Top scientists win unlimited research grants for eye disease

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Six doctors are the recipients of the Alcon Research Institute (ARI) awards for their outstanding research contributions in the field of ophthalmology and vision science.

Six doctors are the recipients of the Alcon Research Institute (ARI) awards for their outstanding research contributions in the field of ophthalmology and vision science.

“The Alcon Research Institute prides itself on identifying and recognizing the world's leading researchers in ophthalmology,” said Dr. Stanley Chang, chairman of the Alcon Research Institute, and Edward Harkness professor and chair of Ophthalmology, Columbia University. “The research these brilliant minds are undertaking will have profound effects on our ability as doctors to preserve, restore and enhance sight in the future.”

The 2009 ARI Award winners are:

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Robin Ali, PhD for his extensive body of work studying the effects of gene therapy on visual function. Dr Ali is a graduate of and professor at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and faculty, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, England.

Brenda L. Gallie, MD for her distinguished career and research into the genetic causes of retinoblastoma. Dr. Gallie is a graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Canada and is now the Head of the Retinoblastoma Programme at the Hospital for Sick Children and a senior scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute, University Health Network, in Toronto, Canada.

Gregory S. Hageman, PhD for his significant contributions to the study of age-related macular degeneration. Dr Hageman graduated from the University of Southern California and has been a professor at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa for the past 12 years.

Mark S. Humayan, MD for his groundbreaking research in the development of a retinal prosthetic device. Dr Humayan has degrees from both Duke University and the University of North Carolina. Currently he is a professor and researcher at the Doheny Eye Institute, University of Southern California Medical School in Los Angeles, California.

Robert W. Massof, PhD and Eli Peli, O.D.who will share an award for their impressive research on low vision rehabilitation. Dr Massof is a graduate of Indiana University and is now a professor and director of the Lions Vision Research & Rehabilitation Centre at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr Peli is a graduate of the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and the New England College of Optometry. He currently serves as a professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and as the Moakley Scholar in Aging Eye Research at the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.

Over the past 28 years, 241 scientists have been honoured with the ARI Award, with grants totalling approximately $22 million provided to winners for the advancement of vision research.

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