In the News
Academy for Excellence in Education Awards and New Member Recognition 2020
As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy for Excellence in Education (AEE) Recognition gathering took place virtually this year on August 31st. There was "live" recognition of the Chazen awardee, Janice Law.
A research team from Vanderbilt, led by Yuankai “Kenny” Tao and including VEI faculty Karen Joos and Shriji Patel, have received a $1.4 million grant from the National Eye Institute at the National Institute of Health to identify surgical techniques that improve vision after macular hole repair.
Dr. Deepa Chandrasekaran travels to Ghana to lecture faculty and students about specialty contact lenses.
In November 2019, Dr. Deepa had the opportunity through a grant from Volunteer Optometric Services for Humanity (VOSH) to be able to lecture about specialty contact lenses and how to fit them, to the students and staff at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Department of Optometry and Visual Sciences in Kumasi, Ghana. She was also privileged to lecture to the optometrists as part of the Ghana Optometric Association meeting in Kumasi.
VUMC Discover discussed limbal stem cell deficiencies (LSCD) and its team-based treatment approach with Vanderbilt Eye Institute's Dr. Shieh. LSCD may lead to persistent or recurrent epithelial defects, neovascularization, and subsequent cornea scarring. In addition to decreased vision, the patient also may experience significant light sensitivity or pain. Transplantation is a potential treatment possibly requiring a multi-specialty approach involving oculoplastics surgeons.
The Academy for Excellence in Education is pleased to announce that Dr. Janice Law is the recipient of the 2020 Geoffrey David Chazen Faculty Award for Innovation in Medical Education. This Award was established in 1998 to recognize a faculty member who has made special contributions to the educational programs of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine through the development and implementation of effective innovation in educational approach. The award was established to honor the memory of Dr. Chazen, who received his MD at Vanderbilt.
Dr. Law is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology. She has been extensively involved in graduate and undergraduate medical education, previously served as the Associate Director for Residency Education, and currently serves as the Director for Medical Student Education in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Dr. Law has received numerous honors at the local and national levels for her leadership, educational accomplishments, and contributions to the profession of ophthalmology. She is receiving the Chazen Award for her work in developing an ophthalmology experience that is integrated into the neurology clerkship. This visionary program includes an ophthalmic skills refresher course, a clinical experience at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, and an ophthalmic skills examination with standardized patients. The educational program has been highly successful, very well received by the medical students, and has tripled student interest in ophthalmology at Vanderbilt.
Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD has been announced as the 2020 recipient of the prestigious J. Donald Gass Medal by the Macula Society for outstanding contributions to the study of macular diseases.
Dolly Padovani-Claudio, MD, PhD, is one of four Vanderbilt faculty members receiving a American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Council Young Physician-Scientist Award for her studies into vascular diseases of the retina.
Drs. Christine Shieh and Rachel Sobel are part of a multidisciplinary team at Vanderbilt University Medical Center that has begun performing corneal neurotization, a new procedure with revolutionary potential to improve cornea nerve function and reestablish corneal sensation.
Under a new five-year $1.8 million grant from the National Eye Institute, a multidisciplinary team of engineers and clinicians at Vanderbilt University Medical Center including Dr. Joos of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute will advance their work on novel, 4D intraoperative spectrally encoded coherence tomography and reflectometry (iSECTR) technology that allows for simultaneous, intrinsically co-registered and cross-sectional OCT imaging.
Drs. Law and Lindsey were quoted in this Discover article on the changing face of ophthalmology and training. “Millennials are the most educated, the most diverse, and the most tech-savvy of any group that has come before,” Law said. “They are the driving force that is changing ophthalmic treatment paradigms today.”
Collaboration with Dr. Joos highlighted by Vanderbilt School of Engineering
A collaboration between Dr. Joos and Vanderbilt engineers has expanded the capabilities for robotic microsurgery. Professor of mechanical engineering Nabil Simaan, mechanical engineering graduate student Giuseppe Del Giudice, Research Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science Jin-Hui Shen, and physician Karen M. Joos, have accomplished a preliminary integration of a custom-made OCT probe.
Dr. Sternberg awarded 2019 energEYES award
At the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2019 national meeting, Dr. Sternberg was awarded the energEYES award for displaying exemplary leadership skills by energizing others to improve ophthalmology.
VEI authors the most read article in the Journal of Academic Ophthalmology!
Drs. Jennifer Lindsey and Laura Wayman's article on technology use in ophthalmology resident education was the most read article in the Journal of Academic Ophthalmology.
