Announcing the 2018 Michels Award Recipients

Yoshihiro Yonekawa, Mass Eye & Ear
Eric Nudleman, UCSD
Jonathan Prenner, NJ Retina
RETINA Roundup editors

The “Michels” is one of the highest honors that a vitreoretinal surgery fellow can achieve. Several days ago, Dr. Alexander Brucker, Chairman of the Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation and Editor-in-Chief of RETINA, made his annual phone calls to notify and congratulate the 2018 award recipients. The three of us were also fortunate to receive the call from Dr. Brucker several years ago (Jonathan was many years ago), and vividly remember the excitement.

We asked Dr. Brucker to share his perspectives about what the Foundation and the fellowship award represent.

AJB Photo
Alexander Brucker

Dr. Brucker: “For those of us who were friends of Ronald G. Michels, admirers of his, colleagues and students of his, we wanted to perpetuate the ideals which were so important to him. He truly believed that sharing his knowledge with others was a primary goal in his life. This is witnessed by the number of papers which he wrote, and in the books which he produced in his short 47 years on this earth.

“Residents and fellows along with his colleagues were the beneficiaries of his writings, the purpose for which was to provide better care to their patients. He felt that if he could teach others how to be better doctors, then the sight of many would be saved.

“The Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation acknowledges those who have excelled and supports their efforts so as to perpetuate his ideals and his goals. We hope he will be remembered as one of the finest vitreoretinal surgeons who ever lived, a teacher to be emulated, an unparalleled author, and of course a dear friend to so many.”

Without further ado, please meet the 2018 Michels fellows, in alphabetical order, with short comments from the awardees. Congratulations to all of your successes and future accomplishments!

Stavros Moysidis

Stavros N. Moysidis, MD
Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellow
Associated Retinal Consultants / William Beaumont Hospital

“I’m grateful to my mentors and humbled to join the Michels Foundation Fellowship family. At Associated Retinal Consultants, P.C., I’ve been fortunate to get strong exposure to the medical and surgical management of pediatric vitreoretinal diseases and ocular oncology, in addition to advanced surgical techniques in a wide array of adult vitreoretinal diseases. I’m looking forward to continued learning and growth over the rest of my career – this field demands us to rise to the occasion!”

Philip Storey Head Shot (1)
Philip Storey

Philip P. Storey, MD, MPH
Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellow
Mid-Atlantic Retina / Wills Eye Hospital

“I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to receive the Michels Fellowship Award. My current research projects primarily focus on the efficacy and safety of intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents. After fellowship, I aim to join a retina group in which we provide excellent patient care, pursue clinical research, and teach aspiring ophthalmologists. I also look forward to finally getting a real job.”

Edward Wood

Edward H. Wood, MD
Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellow
Associated Retinal Consultants / William Beaumont Hospital

“I am very honored to be a part of the Michels Fellowship family! I’m currently in my second year of fellowship at Associated Retinal Consultants, William Beaumont Hospital, which has been an amazing experience. Following fellowship, I’ll be joining the faculty of Stanford University Department of Ophthalmology (where I completed my residency) practicing adult and pediatric vitreoretinal surgery and engaging in research. My research interests are currently focused on creating patient-specific vitreoretinal therapeutics using patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), optogenetics, and high-throughput drug discovery screening tools.”

T. Wubben
Thomas Wubben

Thomas J. Wubben, MD, PhD
Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellow
Kellogg Eye Center / University of Michigan

“I am extremely appreciative and humbled to receive a Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation Award. After completion of my vitreoretinal fellowship, I will have the honor of joining the faculty at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor.  As a clinician-scientist, I will continue to investigate photoreceptor metabolism and how it may be leveraged for novel neuroprotective strategies to preserve photoreceptors and ultimately, vision in many retinal disorders.”

Wendy Zhang
Wendy Zhang

Wendy Zhang, MD
Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellow
Duke Eye Center

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be part of the Michels Fellowship family. Dr. Michels was a pillar of excellence as a clinician-scientist and clinician-educator. My academic interests include clinical and community healthcare education, and the use of imaging technologies as diagnostic screening tools and as intraoperative aides. After fellowship training, I hope to join an ophthalmology department or academically-inclined practice focused on clinical excellence in patient care and community service, and dedicated to involvement in intellectual pursuits such as clinical research or trainee education.”