March 8, 2018
2018 Bressler Prize in Vision Science awarded to Botond Roska
Botond Roska from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research and the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology in Basel is the recipient of the 2018 Bressler Prize. Lighthouse Guild, a US not-for-profit vision and healthcare organization, honors with the award his scientific achievements that are "powerful, precedent-setting and establish a new standard for retinal research."
Botond Roska, is both Senior group leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) and Director of the the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology (IOB) in Basel. He earned his MD at the Semmelweis University of Medicine in Budapest, and his PhD from the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. After being a Harvard Junior Fellow at Harvard University, he started his research group at the FMI in 2005. He became Director at IOB in 2018.
Botond Roska is a renowned expert in neurobiology. He has contributed substantially to the better understanding of the visual processes. He has not only advanced the understanding of how cell types interact in local circuits in the visual system to compute visual information, but also created insights into the mechanisms of cell-type specific diseases. Last but not least, he and his research team have designed new therapies for restoring vision in genetic forms of blindness.
According to Alan R. Morse, CEO of Lighthouse Guild, Botond "Roska’s research is opening new pathways to help people with vision loss lead full and productive lives."
In his studies, he uses an inter-disciplinary approach and combines physiological, molecular, viral and computational approaches to reveal the structure and function of retinal neuronal circuits.
Roska said, "It is an honor to receive this prestigious award from Lighthouse Guild. As a scientist, I am committed to creating a link between basic science and medicine by converting our research on retinal processing into effective treatments for patients with retinal diseases. I look forward to continuing to work with other scientists in the field to advance vision science research and help restore vision to those impacted by retinal diseases."
The Bressler Prize
Since 2003, the Bressler Prize has annually recognized a mid-career vision clinician-scientist whose leadership, research and service have led to important advancements in the understanding of vision loss, treatment of eye disease, or the rehabilitation of people with vision loss. An independent panel of judges from various vision care disciplines chooses the recipient.
Botond Roska will receive a prize of $54,000 and will lead Lighthouse Guild's annual Alfred W. Bressler Vision Science Symposium in New York City in the fall of 2018 where he will be joined by other clinicians and scientists who will present their latest findings in vision research.