Romulo Albuquerque, Class of 2011, and Mark Kleinman, M.D., first-year medical resident in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, were recently selected as two of four presenters at the 2009 Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Research to Prevent Blindness (AUPO/RPB) Forum. For this prestigious honor, Albuquerque and Kleinman will also receive a cash award of $500 and a commemorative certificate in addition to presenting their research at the AUPO annual meeting.
“Never before in the 11-year history of this program run by this organization of ophthalmology department chairs have two individuals from a single group been selected,” said Jayakrishna Ambati, M.D., professor and vice-chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. “It is a great tribute to our program, department and institution that half of the four nationwide winners hail from UK.” Ambati was a previous recipient of the award in 1998 and in 2000.
Albuquerque aspires to become a physician-scientist and is pursuing a combined degree in the College of Medicine M.D./Ph.D. program. While working on his dissertation, his research on a new natural inhibitor of lymphatic vessels is conducted under the mentorship of Ambati.
Kleinman’s research interests are studying microvascular biology and tissue engineering. His current research efforts are focused on defining the molecular interface of angiogenic mediators and the biologic spectrum of immune-related inflammation. His research in Ambati’s laboratory focused on the mechanisms driving atrophic age-related macular degeneration.
AUPO was founded to promote excellence in ophthalmic education. The AUPO/RPB Resident and Fellow Research Forum is intended to encourage the most promising house officers to pursue a career in academic ophthalmology and vision research. The forum will be held on Jan. 30 in Indian Wells, Calif.