Newsroom

Our Stories

St. Michael's doctor wins N.Y. Academy of Medicine Glaucoma Prize

Dr. Yeni H. Yücel, an ophthalmic pathologist at St. Michael's Hospital, has won the prestigious 2010 Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize from the New York Academy of Medicine.

Toronto, August 4, 2010

Photos of Dr. Michael Cusimano and Dr. Avery Nathens Dr. Yeni Yücel

Dr. Yücel received the $50,000 award for discovering a form of circulation within the human eye that may lead to new treatments for glaucoma and eye tumours.

His work dispelled the longstanding assumption that the eye has no lymphatics, the channels responsible for pumping fluid and waste out of tissues. The inability to clear fluid from the eye causes a buildup of pressure, the major risk factor for glaucoma.

Glaucoma affects more than 66 million people worldwide and is the second-leading cause of irreversible blindness.

The discovery of lymphatic circulation in the eye also refutes the assumption that the eye is not connected to the body's immune system. In addition to draining fluid and clearing proteins, lymphatics monitor immune responses. This discovery has major implications for understanding eye inflammations and the spread of eye tumors.

Dr. Yücel's work, "Identification of lymphatics in the ciliary body of the human eye: A novel uveolympahtic outflow pathway," was published in the journal Experimental Eye Research in November 2009.

The Rudin Glaucoma Prize recognizes the most significant scholarly article on glaucoma published in a peer-reviewed journal in the prior calendar year. Recipients are nominated by their peers and a winner is chosen by The New York Academy of Medicine's Lewis Rudin Prize Selection Committee and approved by the academy's Board of Trustees. The prize was established by Lewis and Jack Rudin, New York builders and philanthropists.

"This work opens entirely new avenues for understanding the cause and treatment of glaucoma and its implications are profound," said Dr. David Abramson, chair of the prize selection committee.

Contributors to the article include Miles G. Johnston, Tina Ly, Manoj Patel, Brian Drake, Ersin Gümü, Stephan A. Fraenkl, Sara Moore, Dalia Tobbia, Dianna Armstrong, Eva Horvath, and Neeru Gupta. A full copy of the article may be found at www.sciencedirect.com.