We were all so saddened by Jeff Hurwitz’s recent passing. Jeff was such an integral part of this Department and a very proud University of Toronto alumnus. He completed medical school at the University of Toronto and his internship at St. Michael’s Hospital. After working abroad, he returned to U of T to complete his residency in Ophthalmology, followed by a fellowship in lacrimal and orbital surgery at Moorfield’s in London. He then returned once again to U of T in 1975, where he had a distinguished academic career with the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences -- first as a dedicated faculty member, then as Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital and later as our Department Chair.
While Dr. Hurwitz received many accolades throughout his remarkable career (including the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s prestigious Lester Jones Award, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the OMA section of Ophthalmology), he was proudest of the recognition he received from his residents and trainees for excellence in medical and surgical teaching. The compassionate and excellent care he provided to his patients was a wonderful model for all his students. He will be greatly missed.
To honour Jeff’s legacy, our Department established the Dr Jeffrey Hurwitz Excellence in Oculoplastics Award. Each year, the award will recognize an exceptional fellow who demonstrates excellence in mentorship, oculoplastics surgery, patient care and compassion – Dr. Hurwitz’s hallmark skills and traits.
Since establishing the endowed award, many tribute gifts have already been received from Dr. Hurwitz’s many generous family members, friends, patients and colleagues.
I can think of no better way to honour Jeff’s legacy, and the significant impact he had on our lives and our work, than by helping postgraduate trainees who will contribute both locally and globally and improve the health of individuals and populations for generations to come.
Thank you for your support and generosity.
Sherif El-Defrawy, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
Nanji Family Chair in Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
Chair & Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
University of Toronto
Over the past month, Ukrainians have been fighting for the security of their families and their country and facing injury, hunger and death as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The number of Ukrainian refugees has now surpassed 4 million people. Ukrainian ophthalmologists are treating patients with eye trauma around the clock, but their distribution networks for medical and surgical supplies have been disrupted and supplies are running low.
A number of our ophthalmology colleagues have reached out to ask how they can support the crisis in Ukraine, and more specifically how to donate to eye-related causes, supporting treatment of ocular injury and prevention of visual loss in Ukraine.
Eyes on Ukraine, is a Canadian initiative, co-founded by Dr. Michael Kryshtalskyj, PGY-2 ophthalmology resident (University of Calgary) and Dr. Larissa Derzko-Dzulynsky, (Associate Professor, U of T, DOVS) to provide financial, material, educational and other medical support to Ukraine and Ukrainians, with a focus on ocular needs. Other members of Eyes on Ukraine include Drs. Natalia Baziuk, George Beiko, Paul Harasymowycz, Eugene Hladky, Cindy Hutnik, Andrew Iwach, Steve Kosar, Lesya Shuba, and Alex Tokarewycz.
Members of our Eyes on Ukraine team are in regular contact with Ukrainian ophthalmologists and we will be dynamically supporting them in the coming weeks and months.
We are extremely fortunate to have the support of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. Eyes on Ukraine is collecting monetary donations through the COS Foundation (a charitable fund, which will be able to issue tax receipts). https://www.cos-sco.ca/cos-foundation/eyes-on-ukraine/
Funds will be used to:
Procure and distribute much-needed ophthalmic medications and equipment to Ukrainian ophthalmologists.
Establish a telemedicine program to facilitate collaboration between Canadian and Ukrainian ophthalmologists in managing complex cases.
Provide educational materials to front-line doctors and medics in Ukraine on managing ocular injuries.
Be a source of support for anticipated longer term sequelae resulting from this unprecedented attack, displacement and disruption of millions of Ukrainian citizens and the ophthalmologists who care for them.
We are very grateful to our industry partners to date, who have made significant donations of products from Alcon, B&L, Labtician, Epsilon, Instrumentarium and Aurolab/Aravind. Ophthalmic supplies and equipment are already being shipped to Ukraine.
Eyes on Ukraine is in regular communication with various other organizations, ESCRS, AAO, Moorfields, Médecins sans Frontières and Orbis, to discuss needs, supplies & supplies distribution. We are also collaborating in a global telemedicine and education network and a global response team for Ukraine as well as for other crisis situations around the world.
Our hope is that the war will end soon and that peace will prevail in Ukraine.
University of Toronto and Trillium Health Partners Ophthalmologist Ike Ahmed appointed as Director of Moran Eye Center’s new Alan S. Crandall Center for Glaucoma Innovation
Photo credit: John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah
Dr. Ike Ahmed has been a long-standing faculty member at the University of Toronto DOVS and Trillium Health Partners contributing to the department in research, education, and clinical activities. He has been recognized internationally for his innovative work in glaucoma, complex cataract surgery and intraocular lens complications.
