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The Champalimaud Foundation Invites Nominations and Applications for Its 2009 Vision Award

Prestigious Award Given Annually to Combat Blindness

LISBON, Portugal and NEW YORK, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Champalimaud Foundation, one of the largest global science foundations, invites all institutions working to combat blindness in the field to apply for the Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award. The Award is given for outstanding contributions towards the prevention and alleviation of blindness and visual impairment. The prestigious Award, which brings with it a euro 1 million prize, has been called the "Nobel Prize for Vision" and is presented annually in Lisbon, Portugal.

The 2008 recipients of the Award, Drs. King-Wai Yau and Jeremy Nathans, both scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, received the Award for ground breaking research towards the eradication of blindness. Their fundamental discoveries related to the first step in seeing, the conversion of light into electrical signals that the brain uses to create vision. The 2007 Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award recognized the global contribution made by Aravind Eye Care System. Aravind has made quality affordable eye care a reality for millions, using an adaptive model focused on consultancy, capacity building, research, training, and publications.

"With The Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award, we encourage both the world's greatest institutions and scientists to move one step closer towards eradicating blindness. Because of the Award, millions of people world-wide, who suffer from blindness, can hope for a cure, and, for millions of others, blindness from disease can be prevented. We look forward to reviewing the nominations and to the presentation of the Award in 2009," said Leonor Beleza, President of The Champalimaud Foundation.

The Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award was established by the Foundation in 2006, and the Award has the support of the World Health Organization's Vision 2020 -- The Right to Sight initiative. The Award is given alternately between contributions to overall vision research (in odd numbered years) and contributions to the alleviation of visual problems, primarily in developing countries (in even numbered years). The recipients of the Award are groups, rather than single individuals, and may involve groups from more than one institution or discipline.

Winners of the Award will be selected by a jury featuring renowned international figures such as, Amartya Sen, Indian economist and Nobel laureate, Dr. Paul A. Sieving, Director of the National Eye Institute, and Susumu Tonegawa, distinguished immunologist and a Nobel laureate. Candidates will be judged on the quality and distinction of their initiatives, their achievements and the measurable impact of their work, and the enduring and amplifying effects of their activities.

To apply or nominate, please visit, a 2009 submission form is located under the Vision Award tab. Completed Entries must be received in full by the Foundation not later than December 31st, 2008.

About the Champalimaud Foundation

The Champalimaud Foundation supports individual researchers and research teams working at the cutting edge of medical science. It aims to stimulate novel theoretical and practical methodologies by utilizing the experience of both research scientists and medical practitioners, connecting pure scientific investigation with applied clinical research. The Champalimaud Foundation aims to maximize the work being done in the fields of cancer research and neuroscience, including stem cell research and its clinical applications for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and spinal injury. It is named for Antonio Champalimaud, who was the richest man in Portugal when he died in 2004, bequeathing a quarter of his $3.1 billion estate to set up the Foundation. See


Richard J. Wolff

Mounir Ibrahim


SOURCE The Champalimaud Foundation
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