Research to Prevent Blindness and Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Announce 2019 Recipient of RPB David F. Weeks Award for Outstanding AMD Research

Christine Curcio, PhD, is recognized for ground-breaking contributions to the field of age-related macular degeneration research.


Newswise — SAN FRANCISCO, CA and NEW YORK, NY, August 12–Christine Curcio, PhD, has been selected as the 2019 RPB David F. Weeks Award for Outstanding AMD Research (Weeks Award). The Weeks Award, funded through the generosity of Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), an anonymous donor, and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), annually recognizes and celebrates an excellent researcher focused on age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 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. Curcio will receive her award and deliver a presentation on January 31, 2020 at the AUPO Annual Meeting in Rancho Mirage, California.

Dr. Curcio holds the White-McKee Endowed Professorship in Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine (UAB). “What sets Dr. Curcio apart from many basic science researchers is her focus on disease pathology and pathobiology along with human imaging that have made her work imminently translatable to clinical care,” said Christopher A. Girkin, MD, MSPH, Chairman for the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at UAB. She is also lauded by colleagues for her “careful attention to detail, insightful observations, and ability to explain complicated concepts to a diverse audience of clinicians and scientists.”

AUPO President, Paul Sternberg, Jr, MD shared, “We are thrilled to recognize Dr. Curcio with this award. Dr. Curcio’s research has provided profound and impactful insights into our understanding of the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration, particularly its atrophic or dry form for which there are no effective treatments. In a remarkably creative and collaborative manner, her studies have evaluated retinal images, eye bank retinas, and cultured retinal cells, along with state-of-the art imaging, biochemical techniques, and epidemiology to explore the natural history of this condition and its underlying causes. I am confident that her work will enable the development of new treatments that will transform our care for the dry AMD patient.”

“We are so pleased with the selection of Dr. Christine Curcio, whose distinguished research has advanced our ability to diagnose and manage age-related macular degeneration,” said RPB President Brian F. Hofland, PhD. “Dr. Curcio’s history of scientific excellence is well-known to RPB; she was one of the first three awardees of the RPB Career Development Award when the program launched 30 years ago. It is gratifying to see how she has come full circle, from the initialearly-career award that recognized her potential, to the RPB David F. Weeks Award that honors her as an accomplished, field-changing researcher.”For more information on the RPB David F. Weeks Award for Outstanding AMD Research, visit the AUPO website.

About Research to Prevent Blindness

Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) is the leading nonprofit organization supporting eye research directed at the prevention, treatment or eradication of all diseases that damage and destroy sight. As part of this purview, RPB also supports efforts to grow and sustain a robust and diverse vision research community. Since it was founded in 1960 by Dr. Jules Stein, RPB has awarded more than $368 million in research grants to the most talented vision scientists at the nation’s leading medical schools. As a result, RPB has been associated with nearly every major breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of vision loss in the past 50+ years. Learn more at www.rpbusa.org.

About Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology

The Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) was founded in 1966 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and education. AUPO is the voice of academic ophthalmology through the promotion of medical education, research, and patient care in ophthalmology, and accomplished by providing a forum for discussion of mutual issues facing departments/divisions of ophthalmology in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit aupo.org.

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