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Dr. Dean Bok Receives Foundation Fighting Blindness Career Achievement Award
The Foundation Fighting Blindness honored Dr. Dean Bok, of the Jules Stein Eye Institute of UCLA, with the prestigious Llura Liggett Gund Award Career Achievement Award on May 7. The highly coveted award was presented to Dr. Bok in recognition of his outstanding dedication and commitment to retinal science and his extraordinary career achievements that have significantly advanced the research and development of preventions, treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. Dr. Bok received the award before an audience of his peers at a Foundation dinner following the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale.
“The Llura Liggett Gund Award, which is named for a co-founder of the Foundation, is presented from time to time to a highly
“For more than four decades,” continues Gund, “Dr. Dean Bok’s superlative research contributions to understanding the causes of these diseases, his mentorship of and collaboration with others, and his dedication to the development and oversight of the Foundation’s strategic research plan highly qualify him for this singular recognition. The Foundation and all who care about our mission are forever grateful to Dr. Dean Bok.”
Dr. Bok has and continues to be a world-renowned expert in defining how vitamin A metabolism is essential to vision. His research led the way in establishing the gene defect in the vitamin A metabolic cycle that ultimately directed researchers toward recent successful gene therapy clinical trials for Leber congenital amaurosis, a severe, early onset form of retinitis pigmentosa.
Dr. Bok’s career achievements include producing, characterizing and using transgenic animal models to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying inherited retinal diseases, as well as developing modes of treatment for these diseases. In collaboration with Dr. Michael Redmond of the National Institutes of Health, Dr.
Recipients of the Llura Ligget Gund Award are leading visionaries in the retinal research community and together have played significant roles in advancing the study of blinding diseases and the search for cures and treatments. The award has previously been presented to only four researchers throughout the Foundation’s 38-year history. Their combined efforts have led to breakthroughs that bring real hope to those affected by blindness. As the 2009 recipient, Dr. Bok joins this exclusive, unique group of researchers who together are bringing us closer to cures and treatments.
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