News Releases

April 20, 2017
Media contact: Leigh DeLozier (404) 778-3711,

Nancy J. Newman, MD, receives prestigious lecture award from the American Academy of Neurology

(Atlanta) – Nancy J. Newman, MD, LeoDelle Jolley Professor of Ophthalmology, Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurology and Instructor in Neurological Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine, and Director of the Neuro-Ophthalmology Service at Emory Eye Center, will give the prestigious H. Houston Merritt Lecture during the American Academy of Neurology’s 2017 meeting. She will speak during the Presidential Plenary Session on April 23 at the AAN conference in Boston.

Nancy J. Newman, MD
Nancy J. Newman, MD

The H. Houston Merritt Lecture is one of the AAN’s premier awards. It is given biannually to a neuroeducator involved in clinically relevant research. The lecture’s namesake, H. Houston Merritt, was one of the preeminent academic neurologists of his day, overseeing the training of hundreds of neurologists and conducting groundbreaking research to help patients with neurological conditions. The award has been given 16 times since 1987 and the previous awardees represent a veritable “Who’s Who” in the field of neurology.

Dr. Newman’s Merritt lecture is entitled “Ophthalmoscopy in the 21st Century” and chronicles a series of clinical trials known as the FOTO-ED (Fundus Photography vs. Ophthalmoscopy Trial Outcomes in the Emergency Department) studies, a collaborative, NIH-sponsored effort involving the Neuro-Ophthalmology Service and Emory’s Department of Emergency Medicine. The trial investigated the use of nonmydriatic ocular fundus photography in non-ophthalmologic patient care settings.

“Ever since medical school, I’ve been fascinated by the visual system and its underlying neuroscience,” Dr. Newman says. “Early on in my residency, I understood that academic medicine would allow me to combine the challenges of clinical patient care with opportunities for cutting-edge research and innovative teaching.

“Rather than focus on a subspecialty that dealt with a related group of diseases, I chose neuro-ophthalmology because it allows me access to all the diseases of the nervous system via an anatomic system,” she adds.

Dr. Newman is known for her innovative teaching style. She has lectured worldwide, including being named the Hoyt Lecturer by the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2013. The lecture’s namesake, William F. Hoyt, MD, was a world-renowned clinician, scholar and educator who promoted the importance of educating the next generation of neuro-ophthalmology teachers. In 2003, she was named the American Neurological Association’s Distinguished Neurology Teacher of the Year.

She also recently received the Dean’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture and Award for 2017, one of the most prestigious honors that the Emory University School of Medicine can bestow on a faculty member. Her lecture for that award will be at Emory University on May 16, 2017, entitled “Mitochondrial Blindness: An Emory Story.”

Dr. Newman has more than 450 publications to her credit, including the “bible” of neuro-ophthalmology, Walsh & Hoyt’s Clinical Neuro-Ophthalmology, 5th and 6th Editions, and the textbook, Neuro-Ophthalmology Illustrated, co-authored with Emory Eye Center physician Valérie Biousse, MD. The second edition of Neuro-Ophthalmology Illustrated won first place for its category in the 2016 British Medical Association publishing awards and an honorable mention from the Association of American Publishers’ PROSE Awards.

Dr. Newman joined the Emory Eye Center faculty in 1989.



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