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2.10.2015

Dr. Sander R. Dubovy Honored as the Victor T. Curtin Chair in Ophthalmology

To continue supporting innovative research in experimental ocular pathology, Sander R. Dubovy, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and pathology, has been named the Victor T. Curtin Chair in Ophthalmology.

Dubovy accepted the honor before family, colleagues at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and Miller School of Medicine leadership during a dedication ceremony February 5 at the Jose Berrocal Auditorium.

“As I learned from Dr. Curtin himself, you always put institution above self,” said Dubovy, who is also the Medical Director of the Florida Lions Eye Bank. “With this chair, we hope to continue to expand the services of our laboratory in the fields of education, diagnostics, and research to leave a lasting impact on our students, patients, and the field of ophthalmology.”

Dubovy is just the second holder of the Chair, which was established in 1986 through funding from the Florida Lions Eye Bank. President Robert Hilliard, Vice President William Arthur, and Past Presidents Bob and Elizabeth Dawson and Juan Tejera were on hand for the ceremony.

In addition to supporting research, the chair also honors the landmark achievements of medical pioneer Victor T. Curtin, M.D., who was one of Bascom Palmer’s founders. The original holder of the chair, Curtin received a standing ovation from colleagues inspired by his leadership and legacy.

As only the second faculty member at Bascom Palmer, Curtin has been instrumental in shaping the Institute into a world-class facility that has been named the nation’s Number One eye hospital for 11 years in a row.

His impact stretches back to 1962, when, working with the Lions Club of South Florida, he founded the Florida Lions Eye Bank and served as its medical director for nearly 40 years. Knowing that ocular pathology is the cornerstone of education for ophthalmology, he established the Florida Lions Ocular Pathology Laboratory, which plays a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of ophthalmic disease nationwide.

“Thank you, Victor, for your non-stop dedication to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, on behalf of thousands and thousands of patients, residents, fellows, and other trainees who have come through the walls of this Institute,” said Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., professor and Chair of Bascom Palmer.
Alfonso also credited Dubovy with sharing a wealth of experience in both his position at Bascom Palmer and his leading role at the Florida Lions Eye Bank.

“Whether it be community service, clinical practice, surgical pathology, resident education, or international outreach, Dr. Dubovy continuously demonstrates a strong and inspirational example of integrity, compassion, leadership, and citizenship in always prioritizing the well-being and development of others,” said Alfonso.

An outstanding educator, Dubovy lectures extensively worldwide. He has also authored more than 125 peer-reviewed publications and is the Director of the Florida Lions Ocular Pathology Laboratory, which is one of just 10 dedicated eye pathology labs in the country.

Dubovy is also on the Medical Advisory Board of the Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency, and the board of directors of the American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists.

“Dr. Dubovy is one of only a handful of physicians board-certified in both ophthalmology and anatomic pathology,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth. “He is truly deserving of this honor.”

The Florida Lions Eye Bank’s primary mission is to recover, process, and distribute ocular tissue for patients in South Florida and beyond. In its more than 50-year history, it has provided more than 45,000 corneas for transplantation, more than 35,000 pieces of sclera or cornea for glaucoma procedures and other ocular procedures, and more than 30,000 eyes for research and/or teaching purposes.

Elizabeth Fout-Caraza, the Executive Director of the Florida Lions Eye Bank, said Dubovy spends countless hours ensuring the success of the pathology lab, as well as sharing its success with Lions members and the community.

“We are all proud to see this honor bestowed on such a deserving recipient,” Fout-Caraza said.

Virginia Jacko, President and CEO of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, was also on hand for the ceremony, as were members of Dubovy’s family: his wife Sarah, children David, Chase, and Hannah, parents Elaine and Herbert Dubovy, and mother-in-law Bernice Steinbaum.

Dubovy recognized that his family has had to sacrifice time with him as he engaged in academic and clinical pursuits.

“While it has undoubtedly been difficult, there is hopefully a lesson learned in how with dedication, humility, and hard work, one can truly make a difference, a lesson embodied by Dr. Victor T. Curtin,” he said.

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