Ruben Adler, M.D.
A native of Argentina, Dr. Adler received his MD degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine in 1963. He did postdoctoral training at the same institution, and at the Hubrecht Laboratory in Utrecht, The Netherlands. From 1970-1977, he was a member of the Argentinean National Research Council. After moving to the US in 1977, he was Associate Research Biologist at the University of California in San Diego until 1982, when he joined the Wilmer Institute at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Adler was promoted to Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurosciences in 1991, and became the inaugural Arnall Patz Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology in 1993.
Dr. Adler had a long-standing interest in the prevention and treatment of retinal diseases. His approach has been to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the survival and differentiation of rod and cone photoreceptor cells. Dr. Adler, who participated in the discovery of CNTF, a unique neurotrophic factor, was the first to hypothesize that such growth factors could play a key role in the prevention and treatment of photoreceptor degenerations–a concept that has received much experimental support and attracted considerable interest in the last few years. Dr. Adler and his colleagues at the Retinal Degeneration Center at the Wilmer Institute have been pioneers in the development of tissue culture methods for retinal photoreceptors, and are using an extensive array of cellular and molecular techniques to investigate the effects of genetic and microenvironmental factors upon these cells.
Dr. Adler’s awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Alcon Research Institute Award, the William and Mary Greve International Research Scholar Award, and the RPB Senior Scientific Investigator Award, which he received for a second time in 1998. He is currently the principal investigator of research grants and a Visual Neuroscience Training Grant from the National Eye Institute, and a research grant from the Foundation Fighting Blindness.