2014 HMS Ophthalmology Annual Meeting and Alumni Reunion Delivers a High Impact Weekend

June 23, 2014

More than 300 HMS Department of Ophthalmology faculty, alumni, and trainees gathered for a three-day festival of events that included the Annual Meeting and Alumni Reunion, tours of Mass. Eye and Ear and Schepens, a celebratory dinner, and visits to Fenway Park and the Museum of Fine Arts from June 20 to 22, 2014. Annual Meeting co-chairs Drs. Ula Jurkunas and Lucia Sobrin kicked off the meeting Friday morning. Scientific lectures followed, given by 12 HMS faculty showcasing their current investigations in eye research. Topics spanned telemedicine for diabetic retinopathy, genetics of retinitis pigmentosa, advances in retinal imaging, resident education, and management of acute Steven’s Johnson Syndrome in children. On Saturday, the Alumni Reunion, chaired by Dr. Joseph Rizzo III, featured Dr. Joan Miller’s update on the state of the department, alumni presentations, and the Distinguished Research and Clinical Achievement Award presentations. The event was sponsored by the HMS Department of Ophthalmology, Genentech, Bausch+Lomb, Mass. Eye and Ear Alumni Association, Mass. Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, Joslin Diabetes Center, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Thaddeus Dryja, MD Alfred Sommer, MD, MPH

The 2014 Distinguished Achievement Awards, which recognize the lifetime achievements of alumni and/or faculty in eye and vision research and in clinical care, were presented on Saturday. As the 2014 Distinguished Research Achievement Award recipient, Thaddeus Dryja, MD (left) presented, “A Personal Voyage in the Genome.” Alfred Sommer, MD, MPH (right), who was the 2014 Distinguished Clinical Achievement Award recipient, presented, “Preventing Blindness, Saving Lives, with Vitamin A.”

Frans Van de Velde, MD, PhD Ten representatives from the quinquennial graduating classes, from 1964 through 2009, delivered engaging lectures spanning topics such as the trials and tribulations of randomized controlled trials, pediatric vision screening, advances in glaucoma over the last 50+ years, and advances in personalized medicine. In addition, Frans Van de Velde, MD, PhD (class of 1989) presented a historical overview, entitled, “The Legacy of Dr. Charles L. Schepens at Mass. Eye and Ear.” 

Roberto Pineda III, MD and Joan W. Miller, MD, FARVORoberto Pineda II, MD—a Distinguished Scholar in Ophthalmology, as well as Director of Mass. Eye and Ear’s Keratorefractive Surgery Service and Associate Director of the Mass. Eye and Ear Office of Global Surgery and Health—presented this year’s Mariana Mead Lecture, entitled “Global Citizenship in Ophthalmology.” The lecture honors Dr. Mead, a well-respected Boston ophthalmologist, and a gifted eye surgeon, teacher, and member of the department who passed away in 2002 (Roberto Pineda II, MD shown with Joan W. Miller, MD, FARVO).

Research Fellow Adarsha Koirala, PhD presents his posterThe Annual Meeting Poster Contest drew 51 entries from diverse fields. The winners of the clinical poster awards were ophthalmology resident Mi In (Irene) Roh, MD for her entry, “Long-term Anti-VEGF Therapy for Neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration: Prognostic Factors, Treatment Benefit and Outcome,” and recent clinical fellow graduate (Boston Children’s Hospital) Mary Whitman, MD, PhD for her poster, “Bifocals Fail to Improve Clinical Outcomes in High AC/A Accommodative Esotropia.” Basic science research poster winners were Sumit Bhattacharya, PhD, Research Fellow in Ophthalmology (Schepens), for his poster, “Alteration in Cell Structure and Function in the Lacrimal Glands of Thrombospodin-1 Mouse Model of Sjogren’s Syndrome,” and Kinga Bujakowska, PhD, Research Fellow in Ophthalmology, for her entry, “Mutations in IFT172 Case Isolated and Syndromic Retinal Degeneration. Photo: Research Fellow Adarsha Koirala, PhD presents his poster.

See also: Alumni, Education, Events