The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) has announced that James T. Rosenbaum, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology at the Casey Eye Institute, OHSU will be the 2011 winner of the Friedenwald Award. Dr. Rosenbaum has joint appointments in Medicine and Cell Biology. He will be honored for his contribution to understanding and treating inflammation within the eye known as uveitis, a leading cause of blindness.
ARVO’s membership includes more than 12,500 scientists from over 70 countries. It is the world’s foremost society devoted to ophthalmic research. The Friedenwald Award was established in 1957 to honor outstanding research in basic or clinical sciences as applied to ophthalmology. ARVO also awards an annual Proctor Medal to honor another scientist with similar achievement. Since their inception, the only previous Oregonian to receive either the Proctor Medal or the Friedenwald Award was Ken Swan who received the Proctor Medal in 1953 for his pioneering work on development of an operating microscope and artificial tears.
In 1980, Dr. Rosenbaum described a technique to induce uveitis in laboratory rodents using bacterial cell walls. The model has been adopted around the world and has lead to insights into the mediators that contribute to eye inflammation. In 1985 with the encouragement of Fritz Fraunfelder, then chief of ophthalmology, Dr. Rosenbaum established the uveitis clinic at OHSU. The clinic is one of the largest of its kind in the world and has been responsible for many novel observations and innovative therapies. For example, working with Ed Neuwelt, David Wilson, and Justine Smith, the uveitis clinic pioneered the use of chemotherapy injected directly into the eye to treat a rare form of white blood cell cancer inside the eye. The approach is now widely considered standard of care.
With Dr. Eric Suhler, the uveitis clinic has been the world leader in testing so called biologic therapies for uveitis.Dr. Rosenbaum has also helped to train a number of world leaders in this field including Professor Scott Cousins now at Duke, Professor Matthias Becker now in Zurich, Dr. Friederike Mackensen from Heidelberg, Germany, Dr. Beatriz Brito, Caracas, Venezuela, Drs. Tatsushi Kawaguchi and Yoichi Iwanaga, Tokyo, Professor Peizeng Yang from Chongqing, China, and Dr. Lyndell Lim from Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Rosenbaum heads one of the largest units in the world to study basic science related to uveitis. Faculty members in this group include Steve Planck, Tammy Martin, Justine Smith, Ellen Lee, Holly Rosenzweig, Zili Zhang, Michael Davey, Winston Chamberlain, and Michael Powers.
In 1999, with his brother, Dr. Richard Rosenbaum and Dr. Ed Neuwelt, Dr. Rosenbaum helped to establish OHSU’s nationally recognized class, Partnerships in Scientific Inquiry, which teaches high school students about scientific research. Currently about forty faculty volunteers and sixty to seventy area students participate in the class annually.
Dr. Rosenbaum holds the Edward E. Rosenbaum Professorship in Inflammation Research. The Professorship is named in honor of his father who was Oregon’s first rheumatologist and the author of the book, The Doctor, which became a Disney movie. Rosenbaum is also OHSU’s chief of the division of Arthritis and Rheumatic Disease and Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Ophthalmology. He is the author of approximately 300 original, peer reviewed scientific articles, more than 60 book chapters or invited publications, and he helped to co-author, Clinical Neurology of Rheumatic Diseases, with Richard Rosenbaum and Steve Campbell.
The award will be presented at the annual ARVO meeting in Fort Lauderdale in May 2011.