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TWO WELCOMED TO DEPARTMENT
Michael Wagoner, MD, joined us in August as professor of Ophthalmology. He is working in Cornea and performing refractive corneal surgery with Dr. John Sutphin and is co-medical director of the Iowa Lions Eye Bank. He is also continuing as editor-in-chief of The Middle East Journal of Ophthalmology, official journal of the Pan Arab-African Society of Ophthalmology. With a circulation of approximately 2500, and articles primarily from Saudi Arabia, other member nations, and Europe and the U.S., the journal is currently under consideration for inclusion in Index Medicus. If accepted, it will be the first specialty journal from the Middle East to be so included.
Dr. Wagoner received his MD degree from Baylor College of Medicine, and completed his residency and fellowships in ophthalmic pathology and cornea/external disease at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston.
After living in Boston for 16 years, Michael and wife Betsy moved with their four children to Saudi Arabia where Michael became the director of the King Khaled Eye Hospital. They enjoyed living there and traveled to eleven different countries on vacations during that time. However, they missed many things about living in the U.S., e.g. spectator sports, movies, and live entertainment. So they came to Iowa City!
Betsy Wagoner, whose profession is nursing, is currently working as a full-time mom to their children, sons Justin, age 15, and Kyle, 14, and daughters Mollie, 11, and Sarah, 7.
Larry McGranahan took over as assistant to Dr. Thomas A. Weingeist and administrator for the Department of Ophthalmology on August 2. McGranahan succeeds longtime administrator Michael Bresnahan who retired at the end of April. (See story below.) McGranahan most recently worked as administrator for the Joint Office for Clinical Outreach Services at UIHC, a position he held since that office was created in 1994. He earned an MA in hospital and health administration and a BS in general sciences from the UI. Previously, he worked at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids as director of planning, assistant to the senior vice president of Operations, and administrative fellow. He was also a senior projects assistant in the UI College of Medicine Office of Community-Based Programs.
A native of Cedar Rapids, McGranahan came to Iowa City in 1968 as a freshman at the UI. He is married to Kathryn "Kot" Flora, assistant director of the Johnson County Public Health Department. They are parents of twin boys, Dustin and Nicholas, both sophomores at The University of Iowa.
Four residents and one fellow graduated at the end of December 1998. Dr. Jeffrey Jordan returned to his home state of Maine, to join the Eastern Maine Eye Associates in Bangor. Dr. Darwin Wooten also returned to his home state, Mississippi, where he is practicing ophthalmology with the U.S. Air Force at Keesler AFB, Biloxi. Dr. Scott Stice has joined a private practice in Shelton, Washington. Dr. Kristie Shappell, the lone graduate remaining with us, is now a fellow here in Pediatric Ophthalmology. Dr. Catherine Betor (pediatric ophthalmology fellow) has joined Morganton Eye Physicians, PA, in Morganton, North Carolina.
Four residents and seven fellows graduated on June 30. Dr. Ted Barnett took a fellowship in glaucoma at Washington University Eye Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Dianna Bordewick joined the Marshfield Clinic, Wausau Branch in Wausau, Wisconsin. Dr. Brian Nichols remained here in a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship. Dr. Kean Oh also remained for a 2-year retina fellowship.
Fellows also moved far and wide. Dr. Maria Barbe (pediatric ophthalmology) entered private practice at the Eye Care Center in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Dr. Alan Franklin (retina) also joined a private practice with Southeastern Retina Associates in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Dr. Robert Honkanen (glaucoma) has not yet finalized his plans. Dr. Raj Maturi (retina) received an academic appointment at Indiana University but will also be in private practice at the Midwest Eye Institute, Indianapolis. Dr. Robert Oppenheim (cornea) took a refractive surgery fellowship with Mitchell Jackson, MD, working out of two offices in the Chicago area. Dr. Lynnette Watkins (oculoplastics) accepted a staff position at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston.
Two other fellows have accepted second-year appointments as fellows. Dr. Syndee Givre is continuing in the clinic and working on research in neuro-ophthalmology. She was awarded a Knapp Fellowship for the year which provides a $20,000 stipend for research. Dr. Andrew Lotery is remaining for a second year of training in molecular ophthalmology and retina.
Dr. Beata Rymgayllo-Jankowska, visiting research fellow in ocular pathology, has returned to Lublin University in Lublin, Poland, where she has been appointed director of Ophthalmic Pathology and of the East Central European Group of Eye Banks.
