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Thomas Ach, M.D., Awarded First Prize at German Ophthalmology Meeting

ThomasAch smallThomas Ach, M.D., a research fellow in the laboratory of Christine A. Curcio, Ph.D., in the Department of Ophthalmology, was recently awarded first prize among 130 poster presenters at the annual meeting of the Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft, the German equivalent of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Ach’s research was a microscopic examination of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), cells in the eye considered central to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of vision loss in the elderly worldwide. His poster showed that these cells remarkably maintain their total population even while accumulating a fluorescent age-pigment called lipofuscin. These results are important both for evaluating the role of this intracellular age pigment in AMD and validating the use of autofluorescence for imaging RPE health in patients.

This work was supported by the National Eye Institute and the German Research Foundation and was done in collaboration with investigators in the UAB Department of Computer and Information Science, the Schepens Eye Research Institute (Boston), and New York University Langone Medical Center.

Ach DOG2013 Poster

Source: UAB News