José Cunha-Vaz, M.D., Ph.D. is Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology of the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and Honorary President of the Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image (AIBILI), a not-for-profit Clinical Research Organization. He is now Honorary Editor of Ophthalmic Research, Coordinator of the Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinal Vascular Diseases Section of the European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network (EVICR.net).
Dr. Cunha-Vaz’s work has included laboratory and clinical research in retina and intraocular fluids with special emphasis on blood-retinal barriers and diabetic retinopathy. He was the first to identify the anatomical basis of the Blood-Retinal Barrier and initiated its clinical measurement by developing vitreous fluorometry multimodal macular mapping and OCT-Leakage. His contributions have continued with the identification of different phenotypes and novel biomarkers of diabetic retinopathy.
He has received the Diaz Caneja Prize of the University of Valladolid (1993), the Paul Henkind Award of the Macula Society (1998), the Alcon Research Institute Award (1998), the Eva Kohner Award from the European Society of Diabetes (2008), Helmholtz Medal of the European Society of Ophthalmology (2008), the Gian Battista Bietti Gold Medal of the Italian Society of Ophthalmology (2010), the BIAL Award for Clinical Medicine (2012) and the Weisenfeld Achievement Award of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (2014), Prémio Nacional de Saúde, (Portugal 2014), the Albert C. Muse Prize in Ophthalmology (2014). Prize Pfizer / Sociedade de Ciências Médicas de Lisboa (2015) EURETINA Award Lecture (2016), Gold Medal Award (Sociedade Española de Retina y Vitreo (2018). Arnall Patz Medal, The Macula Society, Berlim, Germany (2022) and Gold Medal of the City of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal (2022).
He has been elected an honorary member of Portuguese Society of Ophthalmology, Spanish Society of Ophthalmology and International Retina Society – Club Jules Gonin. Dr. Cunha-Vaz has received the Orders of Merit and Henry the Navigator from Portugal.