Ophthalmologists cited by vision research group
By Russell Rian
Seven physicians and researchers in UT Southwestern’s Department of Ophthalmology were honored recently as part of the inaugural class of distinguished fellows of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the largest eye and vision research organization in the world.
“We are extremely honored to have so many researchers from UT Southwestern recognized for the cutting-edge work done in their labs that over the years has added substantially to both basic and clinical science,” said Dr. James McCulley, chairman of ophthalmology and one of those recognized.
Dr. Jerry Niederkorn, professor of ophthalmology and microbiology, was honored as a gold member. His lab investigates the immunobiology of corneal transplants, as well as immune-related functions and diseases of the eye.
Honored as silver members were:
- Dr. McCulley, director of the Jean H. & John T. Walter Jr. Center for Research in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Dr. McCulley specializes in corneal and external disease, keratorefractive surgery, anterior segment and cataract surgery.
- Dr. H. Dwight Cavanagh, vice chairman of ophthalmology and a former executive director of ARVO. Dr. Cavanagh’s research focuses on the cornea, including cell biology, transplantation, wound healing, bioimaging and contact lenses.
- Dr. W. Matt Petroll, professor of ophthalmology. Dr. Petroll’s research interests include corneal wound healing, imaging, cell motility and tissue engineering.
- Dr. David Birch, adjunct professor of ophthalmology and chief scientific and executive officer of the Retina Foundation of the Southwest.
- Dr. Eileen Birch, adjunct professor of ophthalmology and senior scientist of the Retina Foundation of the Southwest.
- Dr. Martin Wax, visiting professor of ophthalmology and former vice president of research and development for Fort Worth-based Alcon Laboratories.
In addition, Dr. Yu-Guang He, associate professor of ophthalmology, received the 2009 ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award during the keynote session at ARVO’s annual meeting for his research on age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Dr. He’s lab is working to identify the early steps in the pathogenesis of AMD, and to investigate novel methods to treat and prevent its development.
ARVO members are recognized as distinguished fellows for their accomplishments, leadership and contributions to the association. They serve as role models and mentors for individuals pursuing careers in vision and ophthalmology research, and further ARVO’s mission to facilitate worldwide efforts to advance vision research and care.
“We are very excited to offer this new prestige to our membership. We know that it will galvanize current members and inspire future ones,” ARVO president Dr. Todd P. Margolis said.
Members include some 12,500 eye and vision researchers from more than 73 countries. The association encourages and assists research, training, publication and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology.
Dr. Cavanagh holds the Dr. W. Maxwell Thomas Chair in Ophthalmology.
Dr. He is holder of the Zora Meagher Macular Degeneration Research Professorship.
Dr. McCulley holds the David Bruton Jr. Chair in Ophthalmology.
Dr. Niederkorn is holder of the George A. and Nancy P. Shutt Professorship in Medical Science.