Krzysztof Palczewski, PhD, the Irving H. Leopold chair in ophthalmology and a professor of physiology & biophysics at the UCI School of Medicine has been selected as a recipient of the Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) Stein Innovation Award.

The Stein Innovation Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of ophthalmic research, and includes a $300,000 grant over the course of two years.

“This is truly a remarkable achievement and an incredible acknowledgment of the power and value of Kris’ lifelong efforts,” said Baruch Kuppermann, MD, PhD, Steinert professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at UCI. “I also want to thank the RPB for their support of our shared goal to advance research in the fight against blindness.”

The RPB Stein Innovation Award provides funds for researchers with a common goal of understanding the visual system and the diseases that compromise its function. The award is intended to provide seed money to proposed high-risk/high-gain vision science research which is innovative, cutting-edge, and demonstrates out-of-the-box thinking.

Palczewski has studied the pharmacology of vision for more than 30 years, and his work has had a tremendous impact on efforts to restore vision in people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa and other congenital mutations that result in blindness.

In 2019, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, of the highest distinctions accorded to professionals in the medical sciences, healthcare and public health. He holds 29 issued and nine pending patents and has also received several prestigious accolades, including the 2015 Bressler Prize in Vision Science and the inaugural 2014 Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research.

Palczewski joined UCI in 2018 from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland to establish the UCI School of Medicine Center for Translational Vision Research at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. Today, he collaborates with his team of noted vision scientists to maximize opportunities to translate insights from basic science investigations into clinical treatments.

Palczewski earned a PhD in biochemistry at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology in Poland.

Link to SOM News.