connection between innovative research and advanced patient care. Wills provides the full range of primary and subspecialty eye care for improving and preserving sight, including cataract, cornea, retina, emergency care, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, oculoplastics, pathology, pediatric ophthalmology and ocular genetics, and refractive surgery. Ocular Services include the Wills Laser Correction Center, Low Vision Service, and Diagnostic Center. Its 24/7 Emergency Service is the only one of its kind in the region. Wills Eye also has a network of seven multi-specialty, ambulatory surgery centers throughout the tri-state area.


Wills Eye Foundation is the sole fundraising arm of Wills Eye Hospital and is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (EIN 59-3794523). Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. To view our State Charitable Solicitation Disclosures, click here.