The ARVO prize for Translational Research in Ophthalmology awarded to Giulio Ferrari
The ARVO Foundation - in collaboration with Pfizer – awarded Giulio Ferrari one of its most prestigious prizes for translational research in ophthalmology. The award is dedicated to Carl Camras, who developed a revolutionary treatment for glaucoma, now considered the gold standard in the field.
Dr. Ferrari, group leader of the Eye Repair Lab at IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele and physician at the Corneal and Ocular Surface Ophthalmology Unit directed by Professor Paolo Rama, received the award for his contribution in the study of a new mechanism that controls ocular inflammation. The discovery paves the way to the development of new drugs addressing inflammatory diseases of the ocular surface.
Substance P and inflammation
Giulio Ferrari's discovery shed light on the role of a specific molecule - called Substance P - released by nerves and immune cells. By blocking the activity of this molecule with drugs, researchers were able to reduce inflammation of the ocular surface. This observation has practical implications for several eye conditions in which inflammation is poorly controlled with available treatments (dry eye, keratitis, conjunctivitis and many others). Targeting Substance P may also be useful to modulate inflammation in other organs.
The importance of translational research
“It is a great honor for me to receive this award. As a physician scientist working in the field of ophthalmology, Dr. Camras is a role model. His work clearly demonstrated the importance of translational research- guided by clinical observation- in the treatment of incurable eye diseases," says Giulio Ferrari. "This award from the ARVO Foundation encourages me to pursue a career in translational medicine as I feel it gives me opportunity to impact on patient care and quality of life".
Prior to receiving the Pfizer Ophthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award, Dr. Ferrari was awarded the Italian Ophthalmology Society Research Award, the Merck-ARVO Innovative Ophthalmology Award and the Point Guard Vision Award.