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    Appointment of 2017-2018 Heed Fellows


    The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation and the Society of Heed Fellows announces the appointment of the following 2017-2018 Heed Fellows:

    Mohsin H. Ali, MD
    Erin A. Boese, MD
    Durga Borkar, MD
    Lauren A. Dalvin, MD
    Lilangi Ediriwickrema, MD, MHS
    Eric D. Gaier, MD, PhD
    Preethi Ganapathy, MD, PhD
    Yen C. Hsia, MD
    Anton M. Kolomeyer, MD, PhD
    Stavros Moysidis, MD
    Nambi Nallasamy, MD
    Sarah P. Read, MD, PhD
    Gavin Roddy, MD, PhD
    James A. Stefater, MD, PhD
    Philip P. Storey, MD
    Daniel Su, MD
    Zeba Almas Syed, MD
    Sophia Y. Wang, MD
    Natalie Wolkow, MD, PhD
    Edward H. Wood, MD
    Thomas J. Wubben, MD, PhD

    Residents Retreat, September 25-26, 2017, Chicago, IL


    The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation (HOF), in conjunction with the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS) and Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), will co-sponsor the 12th annual Heed Foundation Residents Retreat on September 25 and 26, 2017 at Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont Illinois, a 10 minute shuttle ride from O’Hare airport.

    Thirty-five to 40 residents, nominated by their department chairs and residency program directors, and 30 faculty, including recent K-awardees, mid-career and senior faculty, will gather for two half-days to discuss careers in academic ophthalmology. During the informal sessions, residents will mingle with academic ophthalmologists just a few years their senior to learn about how young faculty members made the transition from trainee to academician. Among the many topics to be discussed are how faculty combine patient care with positions/involvement in clinical research, lab research, residency program leadership, medical student educator, fellowship program director, NEI/NIH faculty, VA faculty, and/or public health/international ophthalmology to achieve highly rewarding academic careers.

    Department chairs and residency program directors are encouraged to nominate one or two residents from their programs who have the talent and desire to pursue a career in academic ophthalmology. The application consists of three parts: 1) a letter of recommendation from the department chair, 2) the resident’s biosketch (in NIH or narrative format, not to exceed two pages), and 3) a personal statement from the resident describing his/her career goals. Please include email addresses for both the nominator and the resident.

    Seven individually collated hard copies of the application should be submitted to Stuart L. Fine at the address listed below. Please use paper clips, not staples, when collating the pages of each application. Also, please DO NOT require a signature at the time of delivery.

    Stuart L. Fine, MD
    7 Graylyn Place Court
    Winston-Salem, NC 27106

    Nominations are reviewed and nominees are selected by the Heed Foundation Directors. Each year, the Heed Directors regret that many worthy nominees cannot be invited because of budgetary constraints. The 2017 HOF budget will allow 35 residents from 35 different programs to be supported. For the 2017 Retreat, the Directors agreed to allow a second resident from up to five programs to attend if their chairs agree to fund all travel-related, hotel, and meal expenses and if their evaluation scores are at a fundable level. For those programs nominating two residents, please indicate in the chair’s recommendation letter, your willingness to fund a second resident. Nominees and their chairs will be notified in June 2017. Nominations may be submitted at any time from now through April 15, 2017.

    The Heed Foundation, , is grateful to the AUPO chairs and residency program directors for their continuing support of the Heed Foundation Residents Retreat.

    Questions should be submitted to with a copy to

    2016 Heed-Gutman Award Winner

    Dr. Russell Van Gelder was born and raised in and around New York City. He earned his BS, MD, and PhD degrees from Stanford University. Dr. Van Gelder completed his ophthalmology residency and uveitis and medical retina fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. He remained on faculty at Washington University from 1999 until 2007, serving as Residency Program Director and Director of the Uveitis Service.