Dr. Sung Pyo Hong, visiting research fellow in glaucoma from Kyungpook National University Hospital in Taegu, Korea, will remain here until January 2000, working on a research project in neuro-ophthalmology with Dr. Randy Kardon.
The 1999 P.J. Leinfelder Awards for Research were presented to the following residents and fellows during the June Iowa Eye meeting: Dr. Sung-Pyo "Sunny" Hong, visiting research fellow in Glaucoma, for his project entitled "Correlation of visual field threshold sensitivity and peripapillary nerve fiber layer thickness as measured by scanning laser polarimetry" (sponsors were Drs. Lee Alward and Young Kwon); Dr. Andrew Lotery, fellow in Molecular Ophthalmology and Retina, for "A single mutation is Responsibile for malattia leventinese (autosomal dominant radial drusen) and Doyne honeycomb retinal dystrophy" (sponsor was Dr. Ed Stone); and Dr. Kristie Shappell, resident, (now a fellow in Pediatric Ophthalmology), for "Retinopathy in the Koletsky rat: The effect of hypertension" (sponsors were Drs. Ed Stone and Greg Hageman). All projects were presented at the May 1st annual Resident/Fellow Research Day.
Sohan S. Hayreh, MD, MS, PhD, DSc, FRCS, was appointed professor of ophthalmology and director of the Ocular Vascular Clinic and Research Laboratory in 1973. A graduate of Panjab University, India, and of London University, London, England, with a PhD in ophthalmology and later, a DSc in medicine, he is internationally known and held in very high regard by his colleagues.
Dr. Hayreh was presented the Watumull Prize for outstanding contribution to Medical Research in London in 1964, and the Von Sallmann Prize in New Delhi in 1994. Recently, Dr. Hayreh was cited in an editorial of the Archives of Ophthalmology 117, March 1999: "No commentary that purports to provide a perspective on NAION would be complete without acknowledging the enormous contribution that Sohan Singh Hayreh, MD, PhD, DSc, has, for a period of four decades, made to our understanding of this and related disorders. Restrictions of space preclude referencing all pertinent publications of Dr. Hayreh and colleagues."
When asked what his greatest contribution to ophthalmology has been, Dr. Hayreh replied without hesitation, "pulling weeds!" He hastened to explain that he has constantly attempted to weed out misinformation by applying the purest scientific principles of truth and proof beyond doubt. He wishes to "encourage scientific discourse, often creating animus among his colleagues, by injecting healthy amounts of doubt and skepticism." He relates that he has often been an "outcast," but has often been ultimately proven correct during the past 40 years. For example, long ago, he declared that glaucoma was a vascular disease, a fact now completely accepted by his peers.
Dr. Hayreh's goals have always been the pursuit of research and the advancement of science. He has enjoyed patient care and teaching as well and has combined the three very well. At 71 years of age, Dr. Hayreh intends to "publish more, much more" and finish many projects, e.g. tracing the natural history of the vascular disease he has followed in patients for the past 26 years, despite a lack of money for research. Such problems certainly didn't hold him back when he began his research career in 1955 at the new medical college in Patiala, Punjab, India. As he relates in "Adventure in Three Worlds," Survey of Ophthalmology 35(4):317-324, 1991, "With the faintest of faint hopes, I wrote to the DuPont company asking if they could possibly send me some free samples of liquid latex, and they sent me two gallons, which was enough for my project (preparing vascular casts to study the anatomy of the vascular bed in the human). The rest, as they say, is history." He ended up proving there was no central artery of the optic nerve as had been claimed by other investigators. Thus, he "pulled his first weed" of misinformation.
Peter Gouras, MD, spoke of Dr. Hayreh when presenting him with the Von Sallmann Prize in 1994: "This exceptional man is both scientist and clinician of enormous stature in the field of ophthalmology ... And he did everything himself, a trait that he continues to this day in his research. Never do the results of his research need 'interpretation.' His findings are absolutely clear and confirmed repeatedly." We have not heard the last from Dr. Hayreh.
On July 1, we welcomed several new residents and fellows to our department.
75th Anniversary Celebration Planned
The new millennium will mark the commencement of the 75th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Department of Ophthalmology. Prior to 1925, our department, like most eye departments, was part of surgery. Since that time more than 355 residents and 389 fellows have been trained by 82 full-time faculty. The facilities have grown from small corridor offices in the General Hospital into the spacious contemporary facilities we occupy on the main and lower levels of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion.
A special 75th Anniversary Edition of the Iowa Eye Directory will be published at the beginning of the year. Please make sure when we request updates that your information is correct.
