Luk H. Vandenberghe, PhD, receives RPB Nelson Trust Award for Retinitis Pigmentosa

December 21, 2016
Luk Vandenberghe

Boston, Mass. — Luk H. Vandenberghe, PhD, Director of the Grousbeck Gene Therapy Center at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, has been awarded a Nelson Trust Award for Retinitis Pigmentosa by Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) in the amount of $100,000 over two years. The Nelson Trust Award was established to stimulate, strengthen and accelerate research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of retinitis pigmentosa. Dr. Vandenberghe is one of nine researchers who have received the award since it was established in 2014.

With this support from RPB, Dr. Vandenberghe will continue his work on developing therapeutic gene delivery technologies for a variety of diseases, including inherited retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. 

“Dr. Vandenberghe is a leader in the design and development of novel gene therapy vectors,” said Joan W. Miller, MD, the Henry Willard Williams Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital. “His research is driven by a desire to broaden gene therapy approaches for blinding disorders, including retinitis pigmentosa. I am confident that he will be a leading contributor to the field.”

Media Contact:
Suzanne Day
Media Relations, Mass. Eye and Ear 


About Research to Prevent Blindness

Since it was founded in 1960, Research to Prevent Blindness has channeled more than $345 million into eye research. As a result, RPB has been identified with nearly every major breakthrough in vision research in that time. For information on RPB’s grants program, listings of RPB institutional and individual grantees, and findings generated by these award, go to

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 the Northeast for eye care. For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit

About Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology
The Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology ( 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.