Dr. Eli Peli of Schepens Eye Research Institute Wins 2010 Edwin H. Land Medal
BOSTON, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Eli Peli, senior scientist and vision rehabilitation researcher at Schepens Eye Research Institute, has won the 2010 Edwin H. Land Medal. The prize is given each year in honor of Edwin H. Land, inventor, vision scientist, entrepreneur and founder of the Polaroid Corporation, headquartered in Massachusetts since 1937.
The award, presented jointly by the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (SIST) with support from the Polaroid Foundation, is given to an individual who best exemplifies the creative spirit of Land.
“OSA’s Awards and Honors program is designed to identify and recognize excellence in the field of optics and photonics,” said OSA President James C. Wyant. “This year’s recipients have made contributions in diverse areas of optics-from quantum information to LCD technology and beyond. OSA is honored to acknowledge Eli for his distinguished accomplishments.”
The Edwin H. Land Medal was established in 1992 to recognize outstanding work in at least one of Land’s areas of expertise, which include the science of optics; the mechanisms of vision; the properties and use of light; and the creation, manipulation, and communication of images of all kinds.
According to OSA officials, Peli was chosen “for pioneering research, clinical, and entrepreneurial contributions to providing enhanced imagery for people with impaired vision through image processing, innovative optical designs, fiber optics, and applications of vision science.”
As a low vision clinician and researcher, Peli has devoted his life’s work to helping the visually impaired. He has done this by exploring ways to use image processing, optics and electronics to create and evaluate optical and electro-optical devices to enhance vision. He was the first to propose and implement image enhancement to improve TV viewing for people with impaired vision and has worked on electronic displays used for reading. Much of his more recent focus is on creating devices that help people become more mobile and able to navigate their environments, including while walking or even driving. He has refined and evaluated devices for people with eye disorders such as macular degeneration, hemianopia (due to stroke), and retinitis pigmentosa, among others.
In the 1990s he invented and produced a novel fiber optics magnifier for reading with impaired vision. (More information at http://www.eri.harvard.edu/faculty/peli/projects/fiber_mag.html)
In recent years he has invented prism glasses that expand the field of vision for victims of hemianopia, which blinds one-half of a person’s vision on the same side in both eyes. These prism glasses were found to be effective in two multi center clinical trials. (For more information, go to http://www.eri.harvard.edu/faculty/peli/projects/brp.html)
He has also patented and created a high tech pair of glasses for people suffering from tunnel vision caused by retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma. These glasses consist of a tiny camera, pocket-sized computer and a transparent computer display mounted in the glasses. They help people with a highly restricted field of view to see what is happening peripherally and thus to avoid obstacles and navigate and search faster. (More information at http://www.eri.harvard.edu/faculty/peli/projects/head-mounted.html)
Currently he is developing a miniature telescopic device embedded in the spectacle lens to help people with central vision loss from macular degeneration continue to drive. (More information at
Peli received a bachelor’s and master’s of science in electrical engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and a doctorate (in optometry) from New England College of Optometry. Peli is the Moakely Scholar on the Aging Eye and the co-director of research at Schepens Eye Research Institute and a professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. He is also a fellow of OSA, the American Academy of Optometry, the Society for Information Display and the International Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Schepens Eye Research Institute is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School and the largest independent eye research institute in the nation.
SOURCE Schepens Eye Research Institute