Jessica I. W. Morgan, PhD (l) and Pete A. Williams, PhD.

ROCKVILLE, Md.—The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Foundation announced the recipients of the 2023 Pfizer Ophthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award. Jessica I. W. Morgan, PhD, of the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. and Pete A. Williams, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, took home the honors. Granted annually to young investigators working in areas of translational research, each recipient will be awarded $12,000, according to an announcement. The intent of the award is to recognize early-career researchers (aged 45 and younger) who have exhibited excellence in research, as well as their fundamental scientific discoveries, concepts and novel technologies which have led to, or have the promise of leading to, clinical application.

An associate professor of ophthalmology at Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Morgan established an independent lab which specializes in applying high-resolution retinal imaging techniques to study the structure and function of the retina at the cellular level, both in health and disease. Her current research is fully devoted to using high resolution imaging and adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy to examine the structure and function of the human visual system at the cellular level noninvasively, and to translating these imaging techniques to investigate pathogenesis and treatment of retinal disease.

"I am truly honored to receive the Pfizer Ophthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award," said Morgan. "This award not only acknowledges my efforts in translating retinal imaging technology to study blinding diseases and their treatments, but also serves as a reminder of how much work my team and I still have left to do. I am so thankful for everyone who has guided me along my career and to all my collaborators who have contributed to our research. I look forward to continuing our research to use retinal imaging to understand vision with the goal of saving sight."

Williams is a visual neuroscientist who aims to better human health through translational neuroscience, focusing primarily on neuronal bioenergetics. Via his position within St Erik Eye Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, he works closely with clinicians to take discoveries to treatments. His group collaborates nationally and internationally to advance understanding of glaucoma pathogenesis and design therapies to provide neuroprotection in glaucoma.

“Receiving this award signifies the importance of translational research into neuroprotective strategies for glaucoma and gives hope that the community can develop clinically-translatable neuroprotective therapies in the future,” said Williams.

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.