Nazlee Zebardast, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Director of Glaucoma Imaging at Mass Eye and Ear, has been awarded the Research to Prevent Blindness 2021 Career Development Award. This award will provide $300,000 of support over four years for Dr. Zebardast’s research to develop novel imaging and genomics-based screening and diagnostic tools for glaucoma. She hopes these tools will not only pre-symptomatically identify glaucoma patients at high risk of functional vision loss and progression, but also help avoid unnecessary care for those whose conditions are unlikely to worsen.
Dr. Zebardast has a proven track record as a scholar, having already published 43 peer-reviewed articles, with 29 as first or last author. She has made significant contributions to global epidemiologic research having established the Indian Family Angle Closure Evaluation with colleagues at Aravind Eye Institute in Southern India. A large portion of Dr. Zebardast’s research uses large datasets and statistical methods to understand the prevalence of eye disease and its functional impact, and she has published using the Salisbury Eye Evaluation, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey datasets, IRIS registry, and NEISS datasets.
Dr. Zebardast has received numerous awards for her research efforts including the Mitchell Prize for excellent resident research, the Mentoring for the Advancement of Physician Scientists (MAPS) award from the American Glaucoma Society, and the Peter K. Ranney Innovation Award at the World Medical Innovation Forum. In 2019, Dr. Zebardast was selected for Harvard Ophthalmology’s National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute-funded K12 Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Training Program as well as the Gliklich Innovation Scholar, which supports young physicians who are pursuing novel and disruptive projects. She was also recently awarded the National Institutes of Health K23 career development award for her research.