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    Heed Fellowship Application News for 2022


    Dear Applicants, Residency Program Directors, Department Chairs, and Fellowship Preceptors,

    The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation is revising its web-based application process to make it completely digital. The new website will become available the first week of January 2022. The application cycle for the 2022 Heed Fellowships runs from January 1, 2022 to March 1, 2022.

    The new application includes several significant changes. There will now be only two required letters - one letter from the Department Chair or the Residency Program Director (a combined letter is also acceptable), and a second letter from the Fellowship Preceptor. Applicants will initiate an email from their application to request letters of recommendation. The request will include a link for the letter writer to upload the letter directly to the individual's application. Applicants will waive the right to see the letter. The letters will not be visible to Applicants, however, they will be able to check their application to see if letters have been uploaded.

    Additional changes for Applicants includes the the submission of a biosketch form and a 500 word limit on the personal statement.

    We encourage all eligible applicants to apply, but to prevent duplicating effort, please do not start the application process until the new application has launched.

    Please contact Lisa Brown at [email protected] with any questions.

    Kind regards,

    David Wilson
    Executive Secretary, Heed Ophthalmic Foundation

    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 event includes a brief reception followed by a sit-down luncheon. The program includes updates on the Heed Foundation and the Society of Heed Fellows activities, and the presentation of the the current year's Heed-Gutman Award.

    We look forward to holding the next event in 2022 in Chicago.

    Appointment of 2021-2022 Heed Fellows


    The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation and the Society of Heed Fellows are pleased to announce the appointment of the following 2021-2022 Heed Fellows:

    Ishrat Ahmed, MD, PhD
    Hasenin Al-khersan, MD
    Paramjit Kaur Bhullar, MD
    Randy Christopher Bowen, MD, MS
    Rebecca I. Chen, MD
    Charles Meno Theodore DeBoer, MD, PhD
    Jenny Dohlman, MD
    Eliot Robert Dow, MD, PhD
    Emily Ann Eton, MD
    Paula Wu Feng, MD
    Lauren Michele Hennein, MD
    Levi N. Kanu, MD
    Edward Korot, MD
    Nicole Koulisis, MD
    Danny Mammo, MD
    Suzanne Marie Michalak, MD
    Michael Sena Quist, MD
    Noam Daniel Rudnick, MD, PhD
    Patrick Charles Staropoli, MD
    Clayton Ellis Wisely, MD, MBA
    Annie Mao Wu, MD
    Benjamin K. Young, MD

    Residents Retreat, September 20-21, 2021, Chicago, IL - Nomination Deadline April 30


    The 16th annual Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Residents Retreat nomination process is now open. 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 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)

    The application should be submitted using our electronic form. Request a link to the form from [email protected] If you prefer to copy and paste the URL into your browser, please use this url:

    Location: Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel, Rosemont, Illinois – 10 minutes from Chicago O’Hare Airport

    The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation (HOF), in conjunction with the Society of Heed Fellows, the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS) and Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB)

    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 which may include clinical research, multicenter clinical trials, laboratory research, residency program director, medical student education director, fellowship program director, NIH/NEI faculty, VA faculty, public health ophthalmology, and international ophthalmology. Resident participants will also learn from moderated and interactive panel discussions on How to Achieve Work-Life Balance, the Role of Serendipity, and the Importance of Resilience: Recovering after Disappointment.

    The Retreat is now scheduled as an in-person event at Loew’s Chicago O’Hare. The Heed Foundation Board of Directors will decide later this year, most likely by early summer, whether the retreat can be held safely in-person or whether it will be virtual. All retreat participants – residents and faculty – will be notified as soon as the decision has been made.

    The expectation is that 30 to 35 residents from 30 to 35 different programs will be invited to participate. The exact number of participants will be determined in part by the meeting space available at Loew’s Chicago O’Hare. We want to provide for adequate social distancing if the retreat is to be an in-person event.

    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. The 2021 budget will allow 30 to 35 residents from 30 – 35 different programs to be supported. For the 2021 Retreat, the Directors agreed to allow a second resident from up to ten 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 your willingness to fund a second resident by checking the appropriate box in the electronic form.

    Deadline and Notification
    Nominations may be submitted at any time from now through April 30, 2021.
    Residents and nominators will be notified of the decision not later than June 30, 2021.

    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 [email protected] with a copy to [email protected]

    Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Board of Directors
    Eduardo Alfonso, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
    Jack Cioffi, Columbia University College of Physicians
    Julia Haller, Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College
    Nick Volpe, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
    Joan Miller, Harvard Medical School

    David Wilson, Oregon Health and Science University, Executive Secretary
    Stuart Fine, University of Colorado, Retreat Organizer

    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.