second level header image

N e w s   a n d   V i e w s

Glaucoma Research Foundation to Honor Vanderbilt’s David Calkins, PhD with President’s Award

January 28, 2022

david calkins

San Francisco, CA – Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) President and CEO, Thomas M. Brunner, announced today that David Calkins, PhD, a leading authority on the neurobiological basis of vision loss in blinding eye disease, will be honored at the Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala on February 10, 2022.

The 2022 President’s Award will be presented to David J. Calkins, PhD (Assistant Vice President for Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vice Chairman and Director for Research at Vanderbilt Eye Institute, and Director of the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center) in recognition of his ongoing leadership and exemplary commitment to advancing glaucoma research. Dr. Calkins is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the development of new therapeutics based on neuronal protection, repair, and regeneration.

“As the Chair of the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s Catalyst for a Cure Initiative and the Chair of our Research Committee, Dr. Calkins has provided invaluable guidance and inspiration,” Mr. Brunner said. “We are honored to recognize David for his many contributions to vision research and his longstanding work with GRF first as a research scientist and now as an advisor,” he said.

Dr. Calkins is the Denis M. O’Day Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt, and for his research contributions, he has previously been awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Neuroscience Fellowship, the Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize of The New York Academy of Medicine, and the Wasserman, Senior Scientific, and Stein Innovation Awards from Research to Prevent Blindness. In 2016, he was named a Gold Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology for his contributions to the vision research community. He also recently became an inaugural awardee of the Stanley Cohen Innovation Fund.

He has written over 100 research articles, reviews, and book chapters, including key publications in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature, Science Translational Medicine, Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, Molecular Neurodegeneration, and Cell Death and Disease. He also has held numerous editorial positions for neurology, ophthalmology, and neuroscience journals.

Over the years, his innovative research has garnered over 65 grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health, industry partners, and private foundations. He currently serves as Chair of the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s Catalyst for a Cure Vision Restoration Initiative and Research Committee and is a scientific advisor for several biotech companies across the world.

 Andrew Iwach, MD, Chair of the Glaucoma Research Foundation and Executive Director of the Glaucoma Center of San Francisco, said that “GRF is truly indebted to David Calkins, PhD for his insightful and innovative research advances that are leading to better treatments and hopefully a cure for glaucoma, and may even help to solve other potentially devastating neurodegenerative diseases that affect so many people worldwide.”