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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 7, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 16
Obituary: Ruben Adler, 67, Director of Retinal Degeneration Center

Ruben Adler, director of the Retinal Degeneration Center and an internationally recognized scientist, died Dec. 31 at his home in Columbia, Md. He was 67.

Adler, the Arnall Patz Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology, joined the Wilmer Eye Institute in 1982 and was promoted to professor of ophthalmology and neurosciences in 1991. His numerous contributions to the field of eye research include his participation in the discovery of ciliary neurotrophic factor, the development of tissue culture methods for retinal photoreceptors and the use of cellular and molecular techniques to investigate the effects of genetic and microenvironmental factors on these cells.

At the time of his death he was the principal investigator for several research projects, including a Visual Neuroscience Training Grant from the National Eye Institute and a grant from the Foundation Fighting Blindness. An acknowledged world leader in vision research, he served on many advisory boards, including the National Advisory Eye Council of the National Eye Institute.

In a message to colleagues, Peter J. McDonnell, director of the Wilmer Eye Institute, wrote, "Ruben's death is a tremendous loss for the scientific community and for the many medical and postdoctoral students he advised at the Wilmer Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Over three decades, his wise counsel was an invaluable resource to three directors of the institute. A true elder statesman, he delighted in teaching and furthering the careers of younger scientists. Recently, he established at Wilmer an internal mechanism for helping young scientists with their grant proposals and a committee to oversee and help ensure the progress of young scientists on training grants."

Adler is survived by his wife, Marta I. Arostegui; sons Gabriel, Fernando and Pablo; daughters- in-law Monica and Christina; four granddaughters; a sister; and a brother-in-law.

Plans for a memorial service at the Wilmer Eye Institute will be announced soon.

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