FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laura Park Leach,
President and CEO
St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired
8770 Manchester Road
St. Louis, MO 63144
FORMER WASH U FACULTY, RUSSELL VAN GELDER, M.D., PH.D. WINS PRESTIGIOUS LESLIE DANA GOLD MEDAL AWARD FOR FOREFRONT RESEARCH IN INFECTIOUS EYE DISEASE AND VISION RESTORATION TECHNOLOGIES.
Dr. Van Gelder will receive the award from St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired at the 2023 Visionary Gala on Saturday, April 15.
Dr. Russell Van Gelder will be awarded the Leslie Dana Gold Medal Award at the annual Visionary Gala presented by St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Dr. Van Gelder served for 8 years on faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, where he held the Bernard Becker professorship. Since 2008 he has been Professor, Boyd K. Bucey Memorial Chair, and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at University of Washington in Seattle. He is a clinician-scientist with strong interests in molecular diagnostics for infectious eye disease as well as in vision restoration technologies.
Dr. Van Gelder’s laboratory has been at the forefront of research in non-visual photoreception and pathogen detection in uveitis. His team is also investigating an exciting approach to reversing blindness from outer retinal degeneration that involves photoswitch chemicals that can be modulated by visible light.
Dr. Van Gelder has held career development awards from Research to Prevent Blindness and the Burroughs-Wellcome Trust and has been NIH-funded since 1999. He has been awarded the Bressler Prize of the Lighthouse Guild, the Heed-Gutman Award, and the Jackson Lectureship of the AAO. He has served as president of the American Uveitis Society, the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is presently the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ophthalmology. He has served on the National Advisory Eye Council of the NEI and on the Council of Councils of the NIH.
Dr. Van Gelder is married to Suzanne Dintzis, MD, PhD, a Professor of Pathology at University of Washington. They have two adult children. In his free time, Dr. Van Gelder enjoys hiking, backpacking, running, and playing guitar.
The Leslie Dana Gold Medal, an internationally renowned honor, has been awarded by St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired since 1925 to many of the world’s most highly respected scholars and clinicians for commendable service in eyesight research, ophthalmology, vision sciences and related social services.
The Visionary Gala is the Society’s premier fundraising event and will once again be hosted by Jasmine Huda of Fox Channel 2 News and is chaired by Betsy Kauffman. The Gala will take place on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Sponsorships and volunteer opportunities are available. For information, contact Megan Connelly, Director of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314-968-9000.
About St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Since 1911, Society has been enhancing independence, empowering individuals, and enriching the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. Caring, qualified staff provide low vision medical exams and therapy, daily living adaptations, assistive technology, travel training, social work, and support services to nearly 1,200 people every year.
For further information on St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired, please visit their website at https://www.slsbvi.org.
They are also on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.