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News from our full member Wilmer Eye Institute Johns Hopkins

2024-05-06 15:30:24

Dear friends and colleagues,

We often hear mention, in passing, of the names of endowed professorships and other programs that are supported through endowments, but what of the actual fruits of these gifts? In this issue, we take a look at some of the work supported by people whose lives have been touched by Wilmer. We also get a patient’s eye view of what it’s like to experience retinal detachment and the surgery to repair it, and we celebrate some rather impressive awards. Enjoy.

Warmest regards,

Peter J. McDonnell, M.D.


Prizing Research

Inspired by his Wilmer residency experience, John Payne established the Mitchell Prize, awarded annually to top research projects by Wilmer residents. To see just how much of an effect the prizes have had, a Wilmer faculty member did some (what else?) research.


Patient Perspective: Retinal Detachment

You know what retinal detachment looks like, but what is it like from a patient’s point of view? In this resource, Adrienne Scott, M.D. and her patient weigh in on what to expect.


What the Future Holds

Thomas Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., the Allan and Shelley Holt Rising Professor in Ophthalmology, is on a mission to turn findings in the lab into therapies that will dramatically improve the lives of patients. A new professorship is helping to support that mission.


DiMeglio, Scott Work Featured in NEJM

Laura Di Meglio, O.D. and Adrienne Scott, M.D. reported on a case of “Iris Atrophy in Sickle Cell Disease” in The New England Journal of Medicine. Theirs was the featured work in the journal’s April 28 ‘Images in Clinical Medicine’.

Pitha Reports on Novel GDI Prototype

Amanda Bicket, M.D., M.S.E. and Ian Pitha, M.D., Ph.D. report on preclinical data, generated at Wilmer, of a novel investigational glaucoma drainage implant prototype. The work was featured in Glaucoma Today.


Solomon Podcast Looks at Problems Associated with Aging Eyes

In “The Aging Eye”, a podcast produced by the Johns Hopkins Medicine program ‘A Woman’s Journey’, Sharon Solomon, M.D., the Katharine M. Graham Professor of Ophthalmology, discusses common issues—from dry eye to macular degeneration—that can develop as we age.


Elisseeff to Join American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Jennifer Elisseeff, Ph.D.the Morton F. Goldberg Endowed Professor of Ophthalmology, has been selected to join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Elisseeff is director of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center, a joint venture between Wilmer and the Johns Hopkins University Department of Biomedical Engineering that unites research, education and industrial development in the field of regenerative medicine.


Kolodkin to Join National Academy of Sciences

Alex Kolodkin, Ph.D., the the Charles J. Homcy and Simeon G. Margolis Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, has been selected to join the National Academy of Sciences. Scientists are elected by their peers in recognition of their outstanding contributions to research. The focus of Kolodkin’s current work includes understanding mammalian visual system development and function.


Nathans Receives 2022 Nemmers Prize

Jeremy Nathans, M.D., Ph.D., the Samuel Theobald Professor of Ophthalmology, is the recipient of the 2022 Nemmers Prize in Medical Science from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The prize is given to a physician-scientist whose body of research exhibits outstanding achievement in their discipline as demonstrated by works of lasting significance. Nathans is known for his landmark discoveries into the molecular mechanisms of visual system development, function and disease.


West Receives Helen Keller Prize

On May 3 in Denver, Colorado, Wilmer Director Peter J. McDonnell, M.D., the William Holland Wilmer Professor of Ophthalmology, had the honor of presenting the Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research to Sheila West, Ph.D., Pharm. D., the El-Maghraby Professor of Preventive Ophthalmology. West was recognized for her wide-ranging discoveries in public health ophthalmology, notably in trachoma, the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. She is the only female to have won the Prize as the sole recipient.

Dale Heuer, M.D.; Michael Kass, M.D.; Mae Gordon, Ph.D.; Sheila West; and Peter McDonnell, at the 2022 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting. Kass and Gordon, of Washington University, were the recipients of the 2022 Prize. West, the 2020 Keller Laureate, was presented with her award after the 2020 Prize presentation was delayed by the COVID pandemic.


Wilmer Alumni to Receive Prestigious Awards from Hopkins

The Johns Hopkins Medical & Surgical Association has announced that two Wilmer alums will receive prestigious awards during its Reunion & Alumni Weekend.

Hugh Taylor, the Harold Mitchell Professor of Indigenous Eye Health at the University of Melbourne,

has been selected to receive the 2022 Samuel P. Asper Award for Achievement in Advancing International Medical Education. The award recognizes Hopkins-trained physicians who are dedicated to fostering excellent medical care and education in a foreign country and are continuing the outreach efforts of Dr. William Osler.


Tamara Fountain, Director of Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Rush University Medical College and past president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, has been selected to receive the 2022 Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award, which recognizes unique dedication and leadership in helping to promote the interests and excellence of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Virtual Grand Rounds

Join Wilmer for Virtual Grand Rounds on Thursday mornings from 7:30am – 8:30am. CME credit is available for Johns Hopkins affiliates. Click here to register for these upcoming sessions:

·     May 19xxxxiRetina

·     May 26xxxxiGeneral

Wilmer to Host WAEH Annual Meeting

Wilmer Eye Institute is proud to host the first half of the 16th Annual Meeting of the World Association of Eye Hospitals (WAEH) October 4-6, 2022. Stayed tuned for details about this exciting event.


Stay on Top of News and Research at Wilmer Eye Institute

Welcome to Wilmer in Focus, a monthly newsletter featuring the latest on Wilmer’s exciting collaborations, pioneering research, and inspiring patient stories. Stay up to date on major events and initiatives through our website. Learn More



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