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Award Winners

Award Winners 2024

The Endre A. Balazs Prize

Gabriel Travis

Will be awarded during the Opening Ceremony
on Monday, October 21
from 10:00 – 11:30
in Room Buen Aire B+C

Biography
Dr. Gabriel Travis holds the Charles Kenneth Feldman Professorship of Ophthalmology and Biological Chemistry, at the Stein Eye Institute, UCLA School of Medicine. From his first faculty appointment as Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in 1989, Dr. Travis has shown himself to be an outstanding, clinically-trained biochemist who has made many pioneering discoveries in retinal cellular cell biology that have advanced our understanding of sight-threatening degenerative diseases.

Dr. Travis’ team identified the naturally occurring mutation in the retinal degeneration slow (rds) mouse and deciphered the function of ABCA4 and its importance for Stargardt macular degeneration. His team also identified RPE65 as the retinoid isomerase forming the key component of the canonical visual cycle. He uncovered a hitherto unknown element of the visual cycle which is dependent on Müller glia and critical for cone photoreceptor function. More recently, Dr. Travis has delivered noteworthy advances in our knowledge of visual pigment renewal pathways in both cone and rod photoreceptors.

As a senior leader in our field, Dr. Travis is widely regarded as a highly effective role-model and mentor who has provided guidance, training, and advice for generations of young scientists and clinicians.

Over an exceptional career, Dr. Travis has significantly progressed the field of experimental eye research. Frequently, his work has been so paradigm-shifting that it set research agendas worldwide. Indeed, the foundation knowledge that it provided enabled other basic and clinician scientists to translate his discoveries into benefits for patients with sight-threatening disease.

The Ernst H. Bárány Prize

Abbot Clark

Will be awarded during the Prize Ceremony and Lecture
on Tuesday, October 22
from 10:30 – 12:00
in Room Buen Aire C

Biography
Dr. Abbot Clark is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Immunology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and the founding executive director of the North Texas Eye Research Institute. Before joining UNTHSC, Dr. Clark spent 20 years at Alcon Laboratories as head of glaucoma research. Dr. Clark has been among the most influential ocular pharmacologists in the past 40 years. He has made numerous ground-breaking advances to explain how aqueous humor outflow through the trabecular meshwork is regulated, with important therapeutic implications for the management of glaucoma.

Dr. Clark is best known for his breakthrough work elucidating how stimulation of the glucocorticoid receptor in the trabecular meshwork leads to elevation of intraocular pressure. His research into cross-linked actin networks helped explain how the trabecular meshwork responded to mechanical stress, while his discovery that mutations in the myocilin gene increased endoplasmic reticulum stress identified an elusive link to ocular hypertension. Dr. Clark also investigated the interactions between fibrosis, the TGFbeta2 receptor and its regulation by BMP and GREM1, while his research into the Wnt pathway provided new insight into the regulation of outflow. His discoveries into multiple signaling pathways have substantially changed our understanding of how aqueous humor outflow is regulated and have opened many therapeutic avenues.

Dr. Clark has also made extensive contributions to the glaucoma research community. He has trained many students, and supported the careers of numerous scientists, who now impact the field. His involvement in multiple scientific organizations has been instrumental in building the community and improving its scientific progress. Dr. Clark has had an outsized impact on a whole generation of scientists working to regulate outflow through the trabecular meshwork.

Dr. Clark is a pioneer in many areas related to glaucoma and therapeutics. His multiple discoveries into the regulation of the trabecular meshwork make him an ideal recipient of the Bárány Prize.

The Paul Kayser International Award in Retina Research

Hendrik Scholl

Will be awarded during the Prize Ceremony and Lecture
on Wednesday, October 23
from 10:30 – 12:00
in Room Buen Aire C

Biography
Dr. Anand Swaroop currently is a Senior Investigator and founding Director of the Neurobiology-Neurodegeneration & Repair Laboratory, in the Retinal Development, Genetics and Therapy Section of the National Eye Institute/NIH in Bethesda, MD (USA). Over the course of more than three decades, his studies have contributed substantively to our current understanding of: genetic and epigenetic regulation of photoreceptor development and aging, genetic defects and mechanisms of photoreceptor dysfunction in retinal neurodegeneration, genetics of age-related macular degeneration, and design of new therapeutic paradigms using cell-, gene- or small molecule-based approaches.

The author or coauthor of nearly 350 publications, Dr. Swaroop has given more than 300 invited lectures world-wide, and has received numerous honors and accolades, including the Board of Director’s award from The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Harrington Senior Scientific Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, the Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award of the University of Michigan Medical School, the Bireswar Chakrabarti Memorial Oration Award by the Indian Eye Research Group, the Prof. P.N. Chhuttani Chair as Distinguished Medical Scientist (visiting) at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, the Outstanding Alumnus award from G.B. Pant University, the Alcon Award for Outstanding Vision Research, and the National Eye Institute Director’s Award and the Ruth L. Kirschstein Award “for exemplary performance while demonstrating significant leadership, skill and ability in serving as a mentor.” He is a Gold-tier Fellow of ARVO and the 2024 ARVO Friedenwald Award recipient.

The Ludwig von Sallmann Prize

Anand Swaroop

Will be awarded during the Prize Ceremony and Lecture
on Thursday, October 24
from 10:30 – 12:00
in Room Buen Aire C

Biography
Dr. Anand Swaroop currently is a Senior Investigator and founding Director of the Neurobiology-Neurodegeneration & Repair Laboratory, in the Retinal Development, Genetics and Therapy Section of the National Eye Institute/NIH in Bethesda, MD (USA). Over the course of more than three decades, his studies have contributed substantively to our current understanding of:

  1. genetic and epigenetic regulation of photoreceptor development and aging,
  2. genetic defects and mechanisms of photoreceptor dysfunction in retinal neurodegeneration,
  3. genetics of age-related macular degeneration, and
  4. design of new therapeutic paradigms using cell-, gene- or small molecule-based approaches.


The author or coauthor of nearly 350 publications, Dr. Swaroop has given more than 300 invited lectures world-wide, and has received numerous honors and accolades, including the Board of Director’s award from The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Harrington Senior Scientific Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, the Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award of the University of Michigan Medical School, the Bireswar Chakrabarti Memorial Oration Award by the Indian Eye Research Group, the Prof. P.N. Chhuttani Chair as Distinguished Medical Scientist (visiting) at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, the Outstanding Alumnus award from G.B. Pant University, the Alcon Award for Outstanding Vision Research, and the National Eye Institute Director’s Award and the Ruth L. Kirschstein Award “for exemplary performance while demonstrating significant leadership, skill and ability in serving as a mentor.” He is a Gold-tier Fellow of ARVO and the 2024 ARVO Friedenwald Award recipient.