Dr. Sabine Fuhrmann's research into retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) regeneration has been featured by Discover. Her work, funded by a Catalyst Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, will test several small molecule agents which may help the repair and regeneration of RPE in a mammalian model.
Dr. Laura Wayman has been a part of the Orbis Volunteer Faculty family for just over a year-and-a-half. In her day job she is Vice Chair for Education at the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee. This recent news article by ORBIS goes into detail about her trips to Peru.
Dr. Daniel's clinical and research focus into ocular oncology was recently featured in this Discover article.
VEI's resident, Dr. Alex DeCastro-Abeger is in the running for the 2019 Ophthalmology Times Resident Writers Award!
He has written a very interesting case along with Dr. Gangaputra and our colleague Dr. Kevin Byram from rheumatology. Cast your vote HERE!
Drs. Uddin and Penn have recently been featured in Discover for their work on molecular imaging of neovascularization caused by hypoxia. This builds upon their 2016 publication building a "fluorescence-imaging probe capable of detecting retinal-hypoxia in living animals".
The Vanderbilt Eye Institute (VEI) has received a $10 million gift—the Institute’s largest to date—that will fund regenerative visual neuroscience research to develop transformative therapies for eye diseases.
- VUMC Reporter article
- Nashville Post article (subscription required)
- Ocular Surgery News article (registration required)
Dr. Sylvia Groth is quoted in a recent Washington Post article on glaucoma, the disease, and its future. This article was first published online with better diagrams in the Knowable Magazine.
Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) recently awarded three grants to the Department of Ophthalmology to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of blinding eye diseases. Sabine Fuhrmann, PhD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Cell and Developmental Biology received the RPB/American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) Catalyst Award for Innovative Research Approaches for AMD. Kevin Schey, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, is the recipient of the RPB Catalyst Award for Innovative Research Approaches for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Finally, the Department of Ophthalmology received an RPB Unrestricted Grant, which provides $115,000 a year to support research activities within the department.
Dr. David Morrison discusses a recent Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG) study looking at effects of cataract surgery on children. The original study was published in JAMA Ophthalmology. Other PEDIG participants from VUMC include Sean Donahue, MD, PhD, Nancy Benegas, MD, Megan Flemmons, MD, Anvesh Reddy, MD, Stephanie Jian, OD (Doctor of Optometry), and Lori Ann Kehler, OD.
Dr. Robinson is featured in this Discover article on low vision.
Dr. Chaum's work on telescreening of diabetic retinopathy patients using the Telemedical Retinal Image Analysis and Diagnosis (TRIAD) he co-developed is featured in this Discover article.
Compassion, advocacy for patients with visual impairment put Eye Institute employee Janet Lemonis in the spotlight
David Calkins, PhD, vice chair and director of Research at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, has been granted one of the preeminent awards in vision research — the Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) Stein Innovation Award.
Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, G.W. Hale Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt and chair of the department, has been named to receive the 2018 Award of Merit in Retina Research Recipient by the Retina Society.
“Although others have identified unverifiable publications as a problem, no one has offered a solution. We are the first to land on a solution, and a really implementable one.”
“There is meticulousness and subtlety that goes into carving and shaping reeds that is paralleled in surgery,” said Dr. Sobel, assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “The smallest details matter.”
Vanderbilt Eye Institute and Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences achieved a ranking of 3rd in National Institutes of Health funding among ophthalmology centers in the United States.
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected by my peers to lead the association of academic ophthalmology,” said Dr. Sternberg, who is also Chief Patient Experience and Service Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “As a discipline, ophthalmology has been de-prioritized at medical centers across the nation. We have been almost completely eliminated from the medical school curriculum and are provided little to no institutional funds flow to support our academic programs.”
VUMC ophthalmologist felled by rare virus has to learn to walk and eat again.
A team of researchers, led by David Calkins, PhD, vice chair and director of Research at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, has made a breakthrough discovery in the field of glaucoma showing new hopes for treatments to preserve vision.
A multi-institutional team of investigators including Rachel Kuchtey, MD, PhD, and John Kuchtey, PhD, at Vanderbilt, explored molecular changes in aqueous humor content in glaucoma.
VEI's 10 year Building Anniversary Event!
April 3, 2018
David Calkins, PhD
New York Academy of Medicine
Janice Law, MD
AAO Commitment to Advocacy
Tonia Rex, PhD
Audacious Goals competition winner
National Eye Institute
Laura Wayman, MD
Straatsma Award, AAO/AUPO