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The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers rewards research excellence

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers rewards research excellence

Medal Winners at WCSM

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) this week announced the winners of its annual bronze medal award competitions for research published during the last year.

The Master’s Medal for the best first published paper at pre-doctorate level across all disciplines of vision science was presented to Bethany Higgins of the Crabb Lab at City (2nd from left) , University of London for her paper “Novel Computer-Based Assessments of Everyday Visual Function in people with age-related Macular Degeneration”. With an ageing population, it is not a surprise that AMD continues to be a major theme for researchers.

The Ruskell Medal recognises the best paper published in peer-reviewed international ophthalmology and vision science journals during the qualifying period, as judged by a panel of Professors from universities and research departments across the UK. The WCSM Ruskell Medal for 2021 was awarded to Harry Orlan (right in image), for his work at the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology in Oxford, under Robert MacLaren. His paper provides evidence for a replacement gene therapy to produce synthetic mirtrons capable of replacing rhodopsin gene mutations which are a common cause of autosomal dominant retinitis. Mr Orlans is an Honorary Research Associate at the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology in Oxford and also a Vitreoretinal Fellow at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London and a Locum Consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Commenting on the awards, Ian Davies, Master of The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers said: “This year’s submissions demonstrated the real value of innovative research techniques, technology and collaboration to bring vision science into practical application. We already know the likely increase in demand for eye healthcare over the next 20 years. There is no doubt in my mind that the techniques and therapies being explored now will make a difference in the future and I applaud all those whose work is making significant advances to our understanding of vision.”

At left of image is Reena Chopra who was a 2020 winner unable due to the pandemic to collect her award last year.

Applications will open in the New Year for WCSM medal awards in 2022, via

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