Nav: Home

Dr. Dean Bok awarded prestigious Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research

May 03, 2016

SEATTLE, WA, May 3, 2016 - Noted vision researcher Dr. Dean Bok of UCLA will today receive the prestigious 2016 Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research. Keller Johnson-Thompson, a member of the Helen Keller family, will present the prize this evening at a Seattle ceremony coinciding with the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Dr. Bok is being honored for more than four decades of discoveries in the field of retinal cell biology. He has greatly advanced the scientific study of molecular complexes in the retinal pigment epithelium, or RPE. The RPE permits eyes to function by clearing, on a daily basis, the visual pathway of dead and damaged cells. Dr. Bok has significantly improved the understanding of macular degeneration, which damages vision in as many as 11 million people in the U.S.

"It is a profound honor to be named a Helen Keller Laureate. Blind and deaf from the age of 19 months, Helen Keller represents the ultimate in faith, insight, compassion, tolerance, eloquence and persistence," said Dr. Bok. "I am truly blessed to receive an award that carries her name."

"Helen Keller died in 1968, the same year Dr. Dean Bok received his doctorate degree, and she knew the pace of vision research was accelerating. As much as anyone in subsequent decades, he embodies the progress she foresaw," noted Robert Morris, MD, president and co-founder of the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education.

"Because of Dr. Bok we know much more about the eye and retinal disorders," said Stacy Pagos Haller, BrightFocus Foundation president and CEO. "As an organization committed to ending macular degeneration, BrightFocus is proud to honor Dr. Bok as the 2016 Laureate."
About Dr. Dean Bok

Dean Bok, PhD, is Distinguished Research Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He also is a member of the Brain Research Institute of UCLA, and a member and Dolly Green Chair of Ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute of UCLA.

About the Helen Keller Prize

The prize was established in 1994 by the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, which was founded in 1988 by Helen Keller's family and scientists dedicated to fighting blindness. The presenting sponsor of the prize, BrightFocus Foundation, is a nonprofit organization supporting research and public awareness to help conquer the brain and eye diseases of Alzheimer's, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

BrightFocus Foundation

Related Macular Degeneration Articles:

Eye's vulnerability to macular degeneration revealed
Scientists have found significant differences in the shape and biology of the same type of cell taken from different parts of the retina, according to a study in eLife.
Hallucinations associated with brain hyperactivity in people with macular degeneration
New research from The University of Queensland has shown for the first time that visual hallucinations in people with macular degeneration are associated with abnormally heightened activity in the visual cortex of the brain.
Eating leafy greens could help prevent macular degeneration
A new study has shown that eating vegetable nitrates, found mainly in green leafy vegetables and beetroot, could help reduce your risk of developing early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
An orange a day keeps macular degeneration away: 15-year study
A new study has shown that people who regularly eat oranges are less likely to develop macular degeneration than people who do not eat oranges.
Macular degeneration linked to aging immune cells
Studying mice and cells from patients, vision researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Retinal implant halts vision loss from macular degeneration
A bioengineered retinal implant is safe for use in humans and may be effective in treating vision loss caused by a type of macular degeneration, a progressive blinding disease where no therapeutic options currently exist for advanced stages of the condition.
Stem cells treat macular degeneration
UCSB researchers helped develop a specially engineered retinal patch to treat people with sudden, severe sight loss.
Researchers identify potential biomarkers of age-related macular degeneration
Patients with any stage of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) carry signs of the disease in their blood that may be found through special laboratory tests, according to a new study led by AMD researchers based at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.
Dietary and lifestyle recommendations for patients at risk of macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of severe visual impairment in older populations and is characterized by progressive destruction of the retinal pigment epithelial cells and photoreceptors due to low-grade inflammation, ischemia and oxidative stress.
Penn team characterizes the underlying cause of a form of macular degeneration
Using an animal model of Best disease in combination with biochemical and optical assays, a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has pinpointed a number of abnormalities that give rise to the impairments seen in the blinding disease.
More Macular Degeneration News and Macular Degeneration Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.