Hungarian neurobiologist Botond Roska was awarded one of the world’s most prestigious scientific prizes, the Körber European Science Prize, along with a €1 million check in Hamburg on Monday for his groundbreaking research that could potentially cure blindness.
The science prize of the Hamburg-based Körber Foundation annually honors one European scientist for their outstanding work. The prize is awarded to research projects that show great potential for possible application and international impact.
According to the Foundation, the Hungarian physician revolutionized ophthalmology with his work and is one of the world’s leading experts in the study of vision and the retina.
“Botond Roska’s research has woken up hope that new treatment methods might restore the ability to see in the blind,” said Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher at the ceremony on Monday.
Roska, 50, has created a gene-based therapy aimed to restore human vision. With his team he was able to reprogram a cell type in the eye, enabling it to take over the function of defective light receptor cells. He was thus able to make blind retinas light-sensitive again. Botond Roska currently works in Basel, Switzerland as co-director of the Institute of Ophthalmology Basel (IOB).
Featured photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI