Public Release: 

ARVO Kupfer Award to Research to Prevent Blindness chairman

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Rockville, Md. - The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) announced today that David F. Weeks has been selected to receive the 2007 Kupfer Award. The award, given for distinguished public service on behalf of eye and vision research, will be presented to Weeks during ARVO's Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on May 6 at 5:15 p.m.

Weeks authored the legislation which was introduced to create the National Eye Institute in 1968. Until 1995 he orchestrated the Congressional expert witness testimony that successfully sought increased funding for the Institute. He has served on the National Eye Advisory Council for the NEI and as a consultant to the Bureau of Medical Devices of the Federal Drug Administration.

He was employed as the first full-time executive officer of Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) in 1961, and now serves in a voluntary capacity as Chairman of its Board. Under his stewardship RPB has become the world's leading non-governmental supporter of research which seeks to preserve vision and restore sight. For nearly 50 years it has provided the initial funding for virtually every major advance in the treatment of all the diseases that threaten vision. RPB's pioneering program supports ophthalmic and vision scientists at every stage of their careers¯from Medical Student Scholars Grants to Senior Science Investigator Awards.

His accomplishments at RPB include the planning and implementation of a variety of programs including the Jules and Doris Stein RPB Professorships, RPB Career Development Awards, and the Senior Scientific Investigator Awards. During Weeks' tenure with the organization, RPB has provided $236 million to support vision research. Weeks is also being recognized for his instrumental role in developing the strategy for the establishment of the National Eye Institute. Weeks continues to play a central in the NEI by organizing public testimony by vision research leaders on behalf of the Institute's budget.

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Established in 1928, ARVO is a membership organization of more than 11,700 eye and vision researchers from over 70 countries. The Association encourages and assists its members and others in research, training, publication and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology. ARVO's headquarters are located in Rockville, Md. For more information about ARVO, logon to the Association's Web site, www.arvo.org.

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