Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Honors Recipients of Chairs and Professorship

Nine faculty members at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine were honored recently during a ceremony that was unique not only in its size and scope, but also in providing a first for the internationally renowned Institute.

The event, hosted on June 16 by the Department of Ophthalmology, commemorated two of the highest accolades in higher education. Eight faculty members were inducted into chairs that recognize clinical and scientific research, while one was inducted into a professorship that acknowledges contributions in basic science research.

“Honors like these are truly the ultimate tribute in academia,” said Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., Interim Dean of the Miller School. “They also provide a tangible result – the resources that allow our world-class scholars to continue their research and teaching programs in perpetuity. Their dedication to the education of the next generation of ophthalmologists, to innovative research and to excellent clinical care is inspiring.”

Vittorio Porciatti, D.SC., professor of ophthalmology, neuroscience and biomedical engineering, and Director and Vice Chair of Research, was awarded the James L. Knight Professorship in Ophthalmology. The professorship is the first in Bascom Palmer’s history.

Those inducted into chairs included:

Hilda Capó, M.D., professor of clinical ophthalmology and medical director of the pediatric ophthalmology service, who was awarded the John T. Flynn Chair in Ophthalmology.

Janet L. Davis, M.D., M.A., retina specialist and professor of ophthalmology, who was awarded the Leach Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology.

David S. Greenfield, M.D., glaucoma specialist and professor of ophthalmology, who was awarded the Douglas R. Anderson Chair in Ophthalmology.

John R. Guy, M.D., neuro-ophthalmology specialist and professor of ophthalmology, who was awarded the Charlotte B. Rodgers Research Chair in Ophthalmology.

Carol L. Karp, M.D., corneal and external diseases specialist and professor of ophthalmology, who was awarded the Richard K. Forster Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology.

Byron L. Lam, M.D., professor of ophthalmology, medical director of neuro-ophthalmology and Scientific Co-Director of the Adrienne Arsht Hope for Vision Retinal Degeneration Laboratory, who was awarded the Robert
Z. and Nancy J. Green Chair in Ophthalmology.

William E. Smiddy, M.D., a retinal specialist and professor of ophthalmology, who was awarded the M. Brenn Green Chair in Ophthalmology.

Richard K. Parrish, II, M.D., professor of ophthalmology, and medical director of the glaucoma service, who was awarded the Edward W.D. Norton Chair in Ophthalmology.

“These nine faculty members have made careers of providing not only excellent improvements in clinical care but also outstanding teaching and seeking answers to ophthalmology’s most challenging questions through their research,” said Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., Kathleen and Stanley J. Glaser Chair in Ophthalmology, Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Director of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, who recalled that the first group chair ceremony at Bascom Palmer was originally created by Edward W.D. Norton, the founding Chair of the Institute.

John G. Clarkson, M.D. ’68, professor of ophthalmology and Dean Emeritus of the Miller School, was also in attendance, along with more than 130 family members, friends and colleagues of the recipients. A brief presentation about each physician was made before the chairs and professorship were formally unveiled.

For more than five decades, Bascom Palmer’s efforts to lessen the burden of blinding diseases has been nurtured by the generosity of friends and benefactors, many of whom have helped guarantee the Institute’s future reserve of resources through endowed gifts, such as chairs and professorships.

Bascom Palmer is internationally recognized as one of the finest centers for ophthalmic care, vision research and education. In addition to being named the No. 1 eye hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 12 consecutive years, its residency program has been ranked the best in the nation, and the Institute offers fellowship programs in every ophthalmic subspecialty.

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