In February 2016, Reza Dana, MD, MPH, MSc, Vice Chair for Academic Programs for the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology, and Director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, was elected to Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (AOI), one of the most prestigious international academic organizations in ophthalmology.
With an emeritus and active membership spanning 33 countries, AOI includes some of the most acclaimed ophthalmologists worldwide. Eligible candidates who meet the Academia’s high standards of scholarly excellence are formally nominated and elected by other members to fill vacancies with membership currently limited to 100 chairs. Members are expected to actively engage in improving world ophthalmology.
“Dr. Dana’s investigations into corneal and ocular inflammation have greatly elucidated the cellular and molecular mechanisms of ocular surface biology,” commented Joan W. Miller, MD, Chair of HMS Ophthalmology and Chief of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital. “Election into AOI is one of the highest honors conferred in the field of ophthalmology so it’s very fitting that his contributions are being recognized. HMS Ophthalmology is well-represented on AOI. Dr. Dana’s election makes for the fourth AOI chair from HMS Ophthalmology – the others being Martine Jager, Janey Wiggs, and myself.”
Dr. Dana is widely recognized as a leading clinician scientist in the field of cornea who has made outstanding contributions to clinical care, research, and education over the last two decades. His research focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of inflammation pertaining to ocular surface and anterior segment pathologies, including dry eye, allergy, wound healing responses, and transplant rejection. As a strong proponent of translational research, Dr. Dana has developed one of the leading corneal translational programs in the country. His work has culminated in more than 240 peer-reviewed articles and over 90 reviews and book chapters.
In his role as Vice Chair of HMS Ophthalmology’s Academic Programs, Dr. Dana leads corporate and international outreach programs to develop academic collaborations worldwide. He also directs the Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program – funded by the National Institutes of Health K12 mechanism – which enables him to recruit, train, and retain some of the most promising, young clinician scientists. He also co-directs the HMS Ophthalmology Cornea Center of Excellence, and has personally mentored nearly 100 trainees in his laboratory. The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Dana’s commitment to teaching was recognized by the Harvard Medical School A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award. More recently, he was honored with the Kersley Medal from the British Ocular Surface Society, as well as the Senior Scientific Investigator Award from Research to Prevent Blindness.