ASRS Awards for 2021

Danny A. Mammo MD
Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellow
Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic

2021 Pyron Award – Cynthia Toth

Dr. Carl Awh presented the 2021 Gertrude D. Pyron award to Dr. Cynthia Toth, Professor of Ophthalmology at Duke University. The Pyron Award recognizes outstanding vision scientists whose work contributes to knowledge about vitreoretinal disease. Dr. Awh highlighted Dr. Toth’s unique start to her career by acknowledging her military service as medical laser safety officer and Chief of the Ophthalmology service at Scott Air Force Base. Dr. Toth gave a tremendous presentation titled “Retinal OCT at 29: Forever Young and for the Young” which overviewed the history of optical coherence tomography (OCT) as she explained how far we have come from the first OCT to her goal of getting OCT into the OR and using real time OCT to guide surgical maneuvers. She also highlighted her pioneering research in OCT imaging in infants and young children. She led the innovative BabySTEPS (STudy of Eye imaging in Premature infantS) study which looked at 110 preterm infants and found that foveal OCT was successfully captured in 96% of infants and successfully measured rNFL thickness in 87% of infants. 16% of infants had macular edema surprisingly and these infants were associated with poorer neurodevelopment at 2 years of age. Integrating her bedside OCT work with her passion for ROP, Dr. Toth also showed impressive images comparing infrared en face OCT images to color photos to assess retinal vessels, a potentially future tool to help ophthalmologists grade retinal vascular disease. Dr. Toth ended with a very heartfelt thank you to her team at Duke and her husband. Congratulations to Dr. Toth on her well-deserved recognition!

2021 Founders Award – Stanislao Rizzo

The 2021 ASRS Founders Award was awarded to Professor Stanislao Rizzo, Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Florence, Italy.

2021 Young Investigators – Arshad Khanani

Dr. Tim Murray introduced the Young Investigator Award to Dr. Arshad Khanani, Director or Clinical Research and Director of Fellowship at Sierra Eye Associates and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Nevada. The Young Investigator Award recognizes an ASRS member under the age of 45 who has made substantial contributions to the field of retina. Dr. Khanani gave an inspiring talk titled “Innovation and Collaboration: A Decade of Learnings from Managing Clinical Trials.” Dr. Khanani has been a principal investigator for more than 50 clinical trials and discussed the importance of mentors, being a forever learner, and the importance of a good team in clinical trials. Dr. Khanani has a clear passion for innovation to help prevent future vision loss in our patients. He highlighted key pearls from managing clinical trials, in particularly spending time with patients, treating staff and patients with respect, communicating well with industry sponsors, and paying attention to all the small details. Dr. Khanani gave a passionate thank you to many mentors before him and a very ardent thank you to his family, wife, and four daughters. Dr. Khanani ended by paying respects to one of his most influential mentors, Dr. Richard Lee Winslow, who passed away earlier this year and whose professorship Dr. Khanani will be contributing his honorarium for this Award.

Congratulations to Dr. Khanani for his accomplishments!


2021 Crystal Apple – RV Paul Chan

Dr. R.V. Paul Chan, professor of Ophthalmology and Chair at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary at the University of Illinois at Chicago was awarded the 2021 Crystal Apple Award for his excellence in teaching and mentorship.

2021 Packo Award – Reginal Sanders

The second recipient of the Packo Service Award was awarded to Dr. Reginald J. Sanders, partner at the Retina Group of Washington and clinical professor at both Georgetown University School of Medicine and Howard University College of Medicine.