Jul 10, 2006    #114
Contact: Noemi Rojas, UMKC public relations
(816) 235-1520

UMKC professor receives prestigious vision research award

Ashim K. Mitra, Ph.D., of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Pharmacy has been awarded the 2007 ARVO/Pfizer Ophthalmics Translational Research Award, the highest award for vision research by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Foundation for Eye Research.

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest and most highly respected vision research organization in the world. The Foundation for Eye Research is ARVO’s philanthropic arm.

Mitra was selected for his innovative research in ophthalmic drug delivery, including both the identification of functional drug transporters in the cornea and the introduction of new analytic techniques. Mitra is a University of Missouri Curators’ Professor and Chairman of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the UMKC School of Pharmacy. He is also Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Research and Director for Translational Research at the School of Medicine. In 2002, he received the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Fellow Award. He serves on numerous editorial boards including those for Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs and Current Eye Research.

The ARVO/Pfizer Ophthalmics Translational Research Award honors excellence in research and fundamental scientific discoveries, concepts and novel technologies, leading to clinical evidence of diagnosis, prevention, or amelioration of the pathological eye and/or an understanding of the normal vision processes.

The award is presented to two researchers annually and is funded by the Foundation through a grant from Pfizer Ophthalmics. Lloyd P. Aiello, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard University is the second recipient of the 2007 award.

Aiello is an associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard University Faculty of Medicine. He was selected for his outstanding achievements as a model bench-to-bedside clinician scientist in demonstrating the importance of VEGF in neovascularization, developing anti-VEGF therapy, and involvement of PKC and treatment based on this finding in diabetic retinopathy. He is a past recipient of the Charles Schepens Award in Research and the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award. Aiello has served on a number of editorial boards including that for ARVO’s Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

Aiello and Mitra will receive the award during the annual meeting of ARVO to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., May 2007.

They will receive a $5,000 honorarium, an award, as well as complimentary registration, hotel, travel and per diem to attend the annual ARVO conference.

UMKC is one of four University of Missouri campuses. It is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health and life sciences, and urban affairs.

The UMKC School of Pharmacy was founded in 1885 and is the only public school of pharmacy in the state of Missouri. Its graduates have a nearly 100 percent placement rate prior to graduation. For more information on the UMKC School of Pharmacy, visit

Founded in 2002, The ARVO Foundation for Eye Research provides continuing education and stable support for original and innovative vision research, particularly with translational impact fostering collaboration between clinicians and basic scientists. The foundation also supports training for new vision research scientists, including those in developing countries. For more, visit

Established in 1928, ARVO is a membership organization of more than 11,500 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 is headquartered in Rockville, Md. For more, visit

Pfizer Ophthalmics, a division of Pfizer Inc., is committed to preserving sight and eliminating preventable blindness. Pfizer Ophthalmics discovers, develops and provides leading treatments in ophthalmology to support patients who are at risk of blindness or suffering from vision impairment, and to serve the health care professionals who treat them.

This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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