ARVO Foundation Announces 2021 Bert M. Glaser, MD Award for Innovative Retina Research Recipient
Award will help advance winner's retinal translational research


Rockville, Md.—The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) today announced Yohei Tomita, MD, PhD, has received the 2021 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. Tomita is recognized with this award for his retinal translational research, with a focus on diabetic retinopathy (DR) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

An academic scientist, Tomita completed his MD at Shimane University in Shimane, Japan, and his ophthalmology residency, retinal fellowship, and PhD at Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo before joining Boston Children’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School as a research fellow. He is the recipient of the 2020 Young Investigator Award from the Japan Ophthalmological Society as well as the 2020 Young Investigator Grant from the Alcon Research Institute. He is a review editor for Frontiers in Immunology and a member of the review board for Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Tomita has several ongoing projects with the goal of better characterizing early-stage retinal disease, which he says will benefit from the award. Among them are the development of new treatments for AMD and DR based on his own research on molecular pathways, and the development of several tools, including an instrument that can measure mitochondrial function using Raman spectroscopy, and a second instrument meant to examine mitochondrial function in pluripotent stem cells — a type of cell that has the ability to self-renew — in patients with eye disease using microfluidics and Raman spectroscopy.

“I am very honored to receive this award,” says Tomita. “Dr. Bert M. Glaser was not only a retinal surgeon, but also a researcher, innovator and teacher. He is one of my role models as a scientist and ophthalmologist…I hope my work contributes to helping patients who are suffering from retinal 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 in 2017 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.

For more information about the Bert M. Glaser, MD Award for Innovative Research in Retina, 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


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Erin Hering