September 15, 2022 | Gerrit Melles receives Champalimaud Vision Award 2022
Gerrit Melles was given the prestigious António Champalimaud Vision Award 2022 in a ceremony in Lisbon today. He shares the award, and the prize money of 1 million euros, with Harvard researcher Professor Claes Dohlman. Gerrit Melles wins the award for his pioneering innovations in the field of corneal transplants, including ‘endothelial keratoplasty’, which provide better and faster visual recovery and have a lower complication risk compared to conventional techniques. The new surgical techniques were designed ‘less-invasive’ and only the layers of the cornea that are affected by disease or trauma are transplanted.
“In the medical field, there is a certain tendency wanting to control nature. At NIIOS, the idea is to look for the technical solution in the direction indicated by the body. Logically, this gives treatments more long-term value, because what is scientifically correct today may not be tomorrow, while the rules of nature remain unchanged,” says Dr Melles.
About the António Champalimaud Vision Award
The António Champalimaud Vision Award was launched in 2006 and is supported by the World Health Organisation’s ‘Vision 2020 – The Right to Sight’ program. The award, worth 1 million Euros, is the largest in the world in the area of Vision and often referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Vision”. In odd-numbered years, the Award recognises work developed on the ground by institutions in the prevention of and fight against blindness and vision disorders, mainly in developing countries. In even-numbered years, the Award goes to far-reaching scientific research in the area of vision. The Award Jury comprises international scientists and prominent public figures involved in the fight against the problems experienced in developing countries.
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