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Moran Eye Center physician-scientist only second ophthalmologist to be elected to century old organization

May 10, 2006 — The Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah is pleased to announce that Kang Zhang, MD, PhD, has been elected to the prestigious American Society of Clinical Investigators (ASCI). Doctor Zhang is only the second ophthalmologist in this prestigious organization’s 98 year history to be honored with membership.

The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) was established in 1908. It is one of the oldest and most respected medical honor societies in the United States. The ASCI comprises more than 2,800 physician-scientists from all medical specialties elected to the Society for their outstanding records of scholarly achievement in biomedical research.

Dr. Zhang is an internationally recognized genetic researcher and clinician. He completed his ophthalmology residency at Johns Hopkins University’s Wilmer Eye Institute in 1999, and his retina fellowship at University of Utah in 2003. He received his medical degree, with magna cum laude honors from Harvard Medical School in 1995 and his doctorate in genetics from Harvard in 1991. He is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and the Investigator Program in Human Molecular Biology & Genetics, Eccles Institute of Human Genetics.

Dr. Zhang has made important and original discoveries that provide new understanding of retinal degeneration. His laboratory has identified several important retinal disease genes, including Stargardt macular degeneration, cone dystrophy, and retinitis pigmentosa. Building on these discoveries he is currently dissecting these diseases using a combination of biochemistry, cell biology and genetically engineered mouse models. A focus of his ongoing genetic studies is to identify genes responsible for retinal diseases including macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

The ASCI considers the nominations of several hundred physician-scientists from the United States and abroad each year and elects up to 80 new members each year for their significant research accomplishments. Because members must be 45 years of age or younger at the time of their election, membership reflects accomplishments by its members relatively early in their careers.

The ASCI is dedicated to the advancement of research that extends understanding and improves the treatment of human diseases, and members are committed to mentoring future generations of physician-scientists.