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Ruben Adler 1940-2007

I received notice a couple of days ago of the death of a colleague and friend, Ruben Adler. Many kind words will be spoken of this man who has done so much for science and education and he will be truly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, post-docs and students.

Ruben was the Director of the Retinal Degeneration Center at Johns Hopkins University and the Arnall Patz Distinguished Professor of Opthalmology. Ruben’s work revealed to science key molecular pathways that regulate the survival and differentiation of retinal cells in both normal development and in retinal degenerative disease and he was a key player in the discovery of neurotrophic factor CNTF. He believed in education, working and mentoring young scientists and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alcon Research Institute Award, the William and Mary Greve International Research Scholar Award and the RPB Senior Scientific Principal Investigator Award, twice.

Ruben is one of those rare people who touches lives and forever changes them for the better. The first time I met him, he seemed to be very quiet, yet possessed a wry and very funny sense of humor that immediately endeared him to me. He was tremendously kind and I will always be grateful for his guidance and will particularly remember our conversation as we spoke two years ago on a boat traveling to Puerto Blest on Lake Nahuel Huapi in Argentina as he beamed, saying how happy he was to be back in Argentina on such a beautiful day.

Goodbye Ruben…

Donations can be made to Doctors Without Borders.

Ruben’s post-doc, M. Valeria Canto-Soler sent the above two photos of Ruben to me while the following two were ones I took the last time I saw Ruben down in his native Argentina at the 2006 Retinal Degeneration meeting where he delivered one of the most eloquent keynotes I’ve ever heard.

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