Foundation Fighting Blindness To Honor SV Life Sciences’ Dr. David Guyer and MIT’s Dr. Robert Langer at Boston Dining in the Dark.
April 9 Event Offers First-Hand Glimpse into Lives of the Blind to Benefit Research
Boston, MA (February 19, 2013) — The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the leading private nonprofit organization funding research into treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases, will present its Visionary Award to David Guyer, M.D., Partner at SV Life Sciences, and Robert Langer, Ph.D., the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, at the 2nd Annual Boston Dining in the Dark. The event, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, will benefit the Foundation’s research into cures for retinal degenerative diseases such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, which affect more than 10 million Americans.
The Dining in the Dark format gives guests a unique glimpse into the lives of the visually impaired. Diners will wear special light-blocking masks during the entrée course and experience eating in complete darkness, using only their heightened senses of smell, sound, taste and touch. The result is a distinctive sensory awareness experience which gives first-hand insight into the challenges of the blind community.
“Reactions to the 2012 Dining in the Dark were powerful and animated,” says Dinner Chair and Foundation Fighting Blindness National Trustee Alan M. Spiro, a partner at the law firm Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, who himself has retinitis pigmentosa (RP). “People experience what it is like to live with low to no vision, and they understand the urgency of the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation has invested more than $20 million dollars in cutting-edge translational research in the Boston area alone. We are proud to recognize the visionary work of Drs. Guyer and Langer, who have dedicated their lives to helping people through innovations in biotechnology and drug development and delivery, with remarkable success.”
Visionary Award Honoree Dr. Guyer joined leading international life sciences venture capital firm SV Life Sciences (SVLS) in 2006, where he focuses on biotechnology and provides guidance to companies including Neurotech, which is conducting clinical trials of a sustained protein delivery treatment (ECT) for retinitis pigmentosa and other retinal diseases. Prior to SVLS, Dr. Guyer co-founded and served as CEO and director of Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company specializing in the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat eye diseases, including a product to treat wet age-related macular degeneration. He was also professor and chairman of the department of ophthalmology at the NYU School of Medicine.
Also being honored with the Visionary Award is Professor Langer, a biomedical engineer at MIT's Langer Lab who has made countless discoveries and translated them into a range of drugs and drug delivery mechanisms, helping people with a variety of conditions including cancer, heart disease and diseases of the eye, most recently as co-founder of Kala Pharmaceuticals. He has written nearly 1,200 articles and helped start 25 companies from his cutting-edge work. Among Dr. Langer's more than 200 major awards in science, he was the recipient of the 2006 National Medal of Science and the 2011 United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation, both of which were presented to him by the President of the United States.
Dining in the Dark sponsors are also invited to attend the Symposium on Retinal Innovation at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10. Keynoted by Dr. Langer, the full-day event will feature global leaders in translational research in drug development, regenerative therapies, gene replacement and other treatments for retinal degenerative diseases, together with CEOs of companies from start-ups to global enterprises and the world’s most prominent life sciences venture capital investors in the vision space.
Individual tickets for Dining in the Dark are $350 and sponsorships begin at $2,500. For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Lisa Gallipoli at
or (212) 244-1470, or visit www.FightBlindness.org/DiningInTheDark. To request media credentials to Dine in the Dark, or to coordinate an interview with an event spokesperson, contact Allie Gebhardt at 410-423-0643 or
||Boston Dining in the Dark, benefitting the Foundation Fighting Blindness
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel
776 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
6-7 p.m. Reception
7-9 p.m. Award Program & Dining in the Dark
About Foundation Fighting Blindness
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national non-profit organization driving the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. Since 1971, the Foundation has raised over $500 million as the leading non-governmental funder of retinal research. Breakthrough Foundation-funded studies using gene therapy have restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for additional clinical trials to treat a variety of retinal degenerative diseases, and proving a cure is in sight. With a network of nearly 50 chapters, the Foundation also provides support, information and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.