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Lighthouse Guild Announces 2023 Awards for Outstanding Accomplishments in Vision Science and Advocacy

Meet the 2023 Lighthouse Guild honorees.




(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Lighthouse Guild, the leading not-for-profit vision and healthcare organization, announced today recipients of its 2023 awards for outstanding accomplishments in vision science, technological innovation, and advocacy: Wiley A. Chambers, MD, will receive the Bressler Prize; Saqib Shaikh will receive the Pisart Award; and former New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, is selected to present the Morse Lecture in Advocacy.

Lighthouse Guild Announces 2023 Awards for  Outstanding Accomplishments in Vision Science and Advocacy

Wiley A. Chambers, Saqib Shaikh, Carolyn B. Maloney

Bressler Prize
Wiley A. Chambers, MD, for supervising new vision therapeutics at the FDA

Pisart Award
Saqib Shaikh of Microsoft for developing Seeing AI, a free mobile app for people with visual impairments

Morse Lecture in Advocacy
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney for legislation supporting people with vision challenges

Dr. Chambers, a Supervisory Physician at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been responsible for the clinical review of new ophthalmologic drug products and ophthalmic therapeutic biologic products submitted to the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research for the past 35 years.
Mr. Shaikh, a software engineer at Microsoft, led the development of Seeing AI, a free mobile app that enables someone who is blind to hold up their phone and hear more about text, people, and objects. The technology has been called “life‑changing” by users.
Ms. Maloney, who served two New York congressional districts for over 30 years, introduced the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act in 2022. She authored and passed over 80 pieces of legislation in her legislative career, including those designed to help improve the health of millions.
“At Lighthouse Guild, we are committed to creating a world in which people are not limited by their vision capacity,” says Calvin W. Roberts, MD, President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild. “This commitment includes publicly acknowledging dedicated vision scientists, technology experts, and public advocates who are striving to understand the mechanisms that restore vision while creating opportunities to improve the lives of people with vision loss. By recognizing outstanding innovators and trailblazers like Dr. Chambers, Mr. Shaikh, and Congresswoman Maloney, we are shedding light on new pathways that make navigating through everyday life easier and more fulfilling for people who are blind and visually impaired.”
All three 2023 awards will be presented in a ceremony at Lighthouse Guild in New York on October 19, 2023, at which the honorees will discuss their work. Mr. Shaikh and Congresswoman Maloney will also receive an honorarium of $25,000. Dr. Chambers is prohibited from receiving honorarium due to his position with the FDA.
Bressler Prize
The Bressler Prize in Vision Science, established in 2001, is awarded to a person whose research has resulted in the translation of medical or scientific knowledge into significant advancements in the treatment or rehabilitation of people with vision loss. Their efforts will have directly contributed to the mission of Lighthouse Guild to inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals.

The 2023 Bressler Prize recipient, Wiley A. Chambers, MD, is the Director of the Division of Ophthalmology in the Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He joined the FDA in 1987 as a primary reviewer for ophthalmic drug products and, in 1990, became a Supervisory Medical Officer for Ophthalmologic Drug Products.


Dr. Chambers completed medical school and a residency in ophthalmology at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. He is a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Computer Medicine at The George Washington University. Dr. Chambers has received numerous Public Health Service, FDA, and Center for Drug Evaluation and Research awards for his work. Additionally, he has served as the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Delegate to past United States Pharmacopeia Conventions.

Pisart Award
The Pisart Award in Technological Innovation was established in 1981 to recognize an individual, group of individuals or organization that has made significant contributions to the field of vision science. The award has evolved to recognize those whose technological innovations have substantially improved the lives of people with vision loss. Their efforts will have directly contributed to the mission of Lighthouse Guild to inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals.

The 2023 Pisart Award recipient, Saqib Shaikh, is driven by the power of technology to improve the lives of people with vision loss. As someone who is blind, he has personal experience of such technology to which he owes his success. Mr. Shaikh, an engineering manager at Microsoft, led the development of Seeing AI, a free mobile app which leverages Artificial Intelligence to assist someone who is blind with daily tasks. The technology has been called “life-changing” by users, and recognized with awards from industry, government, and blindness organizations.

A speaker at events worldwide, from schools and community centers, to sports stadiums and programs with heads of state, Mr. Shaikh holds a BSc in computer science and an MSc in artificial intelligence.

Morse Lecture in Advocacy
The Dr. Alan R. Morse Lecture in Advocacy was established to honor those who have demonstrated leadership, raised awareness of low vision, addressed barriers, and are working to make a world where no person is limited by their sensory capacity.

The 2023 Morse Lecture honoree, The Honorable Carolyn B. Maloney, represented the East Side of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn and Queens in the U.S. Congress from 1993 to 2023. She was the first woman to represent New York’s 12th Congressional District and the first woman to Chair the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Joint Economic Committee.

Legislation she sponsored included the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to help those who became sick because of exposure to toxins from the destruction of the World Trade Center. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, created by legislation she authored, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the Board of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. Rep. Maloney is the Eleanor Roosevelt Distinguished Leader in Residence at Hunter College (CUNY). 

The Morse Lecture is named for Dr. Alan R. Morse, Lighthouse Guild’s President Emeritus, for his years of dedicated efforts in the research and treatment of vision loss, including functional implications of vision loss, communication issues in care delivery, patient perspectives and engagement in treatment, behavioral determinants of adherence, and impacts of vision loss for healthcare delivery.
Lighthouse Guild

Lighthouse Guild provides exceptional services that inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals. Our podcast series, “On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts,” offers information and insights about technological innovations that are tearing down barriers for people who are blind or visually impaired. For more information, visit




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