The Sanford and Susan Greenberg Prize to End Blindness recognizes visionary doctors and researchers for their contributions to eliminate blindness. We are pleased to share that, of the 13 recipients chosen for 2020, four are connected to Harvard Ophthalmology.
The 13 awardees will share $3 million in funding and were honored at a special virtual event on Monday, December 14, featuring singer Art Garkunkel, author Margaret Atwood, Former Vice President Al Gore, Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Senator Chris Coons.
Visionary Prize Recipients
- Faculty member Zhigang He, PhD, a Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurology at Harvard Medical School, was recognized for his investigation of mechanisms that could promote optic nerve axon regeneration and prevent retinal ganglion cell loss, which is thought to be a main reason for vision loss commonly associated with glaucoma, NF1-associated glioma, and traumatic brain injury.
- Alumna Masayo Takahashi, MD, PhD, from the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, was recognized for her research using stem cells to tackle vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration and inherited retinal disorders.
Outstanding Achievement Prize Recipients
- Ravindran D. Ravilla, MS, DO, Chair of the Aravind Eye Care System—a Harvard Ophthalmology partner in Madurai, India—was recognized for his organization’s pioneering work providing free or affordable eye care to people in the state of Tamil Nadu. Since 1976 they have built a network of 79 centers serving a population of 6.9 million people.
- Gullapalli N. Rao, MD, DSc, Chair and Founder of the L V Prasad Eye Institute—a Harvard Ophthalmology partner—was recognized for the Institute’s work to provide eye care to economically disadvantaged groups in rural and urban geographies. Since 1987, the Institute has established 196 eye vision centers located across four states in South India.
Harvard Ophthalmology has enjoyed long-standing academic partnerships with the Aravind Eye Care System and LV Prasad Eye Institute in the spheres of ophthalmology education and research, and we look forward to many more years of collaboration with these esteemed global institutions of higher learning.