News items Caroline Klaver selected KNAW-member  

16 May 2024

Caroline Klaver is one of the 17 new members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The Academy’s approximately 600 members are leading scientists and scholars active in every discipline. Membership is for life. The new members will be installed on Monday 30 September. 

Caroline Klaver - Professor of Epidemiology and Genetics of Eye Diseases 

Caroline Klaver's epidemiological research straddles genetics and ophthalmology. Her own studies and her work in large-scale and multi-disciplinary collaborations have led her to identify genes and lifestyle factors that cause age-related macular degeneration, myopia, glaucoma, and retinal dystrophies - diseases that cause blindness. Klaver works on applying her research findings in actual interventions and recommendations, for example lifestyle tips to combat macular degeneration, or the 20-20-2 rule to prevent myopia in children: look up from the screen every 20 minutes and focus on a distant object for 20 seconds, and spend at least 2 hours every day outdoors. The rule went viral and is helping parents and teachers to protect children’s eyesight. Klaver makes frequent appearances on television and in the press and has created public websites that provide information on myopia and macular degeneration. 

She leads a consortium which will develop new treatments against blindness. The researchers aim to repair damaged genes, print a new retina with a bio-printer, and investigate how zebrafish manage to repair their retina on their own. The consortium will receive 22 million euros from the NWO Gravitation program of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Other new Radboud members 

In addition to Klaver, Jeanine Houwing-Duistermaat, Floris Rutjes, Tamar Sharon and Caroline Slomp of Radboud University were also appointed KNAW members.

More information

Pauline Dekhuijzen

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