Gustavo D. Aguirre, VMD, Ph.D., a professor of medical genetics and ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), has been selected to receive the 2016 Louis Braille Award for innovative research and treatment of inherited blinding diseases.
The award will be presented January 29 at the 56th Annual Louis Braille Awards Ceremony in Philadelphia by the Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
“The goal of my work is to treat and hopefully cure blindness through gene therapies and other strategies,” Dr. Aguirre said. “I am truly honored by this recognition from an organization that shares my commitment to improving the lives of people with vision disorders.”
Aguirre has investigated the genetic basis of a variety of inherited vision disorders, including Leber’s congenital amaurosis, Best disease, achromatopsia and retinitis pigmentosa. His work on novel gene therapy approaches to treatment, which deliver to the eye a functional copy of a gene that is otherwise lacking, has restored vision in animal models of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa and Leber’s congential amaurosis, according to Penn Vet. The Leber congenital amaurosis therapy is now in human clinical trials.