    Dr. Van Gelder is an active clinician-scientist and teacher. His research has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1999. His laboratory has been at the forefront of two fields, non-visual photoreception and pathogen detection in uveitis. As a graduate student, he developed the amplified RNA technique used in almost all gene expression profiling experiments. In the field of non-visual photoreception, his laboratory has made a number of seminal discoveries. The Van Gelder laboratory developed assays allowing characterization of the photoreceptive properties of cryptochrome proteins; established the importance of melanopsin in non-visual photoreception; was first to demonstrate multiple physiologic subtypes of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells; established that that the melanopsin photocycle is distinct from that of rods and cones; and most recently demonstrated the presence of a novel photoreceptive pathway in the retina utilizing the orphan opsin neuropsin. His laboratory has also been at the forefront of optochemical approaches to vision restoration. In the area of uveitis, his laboratory pioneered application of multiplex and real-time PCR to ocular pathogen detection; developed the Biome Representational in Silico Karyotyping (BRiSK) methodology for representational deep DNA sequencing; performed the definitive characterization of the ocular surface microbiome; and discovered that torque teno virus is a highly prevalent on the ocular surface and found in the vitreous in culture-negative endophthalmitis.

    He has published over 150 papers and book chapters. Dr. Van Gelder has won numerous awards for his research, including the Research to Prevent Blindness Career Development Award, the Translational Scientist Award of the Burroughs-Wellcome Foundation, and an ‘Audacious Goals’ award of the National Eye Institute. He has given over 20 named lectures and over 100 invited talks.

    Dr. Van Gelder is Associate Editor of IOVS and serves on the editorial board of Ophthalmology. Nationally, he served in 2015 as President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, having previously served as chair of the AAO Council. He is also past president of the American Uveitis Society and a trustee of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology.

    Prior to moving to University of Washington, he held the Bernard Becker Professorship at Washington University. Since 2008, Dr. Van Gelder has been the Boyd K. Bucey Memorial Chair, professor and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at University of Washington in Seattle, where he also serves as founding director of both the UW Medicine Eye Institute and the University of Washington Vision Science Center. He lives near Seattle Washington with his wife Suzy, a professor of pathology at UW, and their two teenage children.

    Heed Luncheon


    The Heed Luncheon is held each year during the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. All former Heed Fellows are invited to attend.

    The 2017 Heed Luncheon will be held in New Orleans on Saturday, November 11 at the Marriott Convention Center Hotel, Blaine Kern AB Room. The reception begins at 11:30 am followed by the luncheon at 12:00 noon.

    The program will include updates on the Heed Foundation and the Society of Heed Fellows activities, and the presentation of the 2017 Heed-Gutman Award.

    Heed-Gutman Award


    In recognition of Dr. Froncie Gutman’s 3 decades of service and leadership, the Board of Directors of the Society of Heed Fellows, in conjunction with the Board of Directors of the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation, has named the Heed Award as the Heed-Gutman Award. Dr. Gutman became the fourth Executive Secretary of the Heed Foundation in 1990, following Dr. Hayward Post (1946-1966), Dr. Frank Newell (1966-67), and Dr. David Shoch (1967-1989). He has been Executive Secretary of the Society of Heed Fellows (SOHF) since its formal inception as an educational, scientific and charitable public foundation in 1984.

    Under his leadership, the Heed Foundation has flourished and currently funds over 20 fellowship annually. As a result of his successful fund raising, the SOHF now is able to award up to 5 of the Heed fellowships each year. In addition, Dr. Gutman was instrumental in the creation of the annual Resident Retreat. Established in 2005 to promote an academic career for talented ophthalmology residents, the Retreat has brought together successful university faculty with residents from programs around the country. It is now co-sponsored by the American Ophthalmological Society and Research to Prevent Blindness. Participation is highly sought after by top residents and the Heed Resident Retreat has become a fertile breeding ground for future academic stars.

    The Boards of the Heed Foundation and the Society of Heed Fellows are deeply grateful to Dr. Froncie Gutman for his indispensable leadership and extraordinary contributions to the success of our organizations.