Research to Prevent Blindness Awards

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Duke Eye Center Faculty members, P. Vasantha Rao, PhD, and Pratap Challa, MD, and a third-year Duke medical student Emily Davies have received awards from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB).

Rao, an associate professor of ophthalmology, pharmacology and cancer biology, has been selected as the recipient of a $55,000 Research to Prevent Blindness Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award. Established in 1995, the award provides unrestricted support to mid-career MD and PhD scientists who hold primary positions within departments of ophthalmology and who are actively engaged in eye research at medical institutions in the United States.
Challa, an assistant professor in the glaucoma services, has received the Sybil B. Harrington Scholar Award in the amount of $50,000 to support research. The award is part of the RPB’s Special Scholar program designed to support young scientists who are conducting research of unusual significance and promise.

Davies, received a $30,000 Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship. The fellowship allowed Davies to devote time to a research project within the Department of Ophthalmology during her third year of medical school. She trained with Dennis Rickman, PhD, assistant research professor of ophthalmology and neurobiology.

RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has facilitated the advancement of research to develop more effective treatments, preventions, and cures for eye diseases.