NEI Exhibit to Visit
The National Eye Institute Traveling Exhibit, "Vision," will be in Iowa City during April and May for school children and the public to view. A special opening ceremony is planned with exhibit panels from the NEI and the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.
Many Festivities Planned
The 75th anniversary celebration will be highlighted during the annual Iowa Eye meeting and by the Braley and Wolfe Lectures June 15 _ 17, 2000. Thursday evening there will be a dinner reception in the Levitt Center for University Advancement occupied by the University of Iowa Foundation followed by a Riverside Theater performance in City Park of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Additional festivities are planned for Friday evening. The meeting will end Saturday around noon.
Throughout the year we will have Clinical Conferences, and the festivities will officially end during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology alumni reception in Dallas.
Hope you can join us during the celebration. The strength of the Iowa Eye Association is based on the loyal support of our alumni and friends. I look forward to seeing you in Orlando, Monday, October 25th, for the Iowa Eye Reception and in Y2K in Iowa City.
Glaucoma Investigators Win Prize
Drs. Ed Stone and Lee Alward and their team of investigators at Iowa and four other institutions have been awarded the 1998 Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize of $50,000. Other Iowa investigators include Dr. Val Sheffield in the Department of Pediatrics, John Fingert, MD-PhD Medical Scientist Training Program student, and Dr. Brian Nichols, ophthalmology resident and graduate of the Iowa MST program. They were nominated for their publication entitled "Identification of a gene that causes primary open angle glaucoma," Science 275(5300):668-670, January 1997. The $50,000 award is funded by the May and Samuel Rudin Foundation, Inc., and sponsored by the New York Academy of Medicine which awards the prize for the best glaucoma publication of the year.
The findings of Stone, Alward, et al., which have been confirmed in a number of publications throughout the world, point to better ways of identifying and treating individuals at risk of primary open angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma and the second leading cause of legal blindness in the United States. The UI team identified a mutant gene on chromosome 1 that leads to the vast majority of juvenile-onset open angle glaucoma cases and at least 3% of adult-onset open angle glaucoma cases. A subsequent publication in the New England Journal of Medicine 339(18):1298-1307, 1998, described 156 mutations and 22 polymorphisms in this gene that account for a spectrum of the disease ranging from juvenile glaucoma to typical late-onset POAG. Team researchers from other institutions included Thai D. Nguyen, PhD, and Jon R. Polansky, MD, University of California at San Francisco; Abbot F. Clark, PhD, Alcon Laboratories, Fort Worth, Texas; David A. Mackey, MD, University of Melbourne and University of Tasmania; Robert Ritch, MD, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary; Jeffrey W. Kalenak, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin at Milwaukee; and E. Randy Craven, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine. The research team's efforts were supported in part by the National Eye Institute, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, and Research to Prevent Blindness.
Folberg and Team Make Cancer Discovery
A team of researchers including Dr. Robert Folberg, director of the Blodi Ocular Pathology Laboratory, Dr. Andrew Maniotis, assistant research scientist in Anatomy, and led by Dr. Mary Hendrix, professor and chair of Anatomy and Cell Biology, have made a promising discovery about the way cancer spreads that may shake traditional thinking about the disease and its treatment. Their studies show that aggressive cancer cells in eye and skin melanoma generate their own internal vascular networks to provide self-nourishment that allows cancerous tumors to grow. The studies further indicate that this same process may happen in other cancers they are investigating as well. Until now, doctors have thought tumors grew only from nourishment taken from nearby blood vessels. Thus, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation have been directed only at breaking up that process of attracting blood vessels from outside the tumor.
The research was published in American Journal of Pathology 155(3):739-752, September 1999.
On April 30, 1999, Michael Bresnahan retired from his position as assistant to the chair of Ophthalmology, which he had held since May 1985. Mike, as everyone calls him, was born and raised in Iowa City, and graduated from The University of Iowa with a business degree in 1962. He then worked for Western Electric in Chicago for eight years before returning to his hometown in 1970. He was director of Medical Records at UIHC for 15 years before taking over as administrator in Ophthalmology under Dr. Charles Phelps. After Dr. Phelps' death, Mike continued with interim department head Dr. Hansjoerg Kolder and then with current head, Dr. Thomas A. Weingeist.
