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Research to Prevent Blindness

RPB researchers honored with 2018 António Champalimaud Vision Award

Prestigious award is for the scientists’ work, which led to the first gene therapy for an inherited disease.

Four RPB-supported researchers and a Scientific Advisory Panel member have been honored with the prestigious 2018 António Champalimaud Vision Award for their groundbreaking research, which collectively led to the development and 2017 FDA approval of Luxturnaä, a successful treatment for a type of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA).  LCA is a genetic cause of childhood blindness.  Their work also demonstrated the potential for future developments in gene therapy for other inherited diseases, and led to the first gene therapy for an inherited human disease.  The RPB-associated awardees include: 

  • Jean Bennett, MD PhD, FARVO, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Bennett is the recipient of multiple awards from RPB, including a Career Development Award (1992), Special Scholar Award (2000), Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award (2004) and Senior Scientific Investigator Award (2007).
  • Albert Maguire, MD, of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who received RPB’s Physician-Scientist Award in 2001.
  • Samuel Jacobson, MD, PhD, of the Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 2000 recipient of the RPB Senior Scientific Investigator Award.
  • William Hauswirth, PhD, of the University of Florida College of Medicine, who received the Senior Scientific Investigator Award in 1997.
  • Robin Ali, PhD, FMedSci, of the Institute of Ophthalmology of the University College of London. Ali has been a member of the RPB Scientific Advisory Panel since 2015.

The five – and two others who will receive the Champalimaud Award – will share a 1 million Euro prize.  The awardees will also present a special lecture at ARVO 2019 in Vancouver.

The António Champalimaud Vision Award is supported by Vision 2020 - The Right to Sight, a global blindness-prevention initiative launched in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

 lEARN MORE ABOUT THE AWARD

 

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