ARVO Announces Recipient of 2019 Bert M. Glaser, MD Award
Distinguished award presented to early-career retina investigator

Rockville, Md. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) today announced Mandeep Singh, MD, PhD, has received the inaugural Bert M. Glaser, MD Award for Innovative Research in Retina, which recognizes an early-career investigator who has made a novel discovery that impacted the understanding and/or treatment of a retinal disease or condition. Singh is an assistant professor at Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where Glaser began his career. His laboratory studies how to regenerate the retina using stem cells with a focus on photoreceptor cell transplantation to restore vision.

“This award recognizes Dr. Singh’s successful findings and shows appreciation for his continued efforts in advancing our understanding of how to treat the eye’s most sensitive area,” said ARVO Foundation Board of Governors Chair Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD, FARVO. “Knowledge of how the retina naturally attempts repairs is invaluable and desperately needed to help address conditions impacting the retina and vision.”

Singh completed his ophthalmology residency at the National University of Singapore and earned a PhD in ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, focusing on retinal stem cell therapy. Singh received this award for his research into the phenomenon of cellular materials transfer, or “cell fusion,” between photoreceptor cells in the retina. When donor photoreceptor cells are transplanted into a recipient, instead of reconnecting with the retinal circuit, the cells tend to transfer cellular materials into recipient cells. The discovery of this new pattern of cellular behavior in the eye increased our understanding of how retinal cells interact with each other and could lead to the development of new treatments to regenerate the retina.

“I am incredibly grateful to receive this award. It has provided tremendous motivation to continue pursuing research in retinal cell therapy and regeneration,” said Singh. “I hope that this work will contribute to the effort of creating new and effective treatments for people affected by retinal degenerative diseases.“

The $10,000 award, funded by the Glaser family through the ARVO Foundation, is named in memory of Bert M. Glaser, MD, a long-time retina researcher, surgeon, innovator and teacher whose life was cut short after a brief illness. Award recipients must demonstrate that their work has led to the development of a new drug or technique that will revolutionize retina care. Read more about Bert M. Glaser.

Applications for the 2020 award reopen July 1, 2019 and close on Sept. 1, 2019. For more information about the Bert M. Glaser, MD Award for Innovative Research in Retina, visit ARVO’s website.


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

About the ARVO Foundation: Established in 2001, the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research raises funds through partnerships, grants and sponsorships to support ARVO’s world-class education and career development resources for eye and vision researchers of all stages of career and education. Learn more at

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Julene Joy