Mike says he found the job to be very satisfying - he has no regrets. He is proud of the department, especially when compared with other ophthalmology departments. He says, "the high quality is amazing." He relates his most memorable moment as the opening of the Eye Institute in the Pomerantz Family Pavilion in 1996. It was the culmination of six years of planning and hard work. "This building is a real experience after working in the tunnels in Medical Records." Other ighlights of his career include the incredible changes in technology and in the UIHC itself - from three administrators in the entire hospital in 1970 to one in each of 16 clinical departments today!
Dr. Weingeist stated about Mike's retirement, "He has had a very positive influence during his tenure and was especially effective in the planning and move to the Pomerantz Family Pavilion. Michael will help during the transition. A search committee will be formed to name his successor. This will take time, and it will not be easy to find anyone who could work harder or be more dedicated. Michael knows so many people throughout the university, he was able to get many things done that others could not have. He has been a terrific asset and helped me through some very difficult times."
Twelve physicians in our department have been selected for inclusion in the 1999 "Best Doctors in America" database, a listing of the best-trained, most experienced and skilled specialists in the U.S. Named were Drs. Lee Alward, Culver Boldt, Keith Carter, Jim Folk, Randy Kardon, Ron Keech, Jeff Nerad, Steve Russell, Bill Scott, Ed Stone, John Sutphin and Tom Weingeist. The list was compiled by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC, from a survey of more than 30,000 doctors throughout the U.S. asked to rate the clinical abilities of other physicians in their areas of specialization. Only those physicians who earned the consensus support of their peers were included. Polling and person-to-person phone interviews asked the question, "If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty and you couldn't treat them yourself, to whom would you refer them?" UI physicians (a total of 152 included in the list) represent nearly half of the 309 physicians from Iowa listed in this year's database.
MOL Work Published
Dr. Edwin Stone and colleagues in the Molecular Ophthalmology Lab published an article in the December issue of Nature Genetics: EM Stone, AR Webster, K Vandenburgh, LM Streb, RR Hockey, AJ Lotery, and VC Sheffield: Allelic variation in ABCR associated with Stargardt disease but not age-related macular degeneration. Nature Genetics 20: 328-329, 1998. (Website http://genetics.nature.com/)
In recognition of his outstanding tele-pathology lectures, Dr. Robert Folberg received a first place award for the best distance learning program in higher education at the Eighteenth Annual Teleconferencing Users Conference in Anaheim, California, in October 1998. Randy Verdick submitted the nomination of Dr. Folberg to ABC TeleCon, which sponsors the conference and the award. Randy and Jerry Gilmere of UIHC Telecommunications accepted the award with Dr. Folberg. As a pioneer in ophthalmic tele-education with the ophthalmic pathology program, Dr. Folberg has reached students first in West Virginia, then Vienna, Austria, and hopes in the future to teach in Hong Kong and Beijing without leaving Iowa City.
Peds Project Funded
A proposal from Dr. William Scott for providing glasses for children with congenital cataracts was approved for funding in the amount of $1,080 by the Children's Miracle Network.
Alward Publishes Review
Dr. Wallace L.M. "Lee" Alward's review of the medical management of glaucoma was published in October: Alward WLM: Medical management of glaucoma. New England Journal of Medicine 339(18):1298-1307, 1998.
Folk Heads AMD Trial Clinical Center
Dr. Jim Folk is principal investigator for the clinical center at Iowa for the Complications of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Prevention Trial (CAPT). The trial is a nation-wide randomized controlled study of whether laser treatment in eyes with early AMD prevents vision loss. Other Iowa co-investigators include Drs. Culver Boldt, Karen Gehrs, and Steve Russell. Recruitment for the study will go on for two years with follow-up to continue for five years.
Franklin Receives Award
Alan Franklin, retina fellow (1997-99), received an award for his presentation, "CAI is a Potent Inhibitor of Retinal Neovascularization," at the Research Forum of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO). Dr. Franklin's research was supported in part by Research to Prevent Blindness. His presentation was one of two chosen as the best of five presentations. The $1000 award was split between him and the other winner, Dr. Linda Day from the University of Washington.
Alward and Stone Travel to India
In January 1999, Drs. Lee Alward and Ed Stone, collaborators in research on and treatment of glaucoma, visited the molecular genetics lab they had set up in cooperation with the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. They were also keynote speakers at the All-India Ophthalmological Society in Kochin, India.
ITEM ADDED November 29, 1999
Robin Ross, MD, (resident graduate 1995) and Chad Cleveringa were married in October 1998, atop Mount Lincoln in New Hampshire. Dr. Ross has a busy private practice in Concord, New Hampshire. Her husband, who is from northwest Iowa, is an industrial operations / business consultant.
