Faculty news

Beau Bruce, MD, PhD

AAMC Challenge Award winner

Neuro-ophthalmologist Beau Bruce was tapped as a 2014 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Clinical Care Challenge Award winner for his work on non-mydriatic ocular fundus photography in the emergency department. Named the FOTO-ED (Fundus Photography vs. Ophthalmoscopy Trial Outcomes in the Emergency Department) study, the project’s goal in 2009 was to prove that the procedure would result in detection of ocular fundus abnormalities (changes inside the eye) that would have otherwise been overlooked. The innovative process allows the emergency department physicians to bypass the need to dilate the eyes in order to evaluate for certain neurological and medical conditions whose diagnosis is facilitated by a complete eye examination. In the FOTO-ED study, the patient simply looks into a special camera attached to a computer. The procedure takes approximately two minutes to perform, and a nurse can administer the procedure.

Circadian rhythms and us

Circadian rhythms and us

Emory Eye Center Director of Research P. Michael Iuvone published a new book, The Retina and Circadian Rhythms (Springer, 2014), along with fellow editors Gianluca Tosini (Morehouse College of Medicine), Douglas G. McMahon (Vanderbilt University), and Shaun P. Collin (University of Western Australia).

The book provides a comprehensive review of the retinal circadian rhythms and their roles in photoreception and visual function. Its aim is to further the study of retinal neurobiology by researchers and to provide a resource for clinicians about how daily changes in retinal function may influence treatment outcomes.

Hayek, Shantha in surgical attire in Ethiopia

Going global

Now in its second year, Global Ophthalmology Emory (GO-E) is ably directed by Danny Haddad who has increased our outreach, both locally and internationally. This year, he’s been joined by Colin Beckwith. Beckwith will serve as program director, Trachoma SAFE implementation (Surgery; Antibiotics; Facial cleanliness; and Environmental improvement). His expertise will add significant focus on the disease. He previously served as the International Trachoma Initiative’s deputy director, where he co-directed its strategic planning.

The past year has seen GO-Emory present in the following places: Madagascar, Ethiopia (more Go-Emory), and Vietnam; leading a course in New York City (International Congenital Cataract Symposium); coordinating and leading a vision health course at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, ROP-screening programs in Mexico City, and focusing on the burden of eye disease in other countries; and participation in a farm workers project in south Georgia that screened children and provided glasses with help from the Georgia Lions Lighthouse.

Ebola image

Hayek, Shantha and Yeh examine ebola survivors in Liberia

If you’ve seen the array of media hits about Ebola and Emory’s amazing work with the patients who have been treated here, you’re likely proud and grateful that Emory physicians led this effort internationally. The stories of medical missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have generated worldwide media attention since late summer. Within the last few weeks, retina/uveitis specialist Steven Yeh, oculoplastics specialist Brent Hayek and 3rd-year resident Jessica Shantha joined recovering Ebola patient Dr. Ian Crozier (an Ebola survivor treated at Emory) in Liberia to examine survivors in West Africa for uveitis and other forms of eye disease. Stay tuned for exciting news from our studies on this global effort.

Read more:
May 7, 2015, Emory press release
May 7, 2015, New York Times, "After Nearly Claiming His Life, Ebola Lurked in a Doctor’s Eye," (PDF, used with permission of NYT.)
May 7, 2015, NBC News, "Ebola can lurk in survivors' eyes, study finds."
May 2, 2015, Wall Street Journal, "Host of Ailments Plague Ebola Survivors." (PDF, used with permission of WSJ.)

Grossniklaus inaugurated into AOI

Grossniklaus inaugurated into AOI

Hans E. Grossniklaus was inaugurated into Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (AOI), the most prestigious academic ophthalmology society in the world. He delivered the inaugural address in Tokyo, Japan, April 1, 2014.
Neuro-Ophthalmology Across the Globe

Neuro-Ophthalmology across the globe

50 fellows gather from around the world

It was a significant and meaningful year for Emory Eye’s neuro-ophthalmology faculty members. Nancy Newman, director of the neuro-ophthalmology section, was named as the prestigious 12th Hoyt Lecturer by the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

The lecture’s namesake, William F. Hoyt, MD, world-renowned clinician, scholar and educator in San Francisco, promoted the importance of educating the next generation of teachers of neuro-ophthalmology.

As Newman presented the named lecture in fall of 2013, she described the projects and key publications of her 50 former Emory neuro-ophthalmology fellows—a neuro-anatomical tour—and reviewed advances in the field over the past 25 years, highlighting common and uncommon disorders affecting the afferent and efferent systems.

The fellows are now practicing across the globe, yet they remain a close-knit family of clinicians, scholars, researchers and educators. Their camaraderie was evident at the NANOS meeting in Puerto Rico, where our neuro-ophthalmology faculty of four relished the opportunity to reminisce and share knowledge.

Newman is the LeoDelle Jolley Professor of Ophthalmology, professor of ophthalmology, neurology and instructor in neurological surgery at Emory University School of Medicine. She joined the Eye Center in 1989.

Argus II technology

Researchers set key priorities, make headlines

The EEC’s growing research enterprise includes top-notch researchers, known for their work in many arenas: retinal degeneration, circadian rhythm, neuro-protection and more. The EEC held another fall research retreat in October 2014—attended by researchers and faculty alike—where they again addressed current research priorities in order to focus on key faculty talents, combined with future funding, all in the setting of an analysis of disease burden. The “research matrix” approach, covered in Emory Eye 2015, will help identify where our current funds will be most effective.

The clinical trials section, under the medical direction of Beau Bruce (’02M; neuro-ophthalmology fellow ’08; ’10G; ’14 PhD) continues with a strong base of clinical trial coordinators—with decades of experience among them. The EEC investigators are highly dedicated and offer numerous cutting-edge clinical trial options for our patients.

More recently, we’ve implanted the innovative new Argus II (SecondSight) implant for retinitis pigmentosa-eligible patients. Jiong Yan (res. ’99-02) serves as the lead investigator, and Emory’s first patient had a completely successfully implant performed in December 2014 (see complete story: “A truly grateful patient”).

Timothy Olsen receives Visionary Award from FFB

Olsen receives Visionary Award from FFB

Eye Center director Timothy W. Olsen received the prestigious Visionary Award, bestowed by the Foundation Fighting Blindness during its 2014 “For the Love of Sight” event in Washington, D.C. The honor was given for his longstanding commitment to helping patients with eye diseases.
Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) is a national nonprofit that supports sight-saving research. The annual event benefits research into preventions, treatments and cures for vision-robbing retinal diseases including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), Usher’s syndrome and related conditions that affect more than 10 million Americans.

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