(NEW YORK – 12/19/2012) Professor Clare Gilbert, of London, an important leader who has made a significant contribution to global eye care by putting prevention of childhood blindness firmly at the forefront of the global eye care agenda. In recognition of her work, Lighthouse International is pleased to honor her with its distinguished 2012 Pisart Vision Award.
The prestigious Pisart Vision Award is given annually by Lighthouse International to an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to preventing and treating vision impairment. Lighthouse International is a leading nonprofit organization fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment.
Gilbert is a Professor of International Eye Health, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University of London. She previously worked as a clinical ophthalmologist for 10 years, and has an MD in Surgical Retina.
She is in charge of the research undertaken by the International Centre for Eye Health. Its research agenda reflects the priorities of VISION 2020 the Right to Sight, and includes the following areas: infectious diseases; diseases of the elderly (e.g. cataract; glaucoma; national surveys of the prevalence and causes of blindness); childhood blindness studies and Cochrane systematic reviews. Over the last 10 years, their efforts have provided technical support to national surveys in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nigeria.
Professor Gilbert's own research focuses on the epidemiology of blindness in children, particularly in middle and low income countries. A recent project included a national study of the prevalence and causes of blindness in children in Bangladesh, with an emphasis on childhood cataract.
The findings of Professor Gilbert's research have been used to assist in planning and evaluating eye care programs for children. She was involved in planning and evaluating a national program for childhood cataract in Bangladesh, and evaluated a training program in India for retinopathy of prematurity. Gilbert has also facilitated several workshops in Latin America, to develop programs for screening and treating retinopathy of prematurity.
The Lighthouse International Pisart Vision Award was established in 1981 and is partially funded through a bequest of Mme. Georgette Pisart, a longtime Lighthouse volunteer. This prestigious award carries a prize of $30,000 and a replica of the Pisart sculpture, originally designed by artist Gary Kleiman to represent the rods and cones of the eye.