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Professor John M. Nolan, from the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland, School of Health Science, Waterford Institute of Technology (Ireland), is the recipient of the Xtreme Research Award 2020 for his research related to macular pigment for vision health and function, as well as for his recent work on how to use macular pigment as a biomarker for brain nutrition and its connection to cognitive function and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Prof. Nolan has an impressive research track record focusing on the role of macular pigment (lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin) for visual and cognitive function. With the Xtreme Research Award 2020, Heidelberg Engineering recognizes his efforts to verify the importance of macular pigment for visual performance in both healthy individuals and AMD patients, standardizing these measurements with an investigational SPECTRALIS Macular Pigment Optical Volume* Module. It also acknowledges his drive to link macular carotenoids to cognitive function and brain health, with the goal of identifying ways to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Prof. Nolan said: It is a tremendous honor for me to accept this award from Heidelberg Engineering, which is a result of over two-decades of work studying this nutritional pigment in the eye. I am most grateful to my team for their continued commitment to our research questions, and this award is a true reflection of their achievements. Science is only as good as its measurements, and thankfully we now have access to gold standard technology such as the Heidelberg Engineering SPECTRALIS. 

The future of our research and its successful translation and benefits to eyecare will be driven by this innovative technology. My vision is that routine measurement of macular pigment in the clinic setting will be part of best practice and uniquely offered by the SPECTRALIS.  

Until recently, it was difficult to standardise the assessment of macular pigment since previous techniques were unable to provide a full image and measurement results were both subjective and highly variable. Prof. Nolan is one of the leading researchers that have contributed to the establishment of a comprehensive and objective evaluation of the macular pigment profile for the benefit of patients worldwide1. 

Invitation to an Xtreme Research Award Webinar 

Due to this year’s ARVO cancellation, the traditional Xtreme Research Award lecture will take place online as an Xtreme Research Award Webinar with Prof. Nolan: “Macular Pigment Assessment with SPECTRALIS”,

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM.
Heidelberg Engineering invites you to join by registering under:


*SPECTRALIS MPOV is currently under development and not available for sale. 
1 Green-Gomez M, Bernstein PS, Curcio CA, Moran R, Roche W, Nolan JM. Standardizing the assessment of macular pigment using a dual-wavelength autofluorescence technique. Translational Vision Science & Technology December 2019, Vol.8, 41. doi: 

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