NEI Mourns Ruben Adler, M.D.

News Brief
01/02/08

Ruben Adler, M.D. passed away Monday, December 31, 2007 at his home in Columbia, MD. He was a distinguished scientist and advisor to NEI and to the vision community at large.

Dr. Adler was the Arnall Patz Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. He was a scientist at the Wilmer Eye Institute and director of the Retinal Degenerations Center.

Dr. Adler received many awards for his pioneering work in the field of neuronal survival, cell commitment and microenvironmental signals that regulate retinal cell development and differentiation. His discovery of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and his work on survival-promoting effects of neurotrophic factors has led to promising translational research and clinical trials.

Dr. Adler was a long-term NEI grantee and was generous in his service to the NEI. He was a valued advisor and scientific consultant. He served in the 1990s as chair of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Neurology B Study Section. More recently Dr. Adler was on the National Advisory Eye Council from 2001-2005, where his wise and sincere advice was much appreciated. He provided thoughtful guidance for the NEI CNTF Phase I Safety Trial in 2003, and he served for the trans-NIH Neuroscience Blueprint in 2004.

Dr. Adler has touched many lives and will be greatly missed. He was a much respected mentor and colleague from his early days as a medical student at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a Fellow in developmental neurobiology at the Hubrecht Laboratory, Utrecht, Holland, as a physiologist and biologist at the University of California at Berkeley and San Diego and during his long and successful career at Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine.