ASRS 2018 — Awards

Mingyi Huang, MD
Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellow
Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA

Wiley A. Chambers II, MD was awarded the 2018 American Society of Retina Specialists Founders Award. The award was presented by Mark Humayun, MD PhD.

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The Founders award is attributed to an individual for outstanding career contributions that truly define the word “Founder”.  It was first presented in 1997 to honor the efforts of the Society’s founders, Drs. Jerald A. Bovino, Roy A. Levit, and Allen Z. Verne for establishing the society as an open and democratic organization dedicated to the advancement of the vitreoretinal field.

Dr. Chambers is a clinical professor of ophthalmology at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. He joined the FDA in 1987 as the primary reviewer of ophthalmic drug products.  In 1990, he became the supervisory medical officer for ophthalmic drug products, overseeing the clinical review of ophthalmologic drug products and ophthalmic therapeutic biologic products submitted to the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.  He has been responsible for approving numerous ophthalmic drugs between from 1987 to 2018, averaging about 3 products per year.

Dr. Chambers provided insight into his role at the FDA with his lecture titled, “Playing Your Part in Drug Development”.  In his lecture, he discussed the difficulty in finding balance between studying many patients to evaluate safety and efficacy of product, while not taking too long to be unfairly limiting to the development of new drugs.  He also encouraged clinicians to play their role in drug research, including serving as investigators and reporting adverse events.

The Gertrude D. Pyron Award, which recognizes outstanding vision scientists whose work contributes to knowledge about vireoretinal disease, was awarded to Joan Miller, MD. Dr. Miller is the Chief and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Massachussetts Eye and Ear.  Among her contributions are pioneering photodynamic therapy using verteporfin and identifying the key role of vascular endothelial growth factor in ocular neovascularization, leading to groundbreaking anti-VEGF therapy.  During her award lecture, she discussed the contributors to the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration and their potential role for targeted, individualized therapy.

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The last award lecture of the session was given by Rishi P. Singh, MD, the recipient of the ASRS Presidents’ Retina Young Investigators Award.  Dr. Singh is associate professor of ophthalmology at the Cole Eye Institute. He discussed that his primary drive for his work is his motivation to make a contribution to the field, leading to a very productive year of 15 peer-reviewed publications and 17 presentations in 2017.  During his lecture, he reviewed the advancing insights into diabetic eye disease.


The Early Career Section Crystal Apple Award was given to Audina M. Berrocal, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.


The 2018 Retina Image Bank image of the year was awarded to Brenda Fallas, senior imager also at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.


Congratulations to all award winners for their inspirational work and contributions.