Since his fellowship at the Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, he has also maintained an adjunct academic affiliation and collaboration there to enhance his work and efforts. Recently, the Moran Eye Center created the Alan S. Crandall Center for Glaucoma Innovation named after Dr. Ahmed’s late mentor. The center will house a glaucoma surgical laboratory, as well as units for translational medicine, genetic research, neuroprotection-based therapeutics, and global health initiatives. Dr. Ahmed has been selected to serve as the Founding Director of the new center.
He will join the Moran faculty as a part-time clinician and lead the Crandall Center. This unique appointment will allow him to continue his work here in the Greater Toronto Area while contributing part-time in Utah. Dr. Ahmed has long been a clinician and researcher, splitting his time between patient care, teaching, administration, and research locally and internationally. He will continue to do this, spending most of his time here in Toronto accepting specialized referrals and caring for his patients.
“I feel this opportunity to direct a leading basic science effort in glaucoma in Utah will synergistically work very well with my busy clinical practice here in Canada to develop better therapies that our patients so need. My global work has enabled me to bring innovative treatments home to our patients here in Canada before most places in the world, and I intend to continue to do this seamlessly. I remain firmly committed to my patients, colleagues, trainees, and collaborators here at home,” said Dr. Ahmed.
“Congratulations to Dr. Ahmed on his new position as the inaugural Director of the Crandall Center for Glaucoma Innovation. I know how honoured and excited he is by this. Ike will continue to play an important part at U of T DOVS and spend the majority of his time in Toronto. I can see new synergies in glaucoma research occurring between the University of Toronto and the University of Utah through this.” said Dr. El-Defrawy.
Dr. Ashwin Mallipatna appointed as the Head of the Retinoblastoma Program at the Hospital for Sick Children
by: Dr. Asim Ali
It is with pleasure that I announce that Ashwin Mallipatna will be taking on the role of Head of the Retinoblastoma Program at the Hospital for Sick Children, effective April 1st.
He will be taking over this role from Brenda Gallie, who has lead the program since it was was first established. Brenda, as we all know, has lead the team to tremendous success and international recognition and is a pioneer and visionary in the area. She has established SickKids as a world leader in RB clinical care and research. She also led a strong fellowship program with numerous fellows and global impact. Brenda will continue as a member of the team, providing consultation on difficult cases, as well as continuing with the chemoplaque trial and other research and global ophthalmology interests.
It gives me great pleasure that the program has a very bright future with the additions of Ashwin and Stephanie Kletke to the RB team in the last 2 years. We will be able to continue to provide excellent care, and cutting-edge innovation and research to improve the lives of children with RB.
Please join me in wishing Ashwin success in his new role.
Dr. Graham Trope retired from Clinical Practice at UHN-Toronto Western Hospital
Dr. Graham Trope retired from his clinical practice at UHN-Toronto Western Hospital in March 2022 following an illustrious career impacting tens of thousands of patients, two generations of ophthalmologists in this country and over fifty glaucoma specialists around the world. His leadership of the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences as the Chair and the Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at UHN-TWH allowed both the university and hospital departments to be recognized as one of the finest in the world. Toronto and Canada benefitted highly from his stewardship.
Dr. Trope joined the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences in 1984 and was Department Chair and Ophthalmologist in Chief at UHN-TWH from 1992 to 2001. Dr. Trope was well recognized as a teacher and received numerous teaching awards. In 2013 Dr. Trope received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to Ophthalmology in Canada. He has over 200 publications and as an academic clinician played an important role in moving our knowledge forward and aiding in providing the best possible care for patients. He was the Founder of the Glaucoma Research Society of Canada, Editor of the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology, all of which has enhanced Canadian Ophthalmology’s body of knowledge.
The Department wishes Dr. Trope the very best for his retirement and future endeavours.
Dr. Irfan Kherani appointed to DOVS and UHN-Toronto Western Hospital
Please join me in extending a warm welcome to our new glaucoma specialist, Dr. Irfan Kherani, who has just been appointed to the Department of Ophthalmology of Vision Sciences and the UHN-Toronto Western Hospital where he will offer the full range of glaucoma and complex cataract/intraocular lens surgery.
