Point of View Award

This award, established by the Point of View Foundation (Fundació Punt de Vista), recognizes significant research that may advance the ability to restore sight to those who are blind or have significant visual impairment.

The Point of View Award recognizes an outstanding scholarly article published in a high-impact peer-reviewed journal during the previous calendar year related to efforts to restore vision through regenerative ophthalmology, biotechnology, whole eye transplantation or other approaches to the stated problem. The $10,000 cash prize is given to the first and/or corresponding authors of the winning paper.

  • Nominees must be an ARVO member.
  • Nominees are the first author and/or corresponding author on the article submitted for consideration.
  • Articles must have a publication date in the previous calendar year.
  • Self-nominations are permitted; only one self-nomination submission is permitted per award cycle.
  • There are no geographic or citizenship restrictions.
Nomination process

Articles published in the previous calendar year (January – December) are eligible for nomination in the subsequent year. For example, articles published in 2023 are eligible for nomination from Aug. – Oct. 2024. The award prize is given to the first and corresponding authors.

Nominations are accepted via online application. The online nomination form requires the following information, forms and documents:

  • Nominator's name, institution and contact information.
  • Letter of nomination that describes the significance and impact of the nominated article.
  • Details about the nominated article including:
    • Article title
    • Publication title and date
    • Journal citation
    • List of all authors

Applications open on Aug. 1

Applications close on Oct. 1

Recipients notified in December 

2023 recipients

Neil Lagali, PhD — Linköping University, Sweden
Mehrdad Rafat, PhD — LinkoCare Life Sciences AB, Sweden
'Bioengineered corneal tissue for minimally invasive vision restoration in advanced keratoconus in two clinical cohorts'
Nature Biotechnology
Aug. 11, 2022

POV Award recipient - Neil LagaliNeil Lagali, PhD, is a professor of experimental ophthalmology at Linköping University, Sweden. He leads a team of researchers focused on cornea research including regenerative medicine and biomaterials, corneal imaging, rare diseases and basic, translational and clinical research. He has led large European research efforts to develop new therapies for several blinding diseases of the cornea.

POV Award recipient: Mehrdad RafatMehrdad Rafat, PhD, received his doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ottawa (Canada) with specialization in biomaterials and tissue engineering. He is the senior author of more than 60 refereed publications in high impact journal including Nature Biotechnology. Rafat has developed the first clinically tested bioengineered corneal implant for treating keratoconus at LinkoCare Life Sciences AB, a startup company spanned out of his academic research at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and Linköping University (Sweden). 

Rafat’s work on bioengineered cornea earned him the Ontario Centre of Excellence Industrial Fellowship Award in 2006, the Government of Canada’s NSERC Innovation Challenge Award in 2008, Marie Curie Incoming Fellowship Award (IIF) and FP7 Career Integration Award in 2012 and cofounding from EU-funded Arrest Blindness project in 2016/2020. Rafat and his team recently won the EIT-Health Wildcard competition and 1.5 M€ financing from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT-Health) to establish a new startup (NaturaLens AB) and develop natural bioengineered contact lenses for managing myopia and hyperopia in dry eye patients. 

Rafat is currently the co-founder and CEO of LinkoCare and NaturaLens AB while holding an adjunct associate professorship in biomedical engineering at Linköping University.