Drs. Cestari, Merabet, and Ng receive HMS Mentoring Awards

March 19, 2018

headshots of Dean Cestari, Lotfi Merabet, and Eric Ng

Dean Cestari, MD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Director of Ophthalmology Clinical Fellowship Training at Mass. Eye and Ear, and Lotfi Merabet, OD, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at HMS, were both selected to receive the prestigious HMS 2018 A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award. This award recognizes faculty members who develop quality mentoring relationships in clinical medicine and research settings. Eric Yin-Shan Ng, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at HMS, was selected for a 2018 Young Mentor Award, which recognizes faculty who are in the early stages of their careers, and are dedicated mentors and educators. These are two of three Excellence in Mentoring Awards established by the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership at HMS.

Dr. Cestari earned his medical degree from Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel. He completed residencies in both Neurology and Ophthalmology at the Cornell University Medical College’s New York Presbyterian Hospital, as well as fellowship training in neuro-ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School.  He is one of approximately 10 physicians in the United States who is board certified by both the American Board of Ophthalmology and the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. His research focuses on the evaluation and treatment of patients with neuro-ophthalmic disease. He is particularly involved with the medical and surgical treatment of patients with adult strabismus and diplopia. In 2003, he was recognized by the Ophthalmology Residents at Mass. Eye and Ear with an Outstanding Teaching and Commitment to Education Award.

Dr. Merabet completed his doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Montreal, a doctorate in optometry at the New England College of Optometry, and master's degrees in Clinical Investigation at HMS-MIT division of Health Sciences Technology and in Public Health at Harvard. He has completed two postdoctoral research fellowships, one in noninvasive brain stimulation at HMS and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the other in neuroimaging at Boston University and Massachusetts General Hospital. As director of the Laboratory for Visual Neuroplasticity, Dr. Merabet's main research interests include the development of assistive technology for the blind and understanding how the brain adapts to the loss of sight (both from ocular and brain-related causes). His dedication to teaching was also recognized in 2011 as a HMS Young Mentor Award nominee.

Dr. Ng earned his PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology at HMS, then completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Vascular Biology at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear. After directly involved in the development of novel therapeutics as a director of R&D in the biotech industry for seven years, Dr. Ng recently returned to academia to continue his translational research for various blinding eye diseases. His current research at Schepens is focused on drug discovery and development, as well as disease mechanisms at a preclinical level. His expertise lies in cell and molecular biology, molecular genetics, and animal model and assay development. He has formally supervised over 22 trainees from graduate students to postdoctoral associates in both industry and academic settings.

A celebration to honor the Excellence in Mentoring Award recipients will be held at Harvard Medical School on Thursday, June 14, 2018 from 4:00-6:00pm in the Carl Walter Amphitheater, Tosteson Medical Education Center, HMS. An informal reception will immediately follow the Ceremony. This will be a very special afternoon, and colleagues, mentees, staff, and friends are encouraged to attend.

Several faculty were nominated for HMS mentoring awards, including Frank Berson, MDSunil Chauhan, PhD, James Chodosh, MD, MPH, Shizuo Mukai, MD, and Yoshihiro Yonekawa, MD.