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Award Recipients


The 2019 António Champalimaud Vision Award was presented to the Instituto da Visão - IPEPO, the Altino Ventura Foundation and the UNICAMP Ophthalmology Service, three organisations that support ophthalmology and the prevention of blindness in Brazil. 

From large cities to the most remote indigenous communities in Amazonia, these institutions have fought a relentless war for light, life and human dignity. Working separately, each of them has spent decades helping those in need all over the country, using high-quality clinical services and telemedicine. The work of these organisations has brought light to millions of people without access to medical care. 


The 2018 António Champalimaud Vision Award recognises the first successful gene therapy to cure a human disease. The extraordinary scientific advances made by the 2018 Award winners led to the successful treatment of a genetic cause of childhood blindness, a version of Leber Congenital Amaurosis, and demonstrated the potential for future developments in gene therapy to cure other inherited diseases.  

The 2018 António Champalimaud Vision Award winners, who have transformed medical care with their work, are: Jean Bennett, Albert Maguire, Robin Ali, James Bainbridge, Samuel Jacobson, William W. Hauswirth and Michael Redmond.


The 2017 António Champalimaud Vision Award was given jointly to Sightsavers and CBM, two organisations with long and distinguished histories of supporting blindness prevention, alleviation and rehabilitation programmes in developing countries like Nepal, Mozambique, Uganda Ethiopia and Bangladesh.

Recognised as pioneers in the field, Sightsavers and CBM created a model to combat vision disorders based around 3 pillars: prevention, cure and support. The awarded organisations have exported this model to many of the forgotten communities worldwide, and they have worked with local groups to create effective and sustainable vision programmes, while simultaneously promoting educational and employment opportunities for those living with blindness and severe visual impairment.


The 2016 Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award recognises ground-breaking work that has illuminated our understanding of the way in which our eyes send signals to the appropriate areas of the brain. This work, developed by John Flanagan, Christine Holt, Carol Mason and Carla Shatz, may offer hope of fighting vision disorders by means of neurological therapies.


The 2015 António Champalimaud Vision Award recognises a project developed by three organisations that joined together to achieve a common goal - to fight blindness and poverty in Africa.

The kilimanjaro Project is a unique effort and a triumph for the power of collaboration. The Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO), the Seva Foundation and Seva Canada combined their individual areas of expertise in order to combat vision disorders, tackle poverty and create economic sustainability in communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.


This year’s Vision Award, was given to seven researchers for the development of Anti-Angiogenic Therapy for Retinal Disease.

This award confirms the importance of the research work developed by Napoleone Ferrara, Joan W. Miller, Evangelos S. Gragoudas, Patricia A. D’Amore, Anthony P. Adamis, George L. King e Lloyd Paul Aiello, which resulted in the discovery of an effective therapy for the treatment of two of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness in the world, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.


Nepal Netra Jyoty Sangh (NNJS), Eastern Regional Eye Care Programme, Lumbini Eye Institute and Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology

The 7th edition of the António Champalimaud Vision Award recognises the work developed by four Nepalese non-governmental organisations which have distinguished themselves through their efforts to find solutions to the ophthalmologic problems affecting the population of Nepal.


David Williams, James Fujimoto, David Huang, Carmen Puliafito, Joel Shuman & Eric Swanson

The 2012 António Champalimaud Vision Award recognised the development of two novel approaches to visualising the living human retina in health and disease.


African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC)

The 2011 edition of the award recognises APOC’s outstanding contribution to the prevention, control and fight against onchocerciasis or River blindness, a disease which has already infected over 18 million people.


J. Anthony Movshon & William Newsome

This year’s Vision Award recognises the work of both Dr. Movshon and Dr. Newsome over the last 30 years. Working at times together and at other times separately, these outstanding researchers have had a major impact on scientists’ understanding of how the brain reconstructs images, so that human beings can perceive, interpret and act in the world. By building a bridge between psychophysics and human behaviour on the one hand and the physiology of individual neurons and what they compute on the other, these two neuroscientists have shed ground-breaking light upon how the brain reconstructs visual images.


Helen Keller International

The 2009 António Champalimaud Vision Award was awarded to Helen Keller International (HKI) for its outstanding achievements in preventing blindness in the developing world. In particular, its decades-long leadership in the global control of vitamin A deficiency - the leading cause of childhood blindness and a significant contributor to childhood mortality – has helped to save the sight and lives of millions of people around the world.


Jeremy Nathans & King-Wai Yau

The first step in seeing is to convert light into electrical signals that the brain can use to create vision. The 2008 António Champalimaud Vision Award recognised fundamental discoveries on how this process works. Jeremy Nathans determined the genetic code of the human visual pigments, helping to determine how they function and discovering how mutations in their sequence can lead to some retinal diseases. King-Wai Yau showed how the absorption of light by these pigments generates the electrical signals that initiate vision and regulate our natural rhythms. These discoveries are basic to our current understanding of vision.


Aravind Eye Care System

The 2007 António Champalimaud Vision Award recognised the global contribution made by Aravind Eye Care System through their comprehensive, sustainable, compassionate model of eye care. Aravind have made quality affordable eye care a reality for millions and have proactively structured the adaptation of their model through consultancy, capacity building, research, training, and publications, all delivered in the spirit of service.