Dr. Kherani was born and raised in Edmonton. He completed his undergraduate degree at Princeton University in Molecular Biology with Certificates in Global Health & Health Policy and Theatre Arts and his medical degree at the University of Alberta in June 2015. He completed his residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Ottawa and a fellowship in Glaucoma & Advanced Anterior Segment Surgery at the University of Toronto followed by another in Vision Rehabilitation at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Kherani is currently completing the Harvard Medical School Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program.
Dr. Kherani will spend his time between research and seeing patients with glaucoma and low vision. He has experience assessing tele-ophthalmology, both tele-glaucoma and tel-retina, in resource limited settings, as well as the role of the uniform-field electroretinogram photopic-negative response in reflecting ganglion cell function in patients with early glaucoma.
Dr. Kherani plans to pursue research in vision rehabilitation, especially in glaucoma patients aimed at optimizing their function, as well as in the quantitative effect of glaucoma laser and surgery, comparing both traditional micro-invasive, to intraocular pressure fluctuation.
Once again, please join me in welcoming Dr. Irfan Kherani to the Department.
30th Anniversary of the Surgical Wet Lab Teaching Program
by: Dr. Charlotte Wedge
2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Surgical Wet Lab Teaching Program at the University of Toronto Department of Ophthalmology, now DOVS. It has been very rewarding to watch the growth of the program from very humble beginnings in the basement of the Gage Animal Research Institute on College Street. Its inception is owed to the Ophthalmology residents from that time as it was they who asked for extra instruction in suturing techniques. In 1992, I was Dr. David Rootman’s first Cornea Fellow (!) and was involved in research based at the Gage Institute. With Dr. Rootman’s approval, we started meeting there, informally, for suture sessions and were able to obtain research eyes from the Eye Bank just a few blocks away. The residents then requested training in the rather new method of phacoemulsification. Johnson and Johnson were a supplier of Phaco machines at that time and the local representative would bump the large suitcase containing the tabletop machine down the stairs to the basement, where one operating microscope was located.
Sessions took place on Friday afternoons, with only those residents who were able to escape from their hospital duties for a few hours. To ensure that all residents had access to the teaching, Dr. Allan Slomovic, Program Director, persuaded the hospital clinic co-ordinators to release two residents, in a rotating schedule, each Friday afternoon for protected education time.
As more residents became involved, so did invited instructors and a formal schedule was developed under the guidance of the new Surgical Teaching Committee. It soon became apparent that the Wet Lab needed more space to accommodate an increase in learning stations. With the support of the Dean of Medicine and Dr. Graham Trope, Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, the Wet Lab moved to One Spadina in 1997. An education grant from Alcon provided microscopes, phaco machines, and microsurgical instruments for four operating stations.
The Wet Lab moved briefly to the CNIB, along with the Eye Bank, prior to finding a permanent home at Kensington Eye Institute. The residents have easy access and it is a welcoming learning space. The curriculum has evolved to include teaching in a variety of subspecialties and the success of the program can be attributed to the generous donations of time and expertise from our staff and surgeons, including its Directors. Since 2003, successive Directors have been Dr. Gordon Squires, Dr. Clara Chan, and Dr. Nupura Bakshi. It is now in the capable hands of Dr. Amrit Rai. I am sure it will continue to be one of the highlights of training at the University of Toronto.
ALS and eye interview with Brain Canada Foundation
Drs. Yeni Yucel and Neeru Gupta working with a highly collaborative team, and support from a discovery grant, are exploring the use of the scanning laser ophthalmoscope and optical coherence tomography to define the presence of spheroids in retinal axons, a marker for ALS, in patients. Please find a recent interview with Dr. Yeni Yucel and Dr. Neeru Gupta by Brain Canada Foundation through the link below:
Publication of the 11th edition of The Ophthalmic Assistant
by: Dr. Raymond Stein
Stein HA, Stein RM, Freeman MI, Stein R. The Ophthalmic Assistant E-Book: A Text for Allied and Associated Ophthalmic Personnel. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2021.
We are proud to announce that the 11th edition of the Ophthalmic Assistant has been published. The goal has been to provide a practical, up-to-date guidance on ocular diseases, surgical procedures, medications, and equipment, as well as paramedical procedures and office management. The book has 874 pages and over 1,000 figures.
The concept of the Ophthalmic Assistant was developed by Dr Harold Stein and Dr Bernard Slatt in the 1960’s and lead to the development of the profession, training programs, now in over 40 countries around the world, and a comprehensive textbook. The Ophthalmic Assistant has been one of the best-selling books in ophthalmology of all time and has received many international awards over the years
This 11th edition is dedicated to our father and grandfather Dr Harold Stein, who passed away in January of 2021 at 91 years of age. He was passionate about education and wanted to be sure that everyone involved in eyecare would be able to deliver the highest level of patient care. We hope that we have succeeded with this latest edition.
