Bascom Palmer’s Dr. Daniel Pelaez Named Emerging Vision Scientist

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Daniel Pelaez, Ph.D., research assistant professor of ophthalmology, was named a 2015 Emerging Vision Scientist by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR/AEVR) for his novel work on stem cells and retinal regeneration.

Pelaez was one of 21 scientists selected from across the United States for the inaugural class of emerging vision researchers. During the NAEVR two-day Decade of Vision 2010-2020 event held in Washington D.C., He and other scientists presented their innovative work to members of Congress and their staffs at a reception held in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

Pelaez said he was both honored and surprised by his selection.

“I have been extremely fortunate to work with wonderful mentors and colleagues at Bascom Palmer and the University of Miami,” he said. “This award truly is a team effort that I share with other members of the Department of Ophthalmology, and it highlights the cutting-edge research being carried out by all Bascom Palmer researchers.” The prestigious award was supported by a Research to Prevent Blindness grant.

“Daniel Pelaez is an exceptional vision scientist who has a constant and valued presence in the research laboratories at Bascom Palmer,” said Vittorio Porciatti, D.Sc., Director and Vice Chairman of Research. “I am confident he will be at the forefront of advances in vision research for many years to come.”

Pelaez also participated in the Emerging Vision Scientist Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill to promote robust, sustained and predictable National Institutes of Health funding for the next fiscal year and beyond. Pelaez met with Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), as well as with legislative correspondents in the offices of Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL).

An expert in stem cell biology, tissue engineering, biomaterials and translational studies, Pelaez focuses his research on the use of stem cells in regenerative ophthalmology, neuro-regenerative therapies in the optic nerve and retina, molecular biology of ocular tumors, and bioengineered organs for transplantation. During his career, he has applied bioengineering principles to the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine in hopes of translating basic science research observations to clinical practice.

Pelaez is a graduate of Tulane University, where he was awarded a B.S. degree in biomedical/medical engineering. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Miami.

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