Leading Vision Researchers Honored by BrightFocus Foundation
NEW ORLEANS (April 27, 2023)—BrightFocus Foundation, an international nonprofit funder of brain and vision research, recognized five leading vision scientists for their ideas to prevent, treat, and cure macular degeneration and glaucoma during the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).
Presented at the Foundation’s annual networking breakfast, the awards recognize BrightFocus’ top-ranked grant proposals to propel innovative macular degeneration and glaucoma research forward, as determined by an independent scientific review committee of advisors in the field.
“Progress to better understand, treat, and cure macular degeneration and glaucoma, two of the leading causes of irreversible blindness, is urgently needed,” said Stacy Pagos Haller, President and CEO. “This year’s award recipients exemplify the talent and forward-thinking ideas that will get us closer to cures and provide hope for the nearly 300 million people living with these debilitating diseases worldwide.”
This year’s award recipients are:
Macular Degeneration Research
Jaclyn Swan, PhD, University of California, San Diego—Elizabeth Anderson Award for Macular Degeneration Research
Navdeep Gogna, PhD, The Jackson Laboratory—Helen Juanita Reed Award for Macular Degeneration Research
Freya Mowat, BVSc, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison—Dr. Joe G. Hollyfield New Investigator Award for Macular Degeneration Research
National Glaucoma Research
Karthik Shekhar, PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Douglas H. Johnson Award
Shubham Maurya, PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Thomas R. Lee Award
The ARVO Annual Meeting is the premier gathering for eye and vision scientists around the world. More than 115 research projects showcased at this year’s conference were funded by BrightFocus through its Macular Degeneration Research and National Glaucoma Research programs. This year, BrightFocus was honored by the ARVO Foundation for its philanthropic support of key initiatives supporting vision researchers.
For more information about upcoming international research grant opportunities, visit brightfocus.org/apply.
About the Awards
Elizabeth Anderson Award for Macular Degeneration Research
This award is presented annually in honor of Elizabeth Anderson, the wife of Dr. Robert (Gene) Anderson, a longstanding member of BrightFocus’ Macular Degeneration Research Scientific Review Committee. Mrs. Anderson was dedicated to the vision research community and took particular interest in young scientists whom she shepherded through the difficulties of their early careers.
Helen Juanita Reed Award for Macular Degeneration Research
Helen Reed, known as Nita to her friends, was an incredibly generous philanthropist, leader, volunteer, and loving friend throughout her life. Reed, who had macular degeneration, is remembered for her incredible commitment to BrightFocus’ mission. This award is offered in her memory, honoring her desire to accelerate research and unravel the mysteries of age-related macular degeneration and is presented annually to the top-rated Fellowship proposal.
Dr. Joe G. Hollyfield New Investigator Award for Macular Degeneration Research
This award honors the contributions of Joe G. Hollyfield, PhD, to the field of age-related macular degeneration research and for his leadership at BrightFocus as chair of the Macular Degeneration Research Scientific Review Committee. For two decades, Dr. Hollyfield carefully guided BrightFocus on expanding its support for early-career investigators, helping to grow and shape the future of vision research around the globe. This award is presented annually to the top-rated New Investigator Grant recipient in recognition of exceptionally promising and forward-thinking ideas in the field of age-related macular degeneration.
Dr. Douglas H. Johnson Award for Glaucoma Research
This award is presented annually to the top-rated proposal in the National Glaucoma Research Standard Award program in recognition of exceptionally promising and forward-thinking ideas in the field of glaucoma. Beyond his exemplary record of contributions to the glaucoma field, Dr. Johnson served as a longtime chair of the National Glaucoma Research Scientific Review Committee.
Thomas R. Lee Award for Glaucoma Research
Thomas R. Lee was a farmer, businessman, investor, real estate developer and philanthropist. Motivated by his battle with glaucoma, Lee bequeathed a significant gift to ensure continuous funding for research. This award is presented annually to the top-rated Fellowship proposal in National Glaucoma Research that makes significant contributions to his vision for a world without glaucoma.
About BrightFocus Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation is a premier nonprofit funder of research to defeat Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Through its flagship research programs—Alzheimer’s Disease Research, National Glaucoma Research, and Macular Degeneration Research—the Foundation is currently supporting a $75 million portfolio of 287 scientific projects worldwide. BrightFocus has awarded nearly $300 million in groundbreaking research funding over the past 50 years and shares the latest research findings, expert information, and English/Spanish disease resources to empower the millions impacted by these devastating diseases. Learn more at brightfocus.org.
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