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    Appointment of 2020-2021 Heed Fellows


    The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation and the Society of Heed Fellows are pleased to announce the appointment of the following 2020-2021 Heed Fellows:

    Inas F. Aboobakar, MD
    Oleg Alekseev, MD, PhD
    Sruthi Arepalli, MD
    Grayson Wilkes Armstrong, MD
    Faith Anne Birnbaum, MD
    Karine Duarte Bojikian, MD, PhD
    Jordan D. Deaner, MD
    Lesley Everett, MD, PhD
    Michelle Marie Falcone, MD
    Kenneth Chen Fan, MD, MBA
    Dan Ang Gong, MD
    Wen Fan Hu, MD, PhD
    Tamara Lee Lenis, MD, MS, PhD
    James Chang Liu, MD
    Cassie Ann Ludwig, MD, MS
    Neel Dave Pasricha, MD
    Alisa Jennifer Prager, MD, MPH
    Edith Rose Reshef, MD
    Christopher B. Toomey, MD, PhD
    Narine Viruni, MD
    Frances Wu, MD
    Peter Zhao, MD

    Kathryn Colby, MD, PhD Elected to Society of Heed Fellows Board

    The Society of Heed Fellows is pleased to announce that Kathryn Colby, MD, PhD has been elected to the Board of Trustees.

    Dr. Colby is an internationally renowned academic corneal specialist with a longstanding interest in Fuchs dystrophy, the most common cause for corneal transplantation in the US. She is currently pioneering novel, non-transplant treatments for this condition. She has specific expertise in the management of ocular surface tumors, pediatric corneal disease, infectious keratitis, and keratoprosthesis.

    Dr. Colby received her BA from the Johns Hopkins University, her PhD in Neurobiology from Brown University, and her MD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she graduated summa cum laude. She completed her ophthalmology residency, chief residency and cornea fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Colby was a Heed Fellow in 1997-1998. Dr. Colby is a passionate educator who trained hundreds of students, residents and fellows during the two decades she spent at Harvard Medical School prior to becoming Chairman of Ophthalmology at the University of Chicago, where she is the Louis Block Professor and a Master Clinician in the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence.

    Dr. Colby is the president of the Cornea Society and serves on numerous Boards of Directors. She is a member of the AAO Council, where she represents the state of Illinois. She is recipient of multiple awards, including the Senior Achievement award and two Secretariat awards from the AAO, mentorship awards from the AMA and Women in Ophthalmology, and the Innovation and Research Award from the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research. Dr. Colby is currently the Chair of the Clinical Event Review Committee for the Zoster Eye Disease Study and the US Chair for a multi-national, multi-center study examining the role of Rho kinase inhibition in corneal endothelial rejuvenation. She is a program chair for the upcoming World Cornea Congress. Dr. Colby has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, multiple book chapters and seven books, including the only textbook on pediatric cornea. Dr. Colby lectures around the world on corneal, clinical research, and professional development topics.

    George A. 'Jack' Cioffi, MD Elected to Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Board

    The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation is pleased to announce that George A. 'Jack' Cioffi has been elected to the Board of Directors. Dr. Cioffi is the Edward S. Harkness Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He also holds the Jean and Richard Deems Endowed Professorship and is the Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. In 2012, Dr. Cioffi was elected as the President of ColumbiaDoctors, the multi-specialty faculty practice organization of more than 1,700 clinicians from Columbia University Medical Center and is concurrently appointed Vice Dean of Clinical Affairs.

    Dr. Cioffi formerly held the Richard G. Chenoweth Chair of Ophthalmology at the Devers Eye Institute and was the Chief Medical Officer & Senior Vice President at Legacy Health System in Portland, Oregon. He received his medical degree at the University of South Carolina, completed a residency in ophthalmology at the University of Maryland where he also served as Chief Resident, and a fellowship in Research & Clinical Glaucoma at Devers Eye Institute under Dr. E. Michael Van Buskirk. More recently, he completed the inaugural Harvard Business School program in Managing Healthcare Delivery.

    Dr. Cioffi is the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Academic Ophthalmology, the official journal of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO). As well, he is Editor Emeritus of the Journal of Glaucoma, after serving for 10 years as the Editor-in-Chief, and he is the current Chairman of the Basic and Clinical Science Course for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Glaucoma Research Foundation in San Francisco. He is a past President of the Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology and has served as a member of the FDA Ophthalmology/Dermatology Advisory Committee for drug approval. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Medical Excellence and was selected by the Governor John Kitzhaber to serve on the Oregon Health Policy Board’s Outcomes & Quality taskforce.

