Inaugural Scientific, Advocacy Awards Given for Alzheimer’s, Vision Disease by Maryland Nonprofit

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Glen Campbell Family Performed Musical Tribute

WASHINGTON, DC—BrightFocus Foundation, a Maryland-based nonprofit, hosted an inaugural awards dinner on June 9 at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, celebrating some of the world’s most promising science to end Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Leading scientists and advocates received awards from BrightFocus, and members of Glen Campbell’s family offered up powerful words and songs to honor the legendary music star who has Alzheimer’s.

Dean Bok, PhD and Keller Johnson-Thompson
At a BrightFocus Foundation event honoring outstanding scientists, Dr. Dean Bok, UCLA, received the 2016 Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research, after a tribute from Helen Keller family member Keller Johnson-Thompson.

In her opening remarks, BrightFocus Foundation President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller said, “Through the power of science and the courage of advocacy, we can improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world.”

BrightFocus-funded investigators from across the country shared their current research during a science demonstration prior to the awards presentation. Scientists from Georgetown University, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, University of Maryland, Human Computation Institute and Anthrotronix, Inc., participated. (View a full list of projects from brain imaging to caregivers’ health to crowdsourced research).

Group photo from the BrightFocus Mind Sight Cure event.

Left to right: singers Shannon and Ashley Campbell; former Surgeon General Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu; BrightFocus President/CEO Stacy Haller; 2016 Helen Keller Award Laureate Dr. Dean Bok; presenter and advocate Kim Campbell; Leadership Award winner Meryl Comer; and FDA Commissioner for Women's Health Marsha Henderson.

Awards were given to:

Dr. Dean Bok, UCLA, received the 2016 Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research, which was presented by Keller Johnson-Thompson, Helen Keller Foundation;

Meryl Comer, Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative and Women Against Alzheimer’s, received the BrightFocus Award® for Public Leadership, which was presented by Marsha Henderson, Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health, Food and Drug Administration; and

Dr. Stanley Prusiner, UC San Francisco and Nobel Laureate, was presented with the BrightFocus Award® for Scientific Impact by former Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu.

BrightFocus Foundation funds research and promotes awareness to end Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma. The nonprofit is currently managing a global portfolio of 150 projects, efforts that were recommended by scientific review committees of leading experts. For more information, visit

Event photos available upon request.