Applications are open for Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (CQuIPS)
Dr. Edsel Ing receives Excellence in Resource Stewardship Teaching Award in the MD Program
Dr. Edsel Ing is recently selected as one of the inaugural recipients of the Excellence in Resource Stewardship Teaching Award in the MD Program.
This Award recognizes faculty members and postgraduate trainees who effectively mentor learners in concepts of resource stewardship and demonstrate exemplary resource management in their own clinical practices. Winners of the Award are selected from nominees identified in a Faculty-wide process. The documentation, including letters of support is carefully reviewed for each nominee by a panel of faculty members and students.
Dr. Ing is praised as a superb mentor and role model who teaches and demonstrates by their practice the importance of responsible resource management. The Committee is unanimous in the opinion that his contributions to the Faculty of Medicine’s educational mission are clearly deserving of this Award.
Congratulations to Dr. Ing in receiving the award!
Dr. Rajeev Muni receives Rosario Brancato Retina Award
Congratulations to Dr. Rajeev Muni on receiving the Rosario Brancato Retina Award at the OCT & Retina Forum Congress. The award commemorates Professor Brancato, a person who dedicated his life to the treatment of patients affected by retinal diseases, contributing as a pioneer to the introduction of fluorescein angiography, OCT examinations and laser therapy.
Dr. Aditya Bansal receives Bucking Bronco Buckle Award at the VitBuckle Society Annual Meeting 2022
Congratulations to Dr. Aditya Bansal (VitreoRetina Surgical Fellow), whose poster was selected as the Best Fellow Poster, and was awarded the "Bucking Bronco" Buckle Award at the VitBuckle Society Annual Meeting in Las Vegas 2022.
Dr. Bansal and his team presented "Retinal Displacement on Fundus Autofluorescence Imaging: The Tip of the Iceberg" Aditya Bansal, Eduardo Roditi, Michael J Potter, Hashem Totah, Harel Cain, Michal Devir, Koby Brosh, Rajeev H. Muni. This is novel imaging work on retinal displacement done in collaboration with Dr. Koby Brosh from Israel. They overlaid infrared imaging before development of retinal detachment and after repair of retinal detachment using a self developed python based program. Using this as a gold standard we assessed the sensitivity and specificity of fundus autofluorescence and the results were remarkable.
Senior Achievement Award - American Academy of Ophthalmology 2021
Dr. Arvind Jaiswal Medal & Oration Award for outstanding contribution to Ophthalmology, July 31, 2021 - EIZOC (Eastern India Zonal Ophthalmology Conference) IC Antibiotics: How to Administer and which Drug
New Academic Appointments
Airlangga Univ, Surabaya, Indonesia Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology Dec. 2021- )
Arunodaya Charitable Trust, Delhi, India, Advisory Board (Jan 1, 2021 – Dec 31, 2022)
Finalist for Canadian Ophthalmological Society's Awards for Excellence In Ophthalmic Research for our team's study "A Comparison of the Toronto Artificial Intelligence Model for Intraocular Lens Power Calculation to 12 Preoperative Cataract Formulas: A Preliminary Validation Study
Ontario Co-chair of Canadian Assn of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)
Schlenker MB, Ahmed IIK, Law S, Versloot J, Rosella L, El-Defrawy S, Chaudhary V, Campbell R, Yang M, Popovic MM, Punch D.
Setting the foundation for the development of a patient- and provider-informed cataract surgery care model. Canadian Institutes for Health Research Catalyst Grant. $99,830.37. 12 months.
Invited Lectures and Visiting Professorships
Immediately Sequential Bilateral Cataract Surgery. Kerala Society of Ophthalmic Surgeons 48th Ann. Conf. Nov. 26, 2021. (Keynote Speaker)
OVDs. Visiting Professor (virtual), University of Calgary, Canada. Dec. 10, 2021
Discovering New Molecular and Cellular Therapies for Inherited Retinal Disease. 2022 SickKids Rare Disease Day. Toronto, ON: Hospital for Sick Children, 2022.
Presentations at Meetings and Symposia:
Buys YM, Leibovitzh GI, Trope GE, Tarita-Nistor L: Perceptual grouping during binocular rivalry in mild glaucoma. American Glaucoma Society 2022 Annual Meeting, Nashville, Tennessee. March 2-6, 2022.
