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Academy awards honor optometrists, vision scientists


The American Academy of Optometry recognized outstanding optometrists and vision scientists for their research and dedication to the profession during an awards ceremony at its annual meeting.


Seattle-The American Academy of Optometry recognized outstanding optometrists and vision scientists for their research and dedication to the profession during an awards ceremony at its annual meeting.

·      Gordon E. Legge, PhD, is this year’s recipient of The Charles F. Prentice Award. The award, named after the “father of modern optometry,” is the highest honor bestowed by the academy. Dr. Legge is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor and director of the MN Lab for Low Vision Research at the University of Minnesota. The lab is internationally recognized for its pioneering work on low vision, and is dedicated to understanding reading difficulties and other important visual problems encountered by people with low vision.

·      David B. Elliott, PhD, MCOptom, FAAO, was presented with the Glenn A. Fry Award-given annually to a distinguished scientist or clinician scientist in recognition of the quality, significance, impact, and relevance to optometry of his or her current research contributions. Dr. Elliott is a professor of clinical vision science at the University of Bradford School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Bradford, UK. He has contributed extensively to the field of optometry and optometric patient care and quality of life, including a focus on the link between visual impairment and the increased incidence of falling in older adults.

·      Pete Kollbaum, OD, PhD, assistant professor of optometry at Indiana University, was the recipient of the Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award, which recognizes an outstanding young scientist or clinician scientist who has shown exceptional promise to conduct independent research directly related to etiology, prevention, detection, diagnosis, or management of clinical ocular disorders.

·      The Essilor Award for Outstanding International Contributions to Optometry-which recognizes an individual, individuals, or organizations for extraordinary international contributions to optometry or international eye care-was presented to George C. Woo, OD, PhD, FAAO. Dr. Woo is dean, faculty of health and social sciences at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China, and has been instrumental in developing the field of optometry in China and other countries.

Other award recipients include:

·      Carel C. Koch Memorial Award: Sandra S. Block, OD, MEd, FAAO

·      Julius F. Neumueller Award in Optics (American Optometric Foundation Award): Krystal L. Schulle, OD

·      Vincent Ellerbrock Clinician Educator Award: Murray Fingeret, OD, FAAO

·      Eminent Service Award: Louis J. Catania, OD, FAAO

·      Life Fellow Award: Anthony P. Cullen, OD, PhD, FAAO, Michael G. Harris, OD, JD, FAAO

·      Michael G. Harris Award for Excellence in Optometric Education (American Optometric Foundation Award): Barbara M. Junghans, BOptom, PhD, FAAO

·      Garland W. Clay Award: Padmaja Sankaridurg, BOptom, MIP, PhD; Leslie A. Donovan, BOptom; Saulius Varnas, PhD; Arthur Ho, MOptom, PhD, FAAO; Xiang Chen, MS, PhD; Aldo A. Martinez, BOptom, PhD, FAAO; Scott Fisher, BScPsych; Zhi Lin, MSc; Earl L. Smith, III, OD, PhD, FAAO; Jian Ge, MD, PhD; and Brien A. Holden, PhD, DSc, FAAO

·      Max Schapero Memorial Lecture Award: Lyndon W. Jones, PhD, FCOptom, FAAO

·      Founders’ Award: Patrick J. Caroline, FAAO, Mark P. Andre, FAAO, and Craig W. Norman


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