ARVO Celebrates Champalimaud Foundation’s 2019 Vision Award Winners

Award recognizes three organizations who have overcome barriers of poverty and geography to address the eye care needs of disadvantaged populations in Brazil

Rockville, Md. – The largest eye and vision research organization in the world celebrates today’s announcement by the Champalimaud Foundation of the 2019 António Champalimaud Vision Award winners, the Paulista Institute of Studies and Research in Ophthalmology (IPEPO), the Altino Ventura Foundation (FAV) and the UNICAMP Ophthalmology Service. The 2019 award recognizes individuals or groups who have made outstanding contributions to the alleviation of visual problems, primarily in developing countries. These three longstanding organizations have worked to prevent blindness and visual impairment by providing eye services to underserved populations in Brazil for more than 30 years.

IPEPO, also known as Instituto da Visão, is a nonprofit that provides cataract surgical services, free glasses and tertiary eye care for a population of over 2 million people in Metropolitan São Paulo, the Amazon and beyond. The Altino Ventura Foundation, based in Pernambuco in Northeast Brazil, one of the poorest regions of South America, has worked throughout the region to eliminate blindness and rehabilitate the visually impaired. The UNICAMP Ophthalmology Service, part of one of Brazil's top university hospitals, initiated the first cataract-free-zone project in Latin America. ARVO has a strong membership presence in each of these organizations.

“ARVO has worked alongside the Champalimaud Foundation for many years and joins them in celebrating the outstanding work of these humanitarian organizations,” said ARVO President W. Daniel Stamer, PhD, FARVO. “The three organizations being recognized this year have brought critical, sight-saving care to disadvantaged areas of Brazil. I look forward to learning more about their efforts in the award lecture at ARVO 2020 in Baltimore.”

Representatives from the organizations were presented with their award at the state-of-the-art Champalimaud Centre of the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal today. The €1,000,000 award may be used in any way that furthers the outstanding contribution of the recipient groups or organizations.


The Champalimaud Foundation, created in 2005 by the last will and testament of António de Sommer Champalimaud, focuses on cutting-edge research and strives to stimulate new discoveries and knowledge that can improve the health and well-being of people around the world. The Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, in Lisbon, Portugal, hosts the Foundation's activities in the fields of neuroscience and oncology by means of research programs and the provision of clinical care of excellence. The fight against blindness is also supported through a focused outreach program.

Applications for the next award cycle close Dec. 31, 2019. The 2020 award will focus on contributions to overall vision research. Learn more about the Champalimaud Foundation.

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include nearly 12,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. Learn more at