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Penn named to vision group’s scientific advisory panel

Oct. 31, 2013, 10:12 AM

John Penn, Ph.D., vice chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt, has been named to the Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) Scientific Advisory Panel.

He will join eight others whose responsibility it is to advise the organization on the allocation of funding for vision research. The six-year term is renewable.

John Penn, Ph.D.

Penn, a retinal expert at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, explores methods of treating and preventing ocular angiogenesis, which is the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye responsible for several major blinding diseases.

“I’ve aspired to this appointment for a long time,” said Penn. “I have a long and personal history with RPB that’s meant a lot to my career development. I’ve received support from the organization on three occasions, with each award coming at a pivotal time in my career. I’m delighted that this role will give me the chance to give back to RPB in a meaningful way.”

Penn, the Phyllis G. and William B. Snyder Endowed Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, has received several RPB awards, including the Senior Scientific Investigator Award in 2005, the Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award in 1996 and the Dolly Green Scholars Award in 1992.

The RPB, established in 1960, is the leading voluntary organization supporting eye research.
It awards about $10 million annually to departments of ophthalmology and promising scientists conducting vision research throughout the country.

For nearly 50 years, Vanderbilt has received grant support from the RPB, totaling more than $2.5 million.

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