Congratulations to Dr Lewis Fry for winning The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers Master’s Medal in recognition of his outstanding first publication.
Lewis, who is studying for a DPhil in clinical neurosciences, received the medal for his paper on choroideremia gene therapy. Choroideremia is an inherited retinal degenerative condition which causes blindness in men and for which there is currently no cure. Gene therapy involves putting normal copies of the affected gene back into the cells of the retina to help them to function normally. Lewis’s work with the MacLaren Research Group and winning paper shows that patients with some choroideremia messenger RNA have a mild form of the disease than control patients, the first study to find an association between a patient’s genotype and how severe their disease is.
Lewis grew up in New Zealand and came to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 2017. The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers present two bronze medals each year – the Master’s Medal recognises a peer-reviewed publication by a first-time author studying for a higher degree in the field of vision science.
Read Lewis’s paper online and, for a summary, check out this explanatory thread on Twitter.