Polish-American cooperation – Fulbright scholarship for prof. Marco Zarbin and the Department of General Ophthalmology in Lublin


The prestigious scholarship of the American Fulbright Foundation is awarded only to the best scientists and research centres in the world. The General Ophthalmology Clinic in Lublin, which has just found itself in this elite group, is a reason to be proud. The Fulbright scholarship was awarded to Prof. Marco Zarbin from Rutgers University and Lublin Clinic to continue the long-term cooperation and scientific exchange of both partners. This will translate into joint activities in key areas of telemedicine diagnostics of retinal diseases, diabetic macular oedema, retinopathy, traumatology as well as genetic research and gene therapy.

– We feel particularly honored, because for the first time such a grant is awarded to the Polish ophthalmic community – admits Prof. Robert Rejdak, head of the General Ophthalmology Clinic at the Medical University of Lublin. – This is the result of our several years of cooperation with Prof. Marco Zarbin, one of the world’s leading specialists in genetic research, gene therapy and retinology. Thanks to a joint scientific exchange within the framework of the Fulbright grant, such methods will now be jointly developed and implemented in Poland.

Extending the scope of cooperation with genetic research and therapy is extremely important because the Lublin clinic, as the only one in Poland, belongs to the European network of reference centres for rare diseases. Lublin scientists, in cooperation with European scientists, are involved in performing genetic tests in patients with suspected rare diseases of retina, vitreous body and optic nerve. The Polish-American cooperation within the Fulbright scholarship will allow us to conduct specialist research in this field as well.

– Soon our clinic will host a group of American specialists, recommended by Prof. Marco Zarbin, with whom we will establish a precise programme of joint activities in all areas covered by the grant – emphasizes Prof. Robert Rejdak. – Prof. Zarbin will come to us in autumn. We will have numerous meetings with experts not only in Lublin, but also in the ophthalmic clinic of the Military Medical Institute, headed by prof. Marek Rękas, the national consultant for ophthalmology, and with scientists gathered around the UKSW, under the aegis of the Rector Prof. Stanisław Dziekoński.

Polish-American cooperation will bring many benefits to the entire ophthalmic environment in our country and will contribute to the development of new therapies in the treatment of eye diseases.  – Thanks to the recommendation of Prof. Marco Zarbin, who is very active in the fight against blindness, we will undertake joint activities with the American Foundation, which finances the most prestigious research, especially in the field of genetically conditioned diseases, including the retina of the optic nerve – concludes Prof. Rejdak.  -The Foundation, which has very large resources for research and implementation, includes our clinic in the latest research on gene therapies. I have signed confidentiality clauses, so for the time being I can’t say anything more, but these are very promising prospects for us.

Poland is one of the leaders in Europe when it comes to the number of scholarship holders of the multi-disciplinary Fulbright programme, in which national ophthalmology has also been recently included. During the jubilee summary of the 60 years of the program in Poland, U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher thanked the Polish partners for their contribution to an impressive scientific and cultural exchange. She added that this programme is an important bridge in the bilateral scientific exchange between Poland and the United States and contributes to global development in many areas.

Jolanta Czudak





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