    Dr. Cioffi, a physician for more than 30 years, has published over 250 articles, has enjoyed support from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health for more than 20 years. He has delivered more than a dozen named lectures and has received the Honor Award, the Senior Honor Award and the Secretariat Award from the AAO. He has mentored more than 45 clinical and post-doctoral fellows over his career. These clinicians and scientists are now at academic institutions and in practices around the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

    Residents Retreat, October 5-6, 2020, Chicago, IL - Nomination Deadline May 1


    The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation (HOF), in conjunction with the Society of Heed Fellows, the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS) and Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), will co-sponsor the 15th annual Heed Foundation Residents Retreat on October 5 and 6, 2020 at Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont Illinois, a 10 minute shuttle ride from O’Hare airport.

    Residents, nominated by their department chairs and residency program directors, and 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 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.

    Nomination Process and Materials
    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 new electronic application consists of the following:
    1) academic program name
    2) resident’s name and email
    3) nominator’s name and email
    4) a letter of recommendation from the department chair (submit as PDF copy)
    • If nominating two residents, please confirm willingness to fund a second resident by checking the appropriate box
    5) the resident’s biosketch in NIH or narrative format, not to exceed two pages (submit as PDF copy)
    6) a personal statement from the resident describing his/her career goals (submit as PDF copy)

    Updated: Nomination Form
    NEW! The application should be submitted using our electronic form. Request a link to the new form by emailing

    Review Process
    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. For the 2020 Retreat, the Directors agreed to allow a second resident from 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 of the decision in June 2020.

    Nominations may be submitted at any time from now through May 1, 2020.

    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

    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 2020 Heed Luncheon will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, November 14. The reception begins at 11:30 am followed by the sit down 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 2020 Heed-Gutman Award.

    2019 Heed-Gutman Award Winner

    The 2019 Heed-Gutman Award was presented on October 12 to Dr. Paul P. Lee, the F. Bruce Fralick Professor and Chair at the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Director of the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Lee completed his undergraduate studies (1981) and medical school (1986) at the University of Michigan, and earned his juris doctorate (JD) at Columbia University (1986). His ophthalmology training was conducted at Wilmer Eye Institute (1990), and his fellowship training in glaucoma at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

    Dr. Lee has served in several leadership capacities in ophthalmology, including past responsibilities as a Director and Chair of the American Board of Ophthalmology, Chair of the ARVO Foundation, an at-large member of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), a Board member of Prevent Blindness America, a Board member of the American Glaucoma Society, and co-chair of the AMA-AAO Consortium Task Force for Eye Care Quality Indicators (PQRI). He has also been a consultant for the CDC and the WHO, as well as RAND. He currently serves as the President of NAEVR/AEVR and is on the Board of Advisors for the Hoskins Center on Patient Safety and Quality for the Foundation of the AAO. In addition, Dr. Lee serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Heed Fellows, and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology.

    Dr. Lee has published over 270 papers on glaucoma and eye care delivery in general, particularly on understanding and improving eye and health care. He has been principal investigator on research projects to evaluate the appropriateness of cataract surgery, the quality of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy care, utilization patterns of eye care, provider workforce analyses for ophthalmology and orthopedics, and analyses of failure patterns for the treatment of diabetes related eye disease and glaucoma. He has also led the ophthalmic portions of other projects investigating conformance with AHCPR guidelines for cataract, utilization and quality of eye care patterns in managed care, and a comparison of fee-for-service to managed care among Medicare patients.
    He has received the Lew Wasserman Merit Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, the Alcon Institute Research Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the AAO, the Gold Fellow from ARVO, and has been inducted into Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis. Dr. Lee was also recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine. He has also delivered the American Glaucoma Society Lecture, the Parker-Heath Lecture of the AMA section of ophthalmology, and the Shaffer Lecture at the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

    Heed Ophthalmic Foundation/Society of Heed Fellows Announcement of New Executive Secretary


    The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Board of Directors and the Society of Heed Fellows Board of Trustees are pleased to announce Dr. David J. Wilson as the Executive Secretary of the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation and the Society of Heed Fellows effective June 1, 2019. Dr. Wilson was awarded a Heed Fellowship in 1985 and is the Director of the Casey Eye Institute at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Wilson succeeds Dr. Froncie A. Gutman. Dr. Gutman, a Heed Fellowship awardee in 1966, served the Foundation from 1990 – 2019 and the Society from 1986 - 2019.

    We extend an enthusiastic welcome to Dr. Wilson and our sincere gratitude to Dr. Gutman!