2023 winners of ARVO Advocacy Awards announced

Rockville, Md. – The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) announced today the 2023 recipients of its annual Advocacy Awards:

  • Achievements in Eye and Vision Advocacy Award ― Roxanne Crosby-Nwaobi, RN, PhD, (Moorfields National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre, London, U.K.)
  • Emerging Advocate Award ― Rohan Bir Singh, MD (Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Boston Mass.)

The Achievements in Eye and Vision Advocacy Award recognizes ARVO members who have dedicated the core of their impressive careers to advancing eye and vision research through advocacy at every level.

Crosby-Nwaobi is a clinical academic ophthalmic nurse and lead nurse for research at Moorfields Eye Hospital. She holds an honorary associate professor position at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology, is an NIHR clinical lecturer and is interim programme director for the NIHR Senior Research Leader Programme. Dedicated to enhancing ophthalmic patient outcomes, Crosby-Nwaobi leverages real-world clinical data modeling to provide personalized healthcare with a particular interest in population health for underserved communities. She has been spearheading a campaign to increase awareness within these communities about opportunities to participate in research initiatives. 

“Health research is an act of humanity, aiming for health equity, giving hope for the future,” says Crosby-Nwaobi. “Most individuals deem sight as their most important sense. The impact of sight loss has far-reaching biopsychosocial implications. This is especially the case in underserved communities where inequalities in access to health care and research pervade.”

Crosby-Nwaobi’s numerous accolades include the Nursing Times award for Clinical Research Nursing (2021), in recognition of her work on the Research Opportunities at Moorfields (ROAM) online platform which increases patient/public access to the institution’s research. In 2023, she was listed as one of the 75 Faces of Nursing Research by the National Health Service (NHS) and was named Nurse Researcher of the Year by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). Crosby-Nwaobi and her team have been nominated for seven awards in the past year as well for their work on promoting research in underserved communities. 

Crosby-Nwaobi says she is grateful for being selected as a 2023 Advocacy Award recipient and that the award “recognizes the dedication of my team and allies to provide a platform for our underserved communities to voice their concerns, contribute to and lead the research agenda, and be empowered to become advocates in their communities.” She emphasizes also the importance of inclusion in research. “Research by me, for me, with me and my community’; that’s the true meaning of inclusion in research. This award will open further doors of opportunity to allow more individuals, families and underserved communities to have access to eye health care and research.” 

The Emerging Advocate Award recognizes ARVO members who have made efforts to incorporate advocacy as part of their professional efforts early in their careers.

A postdoctoral fellow at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Singh earned his MD from the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh (India) and a PhD in ocular immunology at the Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands). 

His research focuses on immunological mechanisms in the onset and development of high-risk corneal transplantation and ocular surface disorders. In addition, he investigates the epidemiology and economic aspects of ophthalmic disorders in the U.S. to assess disparities in vision care access. 

Singh is an alumnus of ARVO’s Science Communication Training Fellowship and has participated in the Association’s annual Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill (Washington, DC) to emphasize the importance of continued federal funding for vision research. Singh is also a mentor with Skype-a-Scientist, facilitating introductions to the vision sciences field for high school and college students. In 2018, he founded Ophthopedia, a platform that provides and promotes the latest updates in eye and vision science.

Singh says he is honored and grateful for this recognition. He views this award “as a testament to the collaborative efforts of the entire vision sciences research fraternity and underscores the critical role advocacy will play in shaping the future of ophthalmology.” He says the award is a motivation to continue his advocacy work in this field and inspires him to “further contribute to creating awareness, fostering partnerships and influencing policies that promote research, education and improved patient outcomes.”

To learn more about the ARVO Advocacy Awards, visit ARVO’s website.


The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include approximately 10,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. Learn more at ARVO.org.

Media contact:
Jenniffer Scherhaufer
[email protected]

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