[October 19, 2012; Philadelphia, PA] –The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies has elected Gustavo Aguirre, VMD, PhD, professor of medical genetics and ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, to its membership. Members of the prestigious organization are elected based on professional achievement and involvement with problems and issues that affect public health.
Dr. Aguirre has led efforts to develop gene therapy to treat various forms of blindness. Modeling the visual disorders in dogs, he and colleagues have cured retinal degeneration in the animals—breakthroughs that have laid the groundwork for human clinical trials.
Aguirre earned his undergraduate, veterinary and doctoral degrees from Penn.
He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for his work, including an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Göteborg, Sweden; the WSAVA/Waltham International Award for Scientific Achievement; the Foundation Fighting Blindness Trustee Award and Scientist of the Year Award; the O.N.C.E. International Prize for R&D in Biomedicine and New Technologies for the Blind; and the Paul Kayser International Award in Retina Research. He was recently elected a Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
About the Institute of Medicine
Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, IOM has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues. With their election, members make a commitment to volunteer their service on IOM committees, boards and other activities.