Grant will aid research toward preventing vision loss in people with diabetes

BOSTON, Mass. – July 8, 2010 – Lloyd Paul Aiello, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School has been granted a $60,000 RPB Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award by Research to Prevent Blindness.

Established in 1995, the RPB Lew R. Wasserman Merit Awards provide unrestricted support to mid-career M.D. and Ph.D. scientists who hold primary positions within departments of ophthalmology and who are actively engaged in eye research at medical institutions in the United States. Dr. Aiello, who is head of Joslin Diabetes Center’s Beetham Eye Institute, is one of 108 scientists at 44 institutions who have been honored with this award.

 “As a clinical ophthalmologist, retina specialist, and doctorally trained biochemist, Dr. Aiello has worked over the past two decades to expand our understanding of the basic molecular mechanisms underlying retinal vascular disease, especially with regard to the role of growth factors in diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema,” commented Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chair of the Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology. “He is one of our most innovative and thoughtful clinician scientists.  I have no doubt that the Wasserman Award will contribute toward our further understanding of retinal disease and allow Dr. Aiello to develop new and better treatments for diabetic retinopathy.”

“I’m highly honored to receive the Wasserman Award, which will help us address the problem of vision loss among people with diabetes,” said Dr. Aiello. “Studies funded by the Award will allow us to determine the complete set of proteins found in the liquid parts of the eye in patients with diabetes. We then can analyze the proteins associated with patients who respond well to current vision therapies versus the proteins associated with patients who don’t. This information may yield insights that let us provide better treatments.”

RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions throughout the United States for research into all blinding eye diseases. For information on RPB, RPB-funded research, eye disorders and the RPB Grants Program, go to

Harvard Medical School has more than 7,500 full-time faculty working in 11 academic departments located at the School’s Boston campus or in one of 47 hospital-based clinical departments at 17 Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals and research institutes. For more information, go to

Joslin Diabetes Center is the world's preeminent diabetes research and clinical care organization. Founded in 1898 by Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School. Keep up with Joslin research and clinical news at Inside Joslin, friend Joslin on Facebook and follow on Twitter.