Newswise — Rockville, Md.—The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) today announced Paulo J. M. Bispo, MS, PhD, of Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School is the 2022 recipient of the Mallinckrodt Uveitis Research Fellowship. Generously funded by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals through the ARVO Foundation, the fellowship supports an early-career investigator with a one-year grant of $45,000 to study an aspect of uveitis or other inflammatory conditions of the eye.
Bispo is a medical microbiologist dedicated to developing better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent infections. Trained in innovation in clinical and molecular microbiology, his work is focused at the translational interface between laboratory research and clinical practice. During his graduate studies at the Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Bispo researched the epidemiology and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance of eye bacteria, biofilm-formation on ocular devices, and developed novel molecular diagnostic assays for rapid and sensitive detection of ocular pathogens. He now conducts independent research aiming to develop the next-generation of diagnostics for sight-threatening ocular infections. Bispo is also using a combination of genomic and phenotypic approaches to study the molecular epidemiology of antibiotic-resistant infections and to develop novel approaches for prevention and treatment of difficult-to-treat ocular infections.
"Infectious causes are involved in 17% to 60% of uveitis cases with a large variety of microbes involved (e.g., bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses) that cannot be easily and promptly detected using the current laboratory diagnostic methods," says Bispo. "As a result, patients can be treated for weeks or months using one-size-fits-all therapeutic trials that are not tailored for an individual and do not work for everyone.”
Bispo's project capitalizes on the enormous advantages of novel DNA and RNA sequencing technologies to create an unparalleled all-in-one diagnostic test that would be able to detect any microbe in a given patient sample, and reduce time to actionable results from days or weeks to hours. This novel and innovative test is expected to substantially improve diagnostic yields and help to illuminate new causes of infectious uveitis in cases that remain undiagnosed after extensive laboratory workup, with great potential for significantly changing the management of patients suffering from this debilitating disease.
The Mallinckrodt Fellowship is intended to provide investigators early in their careers with an opportunity to generate preliminary results that, if promising, may be leveraged to earn additional, longer-term funding support. The award is also intended to catalyze the authorship of impactful publications and the stimulation of further insights and advances in the ocular inflammation space.
“I am deeply honored to have been selected to receive the 2022 Mallinckrodt Uveitis Research Fellowship,” says Bispo. “This generous grant from Mallinckrodt has supported the work of very talented young ophthalmologists and scientists and I feel privileged to become part of this select group.This support will be essential in advancing ongoing efforts in my laboratory aiming to improve care of patients with infectious uveitis through the development of the next generation of precision diagnostics for this sight-threating disease.”
For more information about the Mallinckrodt Uveitis Research Fellowship, visit ARVO’s website.
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The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include approximately 10,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. Learn more at ARVO.org.
Established in 2001, the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research raises funds through partnerships, grants and sponsorships to support ARVO’s world-class education and career development resources for eye and vision researchers of all stages of career and education. Learn more at ARVOFoundation.org.
Mallinckrodt is a global business consisting of multiple wholly owned subsidiaries that develop, manufacture, market and distribute specialty pharmaceutical products and therapies. The company's Specialty Brands reporting segment's areas of focus include autoimmune and rare diseases in specialty areas like neurology, rheumatology, nephrology, pulmonology and ophthalmology; immunotherapy and neonatal respiratory critical care therapies; and analgesics. Its Specialty Generics and Amitiza reporting segment includes specialty generic drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients and AMITIZA® (lubiprostone). To learn more about Mallinckrodt, visit www.mallinckrodt.com.