Buys YM: Panelist for Treatment of bleb dysesthesia/overhanging blebs. World Glaucoma Association Surgical Grand Rounds [Webinar], Amsterdam, Holland. January 27, 2022.
Buys YM: My experience in stopping disruptive behaviour. Doctors behaving badly? American Glaucoma Society 2022 Annual Meeting, Nashville, Tennessee. March 5, 2022.
Buys YM: Reflections on a career in academics. 10 guiding principles. Mentoring for the advancement of physician scientist. American Glaucoma Society 2022 Annual Meeting, Nashville, Tennessee. March 4, 2022.
National Invited Lectures:
Buys YM: Current status of gender equity in ophthalmology. Women Residents in Ophthalmology 2022. Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto. January 26, 2022, Toronto, Canada.
Buys YM: World Awareness Month. Kelly and Company, AMI Radio, Toronto, Ontario. January 18, 2022.
Buys YM: Facebook live: Glaucoma Q & A. Fighting Blindness Canada, Toronto, Ontario. March 10, 2022.
Vitreoretinal Session of the Italian Retina Society March 4, 2022 (Invited Speaker)
Milan OCT Retina Forum March 26,2022 (Invited Speaker)
All India Ophthalmological Society ASRS Session on Feb 20, 2022 (Invited Speaker) “Multimodal Imaging in Retinal Detachment”
“Identifying imposters in glaucoma clinic: an approach to non-glaucomatous optic neuropathies”, Ophthalmology Grand Rounds (virtual), University of Florida. January 14 2022.
Online Rounds Schedule and Events
Date: April 5, 2022 DOVS Retina Connect Rounds
Topic: Function vs Anatomy in Retinal Detachment Repair
Speakers - Drs. Rajeev Muni, Roberto Dell’omo, Sunir Garg, Peter Kertes
Date: April 7, 2022 DOVS Cornea Rounds
Topic: Is this Cornea on-call?
Speaker: Dr. Nizar Din
Date: April 8, 2022 Grand Rounds / VPP
Topic: Best practices for establishing international collaborations in global ophthalmology
Speaker: Dr. Helen Dimaras
Date: April 15, 2022
No Grand Rounds / VPP
Date: April 22, 2022 Grand Rounds / VPP
Speaker: Dr. Ramesh Kekunnaya
Date: April 22, 2022 Jack Crawford Day
Speakers: Drs. med Francis Munier & Ramesh Kekunnaya
Date: April 26, 2022 DOVS Annual Research Day - Session 1
Date: April 29, 2022 Grand Rounds / VPP
Speaker: Dr. Ian Chris Lloyd
Date: May 3, 2022 DOVS Annual Research Day - Session 2
Date: May 10, 2022 DOVS Annual Research Day - Session 3
Recent publications by DOVS Faculty, Staff, Residents and Fellows
Arshinoff SA. Preface to Pardianto G. The Intraocular Power Calculation. Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2022.
Arshinoff SA, Gupta R. IOL Power Calculation in Standard Eyes and for Immediately Sequential Bilateral Cataract Surgery. in Pardianto G. The Intraocular Power Calculation. Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2022.
Munk MR, Kashani AH, Tadayoni R, Korobelnik JF, Wolf S, Pichi F, Koh A, Ishibazawa A, Gaudric A, Loewenstein A, Lumbroso B, Ferrara D, Sarraf D, Wong DT, Skondra D, Rodriguez FJ, Staurenghi G, Pearce I, Kim JE, Freund KB, Parodi MB, Waheed NK, Rosen R, Spaide RF, Nakao S, Sadda S, Vujosevic S, Wong TY, Murata T, Chakravarthy U, Ogura Y, Huf W, Tian M. Recommendations for OCTA reporting in retinal vascular disease: A Delphi approach by International Experts. Ophthalmol Retina. 2022 Feb 21:S2468-6530(22)00066-5. doi: 10.1016/j.oret.2022.02.007. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35202889
Popovic MM, Schlenker MB, Thiruchelvam D, Redelmeier DA. A matched longitudinal cohort study of serious adverse events from oral and topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. JAMA Ophthalmology 2022;140(3):235-42.
Qi SR, Hébert M, Chen M, Arshinoff SA, Tourville E. Bilateral Endophthalmitis After Immediately Sequential Bilateral Cataract Surgery (ISBCS) in an Immunodeficient Patient. Acta Scientific Ophthalmol. 2022; 5:73-76.
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