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5.03.2016

Two Bascom Palmer Physicians Named among World’s 100 Most Influential in Ophthalmology

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Chairman, Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., and Philip J. Rosenfeld, M.D., Ph.D., have been named two of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Ophthalmology by The Ophthalmologist, a leading British publication, in its just-released 2016 Power List. Alfonso is known for his clinical expertise and research in eye diseases, corneal surgery, corneal transplantation and ocular microbiology. Rosenfeld is one of the world’s leading experts on age-related macular degeneration.

The members of the Power List, which include physicians, vision scientists and business leaders, were selected from nominations received from throughout the world.

“It is extremely flattering to be included among the most prominent people within the field of ophthalmology,” says Alfonso. “This prestigious recognition is a result of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s tradition of excellence. Bascom Palmer is the ideal forum for addressing crucial issues confronting ophthalmology, as well as the model environment for delivering exceptional patient care, pioneering research and outstanding education.”

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute serves as the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and is part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System.

Physician, surgeon, professor and researcher, Alfonso holds the Kathleen and Stanley J. Glaser Chair in Ophthalmology. He is an internationally known expert on ocular infectious diseases and serves as medical director of Bascom Palmer’s Ocular Microbiology Laboratory. He garnered worldwide attention in 2006, when he documented an increase in the incidence of an aggressive form of fungal corneal infections related to soft contact lens use. His findings resulted in a reduction of new infections around the world and triggered a recall of a popular contact lens solution.

Alfonso is known for his expertise in implanting artificial corneas. His research interests include bacterial and fungal sensitivity, and the development and clinical applications of keratoprosthesis, an artificial cornea, which has significant potential for patients awaiting transplants in developing nations where donor tissue is often scarce.

Rosenfeld has been a pioneer in the use of drugs to prevent blindness in neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss among the elderly. He was the lead clinical investigator in developing Lucentis (Genentech), the first treatment proven to significantly improve vision in patients with wet AMD, and was the first author on publications describing the Phase I, II and III trials for Lucentis, including the seminal publication that appeared in the October 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Lucentis, which is injected directly into the eye, works by blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that causes abnormal blood vessels to grow. These abnormal blood vessels are the cause of rapid severe vision loss in patients with wet AMD.

In addition, Rosenfeld pioneered the off-label use of Avastin (Genentech) to treat wet AMD. The global impact can be appreciated not only for wet AMD but also for a wide range of ocular diseases caused by the overproduction of VEGF in the eye including vein occlusions, diabetic retinopathy, and retinopathy of prematurity (a disease that causes blindness in premature infants).

Twelve doctors on the 2016 Power List have practiced ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer, or trained at Bascom Palmer’s highly-ranked medical education programs, including Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A., Bascom Palmer Chair from 2001 to 2007, who is listed as #8 on the Power List. Bascom Palmer alumni Alan Bird, M.D., (Fellow 1969), Harry Quigley, M.D., (Fellow 1977), Stanley Chang, M.D., (Fellow 1979), Steven Charles, M.D., (Resident 1973), Martine Jager, M.D., (Fellow 1993), Peter Kaiser, M.D., (Fellow 1997), Robert Osher, M.D., (Resident, Fellow 1981), and Douglas Rhee, M.D., (Fellow 2000) join voluntary faculty member, William Trattler, M.D., on this year’s Power List.

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has been ranked the No. 1 eye hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report for 12 consecutive years. Bascom Palmer has also been recognized as having the best residency program in ophthalmology in the nation by Doximity.com, the largest online physician network.

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