Lighthouse Guild Honors Two Vision Researchers

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(L to R)  2019 Bressler Prize recipient Vladimir Kefalov, PhD; Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD, president and CEO, Lighthouse Guild, and 2019 Pisart Award recipient Tiffany Schmidt, PhD.
NEW YORK—Lighthouse Guild presented the Bressler Prize to Vladimir Kefalov, PhD, and the Pisart Award to Tiffany Schmidt, PhD, at the 2019 Alfred W. Bressler Vision Science Symposium and Pisart Seminar in New York on Saturday, Oct. 5. “These two outstanding researchers, chosen by an independent panel of judges who are leading physicians and scientists in the field of vision care and research, are being recognized for their significant contributions to vision science and research,” said Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD, president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild.

The theme of the Symposium was “Understanding and Preserving Photoreceptor Function.” Dr. Kefalov’s lecture was titled “Mechanisms Mediating the Function of Cone Photoreceptors and Daytime Vision.” Dr. Schmidt’s lecture was titled “Illuminating Visual Circuits.”

Dr. Kefalov, one of the leading retinal scientists in the world, is a professor in the department of ophthalmology & visual sciences, and the department of neuroscience, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. His work has generated new insights into mechanisms of multiple human vision disorders, including the causes of photoreceptor dysfunction and degeneration, which affect color and night vision, that are spurring treatments for vision loss.

Every year since 2003, the Bressler Prize has recognized a mid-career vision clinician or 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.

Dr. Schmidt was recognized for her significant contributions in sensory research and circadian biology, which is advancing the understanding of adult retinal function and retinal development. Dr. Schmidt is an assistant professor in the department of neurobiology and associate director of the Neurobiology Master’s Program at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

The Pisart Award recognizes an early-career vision clinician or scientist whose contributions have the potential to substantially influence vision care and/or vision science and has a proven record of accomplishment.