Honors and Awards Received in May 2016

June 13, 2016

Patricia D'Amore, PhD, MBA, was the inaugural honoree of the Distinguished Alumna Award at Matignon High School's (Cambridge, MA) second annual Tradition of Excellence Gala. This award recognizes alumni who have made a mark in their field.

Darlene Dartt, PhD, received a grant from the National Eye Institute in the amount of $1,041,079 over five years for her project, Lacrimal gland repair using progenitor cells." This award will be split with her co-PI, Helen Makarenkova, PhD, from the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.

Kathryn Hatch, MD, was selected as one of the Top 300 Innovators in refractive cataract surgery in the United States by Ocular Surgery News.

Maggie Hymowitz, MD, received the Center for Devices and Radiological Health Guidance/Policy/Regulation Development Excellence Award from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for significant contributions toward development of the guidance for premarket studies of implantable minimally invasive glaucoma surgical devices. Dr. Hymowitz is a member of the Mass. Eye and Ear Emergency Eye Service, and a Medical Officer and glaucoma specialist at FDA.

Martine Jager, MD, PhD, an Adjunct Scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear, was appointed Professor of Ophthalmology, especially Ocular Melanoma, at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and gave her inaugural lecture on April 25, 2016. In her lecture, entitled "Travels in the world of the eye," she discussed peculiar immunological features of the intraocular environment, and how those peculiarities relate to ocular tumors, infections, and tissue transplants. A celebration dinner was held at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, which is the national archaeological museum of the Netherlands. 

Eric Pierce, MD, PhD, received the Alcon Research Institute Award at the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting in May. This award is given to outstanding contributors to ophthalmic research around the world. Dr. Pierce is internationally recognized for his pioneering research in inherited retinal degenerations, and is committed to expanding the frontiers of precision genomic medicine.

Daniel Sun, PhD, received a grant from BrightFocus Foundation in the amount of $150,000 over two years for his project entitled, "Do we need optic nerve head astrocytes to become reactive in glaucoma."

Trainee Awards

Durga Borkar, MD, and Eric Gaier, MD, were invited to attend the prestigious 10th annual Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Residents Retreat, which will be held in Chicago on September 26-27, 2016. They are two of 39 residents selected from among 55 residents nominated by their department chairs and/or residency program directors. The goal of this retreat is to promote careers in academic ophthalmology.

Lindsay Grotting, MD, received a travel grant award and was nominated to participate in the MIT poster competition for the poster she presented at the 2016 ARVO annual meeting. Her poster showed that patients with noninfectious uveitis had lower levels of vitamin D compared to patients without noninfectious uveitis. With further research, vitamin D may prove to be a low cost, low side effect therapy for uveitis.

Miin (Irene) Roh, MD, received a poster award at the 2016 ARVO annual meeting. Her poster, entitled "Factors influencing patient reported visual function in patients with bilateral age-related macular degeneration," was named a "hot topic."

Pykus Therapeutics, a start-up company co-founded by second-year ophthalmology residents, Tomasz Stryjewski, MD, and Tony Stefater, MD, PhD, was selected as runner-up for the 2016 Harvard Dean's Life Sciences Challenge. They were awarded $25,000 in prize money for their current project, developing an intraocular technology to improve retinal tamponade after vitrectomy.