Prevent Blindness America Announces Eighth Annual Investigator Award Recipient

Prevent Blindness America announced today the recipient of its 2011 Investigator Award.  This year’s selected recipient is from Children’s Hospital Boston.  A distinguished panel of experts from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) made the final selection.

The Investigator Awards are research grants awarded to those public health projects that seek to put an end to unnecessary vision loss and blindness.  Part of Prevent Blindness America’s 100-year history includes supporting research that improves the quality of life for all citizens through vision preservation.  Over the years, Prevent Blindness America has awarded more than $1 million to eye and vision research projects.

“Providing funds to sight-saving research studies has been part of our mission for more than 100 years,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America.  “We want to encourage researchers across the globe to continue to look for new ways to help end significant vision loss and blindness.”

Prevent Blindness America has awarded the 2011 Investigator Award to the research project entitled, “Pediatric Vision Screener 4,” led by Danielle Monique Ledoux, MD, at Children’s Hospital Boston.  Approximately one in four school-age children has some form of vision problem, including amblyopia, or “lazy eye.” Amblyopia occurs when the brain receives images of unequal quality from the two eyes and is the most common cause of visual impairment in childhood. With early detection and treatment, the chance for restoring vision is excellent. 

A certified vision screening can help detect vision problems in children.  The purpose of Dr. Ledoux’s research project is to study and compare the effectiveness of the Pediatric Vision Scanner 4 (PVS), a new tool used to detect vision problems, against current screening devices to see if the scanner will be an easier, quicker, and more reliable tool for population-based vision screening. The PVS 4 is especially useful in screening young children, particularly those ages 0-5. 

“In 1908, our organization was founded to help end the needless suffering and vision loss due to a highly treatable condition known as Babies’ Sore Eyes,” added Parry.  “Today, we continue that legacy of helping to protect children’s vision by supporting studies such as Dr. Ledoux’s and her team.  We are highly anticipating the results of her study and hope they may lead us a step closer to ending preventable vision loss to amblyopia through early detection.”

For more information on the Prevent Blindness America Investigator Awards, or for free information on amblyopia or other children’s vision issues, please call Prevent Blindness America at 1-800-331-2020 or visit preventblindness.org.

Download the 2011 Investigator Awards press release