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Dr. Tatjana Jakobs of Mass. Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School Receives Research to Prevent Blindness  Special Scholar Award


Boston (July 25, 2012) — The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical school has been granted a $25,000 Research to Prevent Blindness  (RPB) Dolly Green Special Scholar Award to support the work of Mass. Eye and Ear researcher Dr. Tatjana Jakobs. 

The RPB Dolly Green Special Scholar Award was established to help physician-scientists pursue promising scientific leads and take opportunities for which other funds are not readily available

Dr. Jakobs is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on the causes of optic nerve death in glaucoma.  All glaucoma disorders are characterized by vision loss, caused by damage to the optic nerve, or optic neuropathy. Dr. Jakobs’ is examining the role that particular cells in the eye, called astrocytes, play in optic nerve damage. Her research seeks to address the exact role of astrocytes in optic neuropathy. These studies may potentially lead to novel neuro-protective strategies to treat glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the United States.

Dr. Jakobs recently received grants from the Glaucoma Foundation and the American Health Assistance Foundation to support her work. Since October 2009, she has been a Principal Investigator on a grant from the National Eye Institute. The goal of her NEI project is to better understand the role of optic nerve astrocytes in the progression of glaucoma. Dr. Jakobs is currently an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and is an Assistant Scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

About Mass. Eye and Ear
Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck.  After uniting with Schepens Eye Research Institute in 2011, Mass. Eye and Ear in Boston became the world's largest vision and hearing research center, offering hope and healing to patients everywhere through discovery and innovation.  Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships.  Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex.  U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Survey” has consistently ranked the Mass. Eye and Ear Departments of Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology as top five in the nation.  For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit MassEyeAndEar.org.

RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions for research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding diseases. For more information about RPB, RPB-funded eye research, eye disorders and the RPB grants program, visit www.rpbusa.org.