Donald Zack, MD, PhD, honored for vision research

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The Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) and an anonymous donor have recognized Donald Zack, MD, PhD, for ground-breaking contributions to the field of vision research.

Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) and an anonymous donor have recognized Donald Zack, MD, PhD, for ground-breaking contributions to the field of vision research, giving him the David F. Weeks Award.

The award carries the name of David F. Weeks, former president and chairman of RPB, in honor of his contributions to the field of vision research. Dr. Zack will receive his award and deliver a presentation during the AUPO 2022 annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in January.

Dr. Zack holds the position of Guerrieri Professor of Genetic Engineering and Molecular Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“Don is truly impressive contributions to vision science over the last 30 years, his interest and commitment to help translate his findings towards the clinic, (and) his dedication and success in training the next generation of ophthalmic researchers, explain why I think Don is a perfect and deserving candidate for the 2022 RPB Weeks (Award),” said Peter J. McDonnell, MD, director of the Wilmer Eye Institute and chief medical editor of Ophthalmology Times

AUPO President Paul Lee, MD, JD, also lauded Dr. Zack’s achievements, which he said “epitomize the multi-disciplinary, collaborative research to transform our understanding of the mechanisms of vision and to develop new therapeutic approaches that the Weeks Award seeks to recognize.”

“His work has made the dream of developing means to protect the optic nerve – and the retina – from damage (neuroprotection) much closer to reality,” Dr. Lee said in a statement. “Dr. Zack has also helped foster amazing colleagues and created pathways for his insights to reach patients more quickly.”

RPB President Brian F. Hofland, PhD, noted that David F. Weeks dedicated himself for decades to the success of Research to Prevent Blindness, both as an organization and in the literal sense of those words.

“It is fitting that this year’s Weeks Award goes to a researcher who is pushing the boundaries of what research can do to preserve sight and perhaps one day even restore lost sight,” he said in a statement. “We applaud Dr. Zack’s significant contributions to glaucoma research to date and look forward to his future discoveries.”