ARVO Foundation Announces 2021
Point of View Award Winners
Researchers awarded $20,000 for outstanding scholarly article on efforts to restore vision


Rockville, Md.—The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) congratulates the inaugural winners of the Point of View Award: Dasha Nelidova, MBChB, PhD and Botond Roska, MD, PhD. 

Established by the Point of View Foundation (Fundació Punt de Vista), the award provides a $20,000 cash prize to recipients in recognition of significant research that may advance the ability to restore sight to those who are blind or have significant visual impairment.

In a number of blinding diseases, light-sensitive and light-insensitive photoreceptor zones coexist within the same retina. A key challenge for new translational technologies aiming to restore image-acquiring properties of the retina is their compatibility with remaining vision. Nelidova and Roska reasoned that sensitizing the retina to wavelengths that functional photoreceptors are unable to detect (>900 nm) could supplement deteriorating natural vision without interfering with ability to see the visible spectrum. Inspired by infrared vision in snakes, they developed nanogenetic molecular tools that allowed blind mice and ex vivo human retinas to detect near-infrared light.

image of Dasha Nelidova

"We are very honoured to receive this prize," says Nelidova. "It will help us to further accelerate the design and development of novel therapies to treat blinding diseases."

Nelidova is a medical doctor from New Zealand. She completed her PhD in neurobiology at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland. Currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel, she is working to develop new translational technologies for treating retinal diseases that lead to blindness.

image of Botond RoskaRoska obtained his MD at the Semmelweis Medical School, a PhD in neurobiology from the University of California, Berkeley and studied genetics and virology as a Harvard Society Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Harvard University. Following this he led a research group at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel. Currently, he is a professor at the Medical and Science Faculty of the University of Basel and founding director of the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel.

For more information about the Point of View Award, visit ARVO’s website

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The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include approximately 10,000 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

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

Based in Spain, the Point of View Foundation (Fundació Punt de Vista) is dedicated to advancing scientific research related to disease and injuries of the eye and visual system. To learn more about their work, visit the Fundació Punt de Vista website.

Media contact:
Jenniffer Scherhaufer