Dr. Reza Dana to receive Friedenwald Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

June 2, 2017
Dr. Reza Dana

Prestigious award honors outstanding research in ophthalmology

Boston, Mass. — The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) recently announced that Reza Dana, MD, MPH, MSc, Director of Cornea and Refractive Surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and a resident of Newton, Mass., will receive the prestigious Friedenwald Award. Established in 1957 as a memorial to Dr. Jonas S. Friedenwald, distinguished researcher on the pathogenesis of glaucoma, corneal wound healing and diseases of the retina, the Friedenwald Award honors outstanding research in the basic or clinical sciences as applied to ophthalmology. 

An internationally-recognized leader in the field of corneal immunology, Dr. Dana is also the Claes H. Dohlman Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Vice Chair and Associate Chief for Academic Programs and Co-Director of the Cornea Center of Excellence at the Harvard Department of Ophthalmology and Senior Scientist and W. Clement Stone Scholar at the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear. 

Dr. Dana has conducted groundbreaking basic and translational research over the last two decades that has advanced our understanding of corneal and ocular surface biology. His investigations as applied to autoimmunity, transplantation, dry eye disease, and angiogenesis have led to many new discoveries. Much of his translational research has focused on the application of novel cytokine-based strategies for immune modulation. Recently, he demonstrated that two cytokines, interleukin-7 and -15, are essential in maintaining memory T cells in a preclinical model of ocular surface autoimmunity. 

“Dr. Dana’s basic and translational research in the field of corneal immunology has led to many novel discoveries and fundamentally changed the way we understand and treat corneal and ocular surface disease,” said Joan W. Miller, MD, Chief of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and the Henry Willard Williams Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. “His contributions have improved the lives of vision-impaired people around the world, and I’m very pleased that his opus of work is being recognized with this prestigious ARVO award.”

Dr. Dana’s past honors include ARVO’s Cogan Award (2003), Research to Prevent Blindness’ Physician Scientist Award (2005) and Senior Scientific Investigator Award (2013), Alcon Research Institute Award (2008), and the International Society of Eye Research’s Endre Balazs Prize (2016) and the Senior Achievement Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (2017). In 2016, he was elected into Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, one of the most prestigious international academic organizations in ophthalmology.

ARVO is the largest and most respected eye and vision research organization in the world. Its members include more than 12,750 researchers from over 80 countries. ARVO encourages and assists research, training, publication and knowledge-sharing in vision and ophthalmology. Dr. Dana will accept the award at the organization’s 2018 Annual Meeting, which will be held April 29 through May 2 in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

About Massachusetts Eye and Ear 
Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. Now united with Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear is the world's largest vision and hearing research center, developing new treatments and cures through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships. Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. In the 2016–2017 “Best Hospitals Survey,” U.S. News & World Report ranked Mass. Eye and Ear #1 in the nation for ear, nose and throat care and #1 in New England for eye care. For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit MassEyeAndEar.org.


About the Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology
The Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology (eye.hms.harvard.edu) is one of the leading and largest academic departments of ophthalmology in the nation. More than 350 full-time faculty and trainees work at nine HMS affiliate institutions, including Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Joslin Diabetes Center/Beetham Eye Institute, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, VA Maine Healthcare System, and Cambridge Health Alliance. Formally established in 1871, the department has been built upon a strong and rich foundation in medical education, research, and clinical care. Through the years, faculty and alumni have profoundly influenced ophthalmic science, medicine, and literature—helping to transform the field of ophthalmology from a branch of surgery into an independent medical specialty at the forefront of science.


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Suzanne Day
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