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Research to Prevent Blindness

Research to Prevent Blindness and Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Announce 2018 Recipient of RPB David F. Weeks Award for Outstanding AMD Research

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and NEW YORK, NY, August 28–Jayakrishna Ambati, MD, has been selected as the 2018 RPB David F. Weeks Award for Outstanding AMD Research (Weeks Award). The Weeks Award, funded through the generosity of Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), an anonymous donor, and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), annually recognizes and celebrates an excellent researcher focused on age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The award carries the name of David F. Weeks, former President and Chairman of RPB, in honor of his contributions to the field of vision research. Dr. Ambati will receive his award and deliver a presentation on January 25, 2019 at the AUPO Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Dr. Ambati is Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Virginia and founder of the Center for Advanced Vision Science (CAVS). Dr. Ambati is being honored for his research on the molecular bases of macular degeneration. He shared, “As an ophthalmology resident, I was struck by our inability to alter the inexorable course of blindness faced by the many AMD patients I saw every day. Therefore, I resolved to dedicate my energies to tackling this problem, which affected millions of people around the globe.”

"Throughout David F. Weeks’ distinguished 50-year career at Research to Prevent Blindness, he not only shaped the work of the organization, but also helped to develop the field of vision research. I personally am indebted to him because in my work at RPB, I ‘stand on his shoulders’,” said Brian F. Hofland, PhD, President of Research to Prevent Blindness.  “Mr. Weeks has AMD himself.  Therefore, I am so pleased that this year’s award winner is someone who significantly has impacted the field of vision research through his excellent work on AMD. Together with RPB’s Board of Trustees, I extend sincere congratulations to Dr. Ambati on this honor.”

 "Dr. Ambati’s research has illuminated previously unknown links between molecular triggers of inflammation and macular degeneration,” said AUPO President Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, PhD.  “Dr. Ambati has contributed substantially to the understanding of AMD at the level of single molecules and has brought the attention of the broader scientific community to this unique disease and its causes in a series of highly impactful publications in leading scientific journals. His work has led directly to promising treatments for slowing dry macular degeneration.”

For more information on the RPB David F. Weeks Award for Outstanding AMD Research, visit the AUPO website.

About Research to Prevent Blindness

Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) is the leading nonprofit organization supporting eye research directed at the prevention, treatment or eradication of all diseases that damage and destroy sight. As part of this purview, RPB also supports efforts to grow and sustain a robust and diverse vision research community. Since it was founded in 1960 by Dr. Jules Stein, RPB has awarded more than $357 million in research grants to the most talented vision scientists at the nation’s leading medical schools. As a result, RPB has been associated with nearly every major breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of vision loss in the past 50 years. Learn more at  www.rpbusa.org. 

 About Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology

The Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) was founded in 1966 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and education. AUPO is the voice of academic ophthalmology through the promotion of medical education, research, and patient care in ophthalmology, and accomplished by providing a forum for discussion of mutual issues facing departments/divisions of ophthalmology in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit aupo.org.

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