Prof. José Cunha-Vaz

Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Coimbra, Portugal

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José Cunha-Vaz is Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology of the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and Honorary President of the Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image, a non-profit clinical research organization that coordinates the European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network. He is also Honorary Editor of Ophthalmic Research.


Professor Cunha-Vaz was Chair and Director of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Coimbra Hospital from 1986 to 2008. He spent two periods (1979-1981 and 1984-1986) at the University of Illinois in the USA, where he was appointed Professor and Director of the Retina Service. Following his return to Portugal, he created two new institutes dedicated to vision research: the Institute for Biomedical Research on Light and Image, and the Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image.


Professor Cunha-Vaz has authored more than 550 peer-reviewed papers and books. He was elected member of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (1994) and the European Academy of Ophthalmology (2004). He has received a number of prestigious awards throughout his career, including the Paul Henkind Award from the Macula Society (1998), the Alcon Research Institute Award (1998), the Mildred Weisenfeld Award for Excellence in Ophthalmology from ARVO (2014), and the Albert C. Muse Prize (2014). Professor Cunha-Vaz has also received the Order of Merit and Order of Prince Henry the Navigator from Portugal. He is an honorary member of the Portuguese Society of Ophthalmology, the Spanish Society of Ophthalmology, and the Club Jules Gonin.


Professor Cunha-Vaz’s work has included laboratory and clinical research in retina and intraocular fluids, with a special emphasis on blood–retinal barriers and diabetic retinopathy.