October 2016 Honors and Awards

November 1, 2016


Faculty Recognition

Joseph Arboleda-Velasquez, MD, PhD, received a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Institute of Aging/National Institutes of Health in the amount of $1,016,301 over five years for his project, "Exploring the Role of Aging in Cerebral Ischemic Small Vessel Disease Using Notch3 Mutant Mice."

Pablo Argüeso, PhD, received a grant from the National Eye Institute in the amount of $1,970,000 over four years for his project, "N-Glycosylation and Ocular Surface Homeostasis."

A photo from a research paper by Teresa Chen, MDand Edem Tsikata, PhD, who works in the Glaucoma Service in Teresa's imaging group, was featured on the cover of the September issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology. The paper was entitled, "Diagnostic Performance of a Novel Three-dimensional Neuroretinal Rim Parameter for Glaucoma Using High-density Volume Scans," and the first author was Eric Shieh, a former Harvard medical student.

Jason Comander, MD, PhD, received an Enhanced Career Development Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness in the amount of $510,000 over three years. His project is "Improving Diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa by Efficient Characterization of Potentially Pathogenic DNA Variants." 

Patricia D'Amore, PhD, MBA, received a grant from the National Eye Institute in the amount of $25,000 to support the 4th Biennial AMD Symposium.

Reza Dana, MD, MSc, MPH, received the Endre A. Balazs Prize, and Lloyd Paul Aiello, MD, PhD, received the Ernst H. Barany Prize at the International Society for Eye Research meeting at the end of September in Tokyo. Patricia D'Amore, PhD, MBA, introduced Lloyd Paul before he received his award.

A paper by Ula Jurkunas, MD, "Menadione-induced DNA Damage Leads to Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Fragmentation During Rosette Formation in Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy," was featured on the cover of the June 20, 2016 issue of ARS Discoveries. 

Leo Kim, MD, PhD, received an R21 grant from the National Eye Institute in the amount of $275,000 over two years for his project, "Vasculogenesis in Thyroid Eye Disease." Nahyoung Grace Lee, MD, and Suzanne Freitag, MD, are working with Leo on this project.

Eric Ng, PhDreceived a grant from the US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity in the amount of  $393,939 over 1.5 years for his project, "Developing a Novel Therapeutic for Diabetic Retinopathy by Targeting the Heparin-Binding Domain of VEGF: Anti-inflammation and Protection of the Diabetic Retinopathy." 

Ankoor Shah, MD, PhD, and Nurhan Torun, MD, have been named members of the prestigious HMS Academy. They join other Harvard Ophthalmology faculty Dean Cestari, MD, Deborah Jacobs, MD, and Carolyn Kloek, MD, as members of the ophthalmology contingency of this organization. The Academy is established to advance the education of physicians and scientists throughout HMS by creating and supporting a community of leaders in education and a culture of excellence in teaching and learning; fostering the careers of educators in medicine and science; providing programming to improve the skills of teachers; stimulating and supporting the creation and implementation of innovative approaches to learning and assessment; and supporting educational research and scholarship in medical and graduate education. 

David A. Sullivan, PhD, received a grant from Allergan, Inc. in the amount of $65,512 for a three-month project focused on regulating the function of human meibomian gland epithelial cells.

Demetrios Vavvas, MD, PhD, received a grant from the National Eye Institute in the amount of $20,000 to support the 2nd International Biennial Symposium on Ocular Regeneration.

Yoshihiro Yonekawa, MD, a new faculty member at Mass. Eye and Ear, has been named a finalist for the Ophthalmology Times inaugural New MD Writers Award Program, sponsored by Allergan Retina. His submission was titled, "Low Illumination 3-D Heads-Up Vitrectomy for Diabetic Macular Edema."

Trainee Recognition

Scott Greenwald, PhD, a senior research fellow at Mass. Eye and Ear, received a grant from the Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund in the amount of $80,000 over one year for his project, "Gene Augmentation Therapy for Preserving Vision in NMNAT1-associated Leber Congential Amaurosis."

Neeraj Kumar Singh, MD, a research fellow in Kevin Houston's laboratory, received the Frank W. Weymouth Student Travel Fellowship grant from the Academy of Optometry for his project titled, "The Boston Blink-netic Project: Preliminary Outpatient Feasibility Results." Faculty members Kevin Houston, OD, MSc, Eleftherios Paschalis, PhD, and Joseph Rizzo III, MD, as well as research fellow Matteo Tomasi, PhD, are co-authors.

Yoko Okunuki, PhD, MD, a research fellow at Mass. Eye and Ear, received a Global Ophthalmology Awards Program grant from Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. in the amount of $50,000 over one year for her project, "Targeting miR-155 to Restore Microglia and Rescue Photoreceptor Cell Loss in Retinal Detachment.

Thanos Papakostas, MD, a Vitreoretinal Fellow at Mass. Eye and Ear, received the 2016 Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation Award. This prestigious award is given to second-year fellows in training in vitreoretinal surgery in the United States based on a competitive application and review process. Aristomenis Thanos, MD, a former resident, also received this award.

Jia Yin, PhD, MD, Cornea Chief Fellow at Mass. Eye and Ear, was chosen to receive the 2016 Claes Dohlman Fellowship award. The Dohlman award recognizes outstanding fellows training in the area of Cornea, Refractive Surgery, and External Diseases, and is awarded to the top Cornea Junior Faculty or Fellow, selected by an international jury of a dozen top academics.