Atsushi Sawada, MD, PhD, (echography fellow 1974-75) is now professor and chair of the Department of Vision Science at Kyushu University of Health and Welfare, School of Health Science in Miyazaki, Japan.
Kevin McKinney, MD, MPH, has left his position as consultant in the Glaucoma Division at King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to join Eye Health Northwest in Oregon City, Oregon (Portland metropolitan area). He and his wife Greta now have three children: Christian (6), James (4) and Noelle (2).
Jane Edmond, MD, (pediatric ophthalmology fellow, 1990) has taken a position at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. Her address is Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, Richard D. Wood Building, 1st Floor, 34th St. and Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Prof. Dr. med. Martin Hatt-Suter (plastics fellow, 1977) passed away on December 23, 1998.
Dr. Maynard Wood, father of Dr. Larry Wood, both of Lincoln, Nebraska, died on January 9, 1999. Dr. Maynard Wood completed his ophthalmology residency training at Iowa in 1939, and was an active alumnus. He practiced ophthalmology in Lincoln for 50 years.
Dr. Henry Gurau died on November 12, 1998. A practicing ophthalmologist in Des Moines for many years, he attended most of our clinical conferences.
Dr. Russell M. Warren died on November 11, 1998. Dr. Warren completed his ophthalmology residency training at Iowa in 1973. Prior to his death, he was in practice in Logan, Utah.
Dr. Kosaraju Rajeswara Rao died on May 11, 1999, in Waterloo, Iowa. Dr. Rao served as a fellow and then as a clinical instructor in ophthalmology at the UI from 1966 to 1970. After more fellowship study at George Washington University, he returned to Iowa and established a private practice in Cedar Falls. Twenty years later, he joined the Iowa Eye Clinic in Waterloo, retiring in 1998.
Three of our first-year fellows have been designated Heed fellows for 1999-2000: Dr. Nancy J. Christmas, retina fellow; Dr. Brian E. Nichols, pediatric ophthalmology fellow and recent graduate from our residency training program; and Dr. Kean T. Oh, retina fellow and also recent residency graduate. Each has received a $15,000 stipend in support of their first year of fellowship training.
Generous grants for continuing research in glaucoma and macular degeneration and allied retinal diseases from four different sources have been awarded to investigators within our department working in an interdisciplinary fashion with researchers in other departments within the College of Medicine.
On January 1, 1999, Drs. Edwin Stone, Wallace Alward, and Gregory Hageman in the Department of Ophthalmology, Drs. Val Sheffield and Bento Soares in the UI Department of Pediatrics, and Dr. Tom Casavant in the UI Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering began a five-year project, "Genetic Approach to Glaucoma," funded by Alcon Laboratories in the amount of $3,200,000. This project is designed to identify new targets for glaucoma drug development by probing the pathophysiology of glaucoma at the molecular level.
Drs. Gregory Hageman and Edwin Stone are director and co-director, respectively, of the new Interdisciplinary Program in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. The program is funded in the amount of $3,528,274 for three years by CIBA Vision Corporation. Co-investigators are Drs. Karen Gehrs, Catherine Bowes-Rickman, Stephen Russell, Robert Mullins and Andrew Lotery from Ophthalmology, Drs. Soares, and Sheffield, from Pediatrics, and Dr. Casavant, from Electrical and Computer Engineering. All investigators are members of The University of Iowa Center for Macular Degeneration. The overall goal of this research project is to characterize the cascade of molecular events that ultimately lead to the degeneration of the retina, RPE and/or choroid in individuals afflicted with age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of irreversible blindness in most developed countries.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness has awarded $1,787,384 to fund another 5-year project, "Research Center for Macular Degeneration and Allied Retinal Diseases." Dr. Stone is the center director. In addition to Drs. Hageman, Sheffield, Soares, Casavant, Lotery, Mullins, and Bowes-Rickman, collaborators include Drs. Vera Soares (Pediatrics), Beverly Davidson (Internal Medicine), Ruth Swiderski (Pediatrics), and Kristie Shappell (Ophthalmology). The six sub-projects in this application are directly applicable to the improved diagnosis and treatment of human beings with retinal degeneration.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oakbrook, Illinois, has awarded Dr. Stone and Dr. Lotery $240,000 for a three-year macular degeneration research grant. This research project is directed at a better understanding of the role of specific variants in the ABCR gene in early-onset forms of macular degeneration such as Stargardt disease.