News Releases

October 24, 2017

Faculty recognition montage Emory Eye Center faculty are honored at the 2017 Celebration of Faculty Excellence

(ATLANTA) – Thirteen Emory Eye Center faculty members were recognized at the Emory School of Medicine’s Celebration of Faculty Excellence Ceremony on October 18. Each year, the School of Medicine honors faculty in a variety of categories for the excellence of their work, teaching, distinguished service, mentoring, and leadership.

Publishing and Professional Awards

Most of the Emory Eye Center awardees were noted for accomplishments during the past year including publishing awards, faculty promotions, professional society involvement, and more.

Maria Aaron, MD – Elected secretary of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Annual Meeting
Valérie Biousse, MD – First prize in the Neurology Category of the British Medical Association Medical Book Awards for Neuro-Ophthalmology Illustrated, 2nd edition
Hans Grossniklaus, MD, MBA – Appointed editor in chief for World Health Organization Classification of Tumours of the Eye, 4th edition; reached Lifetime Member status in the AAO
Amy Hutchinson, MD – Senior Honor Award from the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS)
Nancy Newman, MD – First prize in the Neurology Category of the British Medical Association Medical Book Awards for Neuro-Ophthalmology Illustrated, 2nd edition; appointed director of the American Academy of Neurology Fall Conferences; appointed to the Advisory Council of the Center for Health and Wellbeing of Princeton University; H. Houston Merritt Lecture presenter at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting
Jill Wells, MD – Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)

Four faculty members were promoted to the rank of associate professor of ophthalmology: glaucoma specialist Annette Giangiacomo, MD; oculoplastics specialist Brent Hayek, MD; pediatric ophthalmologist Phoebe Lenhart, MD; and comprehensive ophthalmologist April Maa, MD.

Mentoring Award

The Emory School of Medicine Mentoring Award recognizes faculty who have demonstrated outstanding mentoring in the domains of education, service, and/or research to trainees or early career faculty during the past year. Neuro-ophthalmologist Valérie Biousse, MD, was one of four recipients for 2017, chosen from almost 50 nominations.

Comments in the nomination packets highlighted the importance and value of a mentoring relationship. As one of Dr. Biousse’s nominations stated, “… without Valerie’s guidance and support, I would not be starting my academic career as a clinical-scientist at Emory.”

Another nomination shared that Dr. Biousse’s “… goal is to help you get to where you want to be, offering guidance without restricting you to a specific path.”

Excellence in Research

Glaucoma specialist Anastasios Costarides, MD, and clinical research coordinator Donna Leef, MMSc, were each recognized for their inclusion in the Emory University MilliPub Club. The MilliPub Club honors and recognizes current Emory faculty who have published one or more individual papers throughout their careers that have each garnered more than 1000 citations. Such a paper is commonly considered a “citation classic” and represents high impact scholarship.

Hidden Gem Award

One highlight from the evening is the announcement of Hidden Gem Awards. The faculty members who are noted as Hidden Gems were nominated by their departments in recognition of their outstanding, but often unnoticed or unrecognized, contributions to Emory or beyond. The below quotes were provided by the department Chairs.

Jiong Yan, MD, received a Hidden Gem award for the ophthalmology department. As Allen Beck, MD, interim chair of ophthalmology and interim director of the Emory Eye Center says, “Dr. Yan is a consummate team player who willingly takes on important service projects, such as quality improvement. She is an excellent educator who has led the retina fellowship, which is one of the top programs in the country. Dr. Yan is also an outstanding clinician and academician, and has spearheaded efforts to better understand macular degeneration and inherited retinal diseases.”

Dr. Yan is part of Emory Eye Center’s section of vitreoretinal surgery and diseases and directs the inherited retinal diseases unit.

“I want to congratulate the faculty who were honored during the Emory Celebration of Faculty Excellence,” says Beck. “We were extremely well represented as a department. It is a pleasure to work with such a distinguished group.”

The Emory Eye Center has long been a clinical, scientific and academic leader for eye care. Ophthalmologists, optometrists and other eye care professionals treat individuals of all ages who need care ranging from general examinations to treatment of complex disorders. Scientists at Emory Eye Center are researching the causes of and improved treatments for macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, genetic eye diseases and more. Innovative treatments, groundbreaking research and personalized care have earned Emory Eye Center the respect of patients and providers alike. To learn more, visit

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