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Retina International Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony is taking place on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7pm CET as part of Rare Disease Week 2021.
This years awards will be proudly presented to Dr. Frans Cremers for his lifelong dedication to the discovery of the genetic makeup of inherited retinal degenerative diseases, and to Dr. Frank Brunsman (Germany) for his pioneering work as a patient advocate to support the genetic discovery in choroideremia.
The stories of Frans and Frank's work are intertwined, and truly remarkable at that. Frank Brunsman, a Choroideremia patient, came to know Frans's work in 1986, and personally collected blood samples from approximately 10 choroideremia cases, one of which being his, from the Munster region in Germany. In 1987, Frank travelled to Frans's lab in Nijmegen with these samples, and of the 20 markers tested, one detected a deletion in Frank's DNA, and two other DNA samples. That very finding kickstarted the identification of the CHM gene that was eventually published in 1990.
Frans and Frank's unique story is a testament to the power of patient-research relations, and a call to hope for a brighter future where a cure for all inherited retinal degenerations is no longer a dream but a lived reality.
This event is free and open to the public.