It was with deep sadness that we shared the news of Dr. Jeff Hurwitz’s passing on February 4, 2022. The amount of love and grief expressed at this news was unprecedented; it is clear that Jeff had a profound effect on so many. The Executive Committee met last week and noted that we as a Department need to recognize Dr. Hurwitz’s contributions and impact on DOVS and MSH. Beginning at the 2022 Walter Wright Symposium, an annual named lecture, The Jeff Hurwitz Lecture, will be instituted. We will continue to raise funds for the Dr. Jeffrey Hurwitz Fellowship in Oculoplastics and Dr. David Yan is looking at naming opportunities at MSH. We are also planning a celebration of Dr. Hurwitz’s life to be held in May.
Please read the message from the Hurwitz family (Evelyn, Cary, Michael and Gillian):
Dr. Jeffrey Hurwitz, age 78, passed away peacefully on February 4, 2022, at Mount Sinai Hospital, surrounded by family. He was a beloved husband to Evelyn, his wife of 40 years, devoted father to Cary (Sarah), Michael (Irina) and Gillian, loving "Grand-Doods" to Callista, Calum, Cece, and Nora, and brother to Gil (Becky) and Paul. Jeff was an internationally recognized and influential figure in the field of ophthalmology. His natural surgical and leadership skills were identified early in his medical training; first, in the late 1960s, serving on Dr. Christiaan Barnard's historic surgical team in South Africa, where human-to-human heart transplantation was pioneered; followed by his oculoplastics surgical training at the University of Toronto and Moorefield's Eye Hospital. He served as Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital for 31 years, the longest serving Chief in the hospital's history. He was promoted to Professor of Ophthalmology and he eventually assumed the role of Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto for 12 years. He was a founder of the Kensington Eye Institute and, subsequently, the Academic Director and member of the Board of Directors. Over the years, he received many awards, including the Lester Jones Surgical Anatomy Award from the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ontario Medical Association, and numerous Silver Needle Awards for teaching. Jeff loved contributing to academic research: his landmark book 'The Lacrimal System' served as a foundational text for numerous journals and academic programs, and he authored hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and presentations. Jeff felt it was not only important, but also his duty to share his expertise, especially with underserviced communities. Given his membership with medical societies at home and abroad, Jeff was a natural fit for the role of Vice Chair for Global Health - Department of Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto. He spent over 25 years helping increase the profile of Ophthalmology in the West Indies and around the world, building lifelong friendships along the way. Above all else, Jeff cared deeply about people. He learned to communicate basic eye-related vocabulary in virtually every language to help better serve his diverse patient population. He appreciated and treated equally all with whom he interacted. He had the unique ability to connect with anyone about anything: the latest Raptors game, geopolitical affairs, ophthalmic research advances, or reality television. Although he achieved great professional success, his truest joys were simple: playing bass guitar in 'The World's Greatest Garage Band', going on canoe rides with his grandkids, coaching his kids' sports teams, trying to outscore Evelyn on the golf course, exploring new countries and cultures, and using rollerblades as a main mode of transportation (even in the depths of winter). Jeff shaped the careers of hundreds of individuals and improved the lives of countless patients. He was always the first to offer a helping hand and the last to abandon a challenging situation. A tireless supporter who somehow never got tired. An eternal optimist who inspired confidence in everyone he encountered. A standout superstar who would rather "pass the ball than shoot." Respected surgeon, proud mentor, principled leader, thoughtful friend, exemplary family man, and overall steward of humanity - Jeff truly did it all and left an immeasurable impact on the world. And, boy, did he have fun doing it. Due to COVID restrictions, a private family service has been arranged and details of a celebration of life will follow.
Donations to create a Fellowship and Symposium in honour of Dr. Jeffrey Hurwitz can be directed to:
Dr. Efrem Mandelcorn appointed as the Interim Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at UHN
Dr. Efrem Mandelcorn has been appointed as the Interim Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at University Health Network. Dr. Mandelcorn takes on this role following Dr. Robert Devenyi’s unbelievable 20 year tenure. Dr. Devenyi has accomplished a great deal by building UHN Ophthalmology to one of the most recognized Departments globally. With over $60M in donations to support vision research, Dr. Devenyi and Dr. Wallace have established the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute as an international leader. We thank Dr. Devenyi for his excellent leadership and dedication to Ophthalmology at UHN and DOVS.
Dr. Mandelcorn completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Western Ontario where he graduated as a gold medalist. He received his medical degree with honours and subsequently completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Toronto Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences. He had further specialized fellowship training in vitreoretinal surgery at the University of Toronto and also obtained a second surgical fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami, Florida.
Dr. Mandelcorn will also serve as the Co-Director of the Donald K Johnson Eye Institute at UHN along with Dr. Valerie Wallace. He is also the Fellowship Director for Vitreoretinal Surgery (UHN & Sunnybrook sites) at the University of Toronto and the Chief of the Retina Service . Dr. Mandelcorn has a special interest in education and was awarded the J.S. Crawford Post-graduate Teaching Award in the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Toronto in 2015. He was also honoured with a Teaching Excellence Award in Postgraduate Education by the Wightman-Berris Academy, University of Toronto, University Health Network in 2014-5 and again in 2019-20. He received the Teaching Excellence Award in Undergraduate Education by the Wightman-Berris Academy, University of Toronto, UHN in 2016-17.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Mandercorn in his new role as Chief of the Department of Ophthalmology at UHN.
Walter Wright Symposium 2021
The 60th Walter Wright Day Symposium was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Dec 3-4, 2021. This year’s conference showcased developments in multimodal imaging, intravitreal medications, advanced surgical techniques and new therapeutics in inherited retinal diseases through clinical cases relevant to our practices. It provided a glimpse into the exciting future of retina, with a focus on novel pharmaceuticals and gene therapy. We were pleased to have an esteemed international panel of speakers to share their knowledge and experience with us. They include:
Dr. Tanya Trinh - Department of Ophthalmology Lecture: In gendered lenses we trust: The quest for clarity - An evidence based dissection of gender bias in Medicine and Ophthalmology
Dr. David Sarraf - Department of Ophthalmology Lecture: AMD Masqueraders: Don't Get Fooled Again
Dr. Mark Pennesi - Graham Trope Lecture: Current and Future Gene-Replacement Therapy and Editing for Inherited Retinal Diseases
Dr. SriniVas Sadda - Walter Wright Lecture: Multimodal imaging, today and the future
Dr. Panos Christakis was the Program Director, Dr. Kenneth Eng and Dr. Radha Kohly were the Co-Directors of this year's symposium.
by: Dr. Radha Kohly
The Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences is committed to enabling a positive learning and working environment for everyone in our community. We support an integrated approach to addressing learner concerns that champions the principles articulated in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine guidelines on managing disclosures of learner mistreatment for medical students and PGME trainees (residents and clinical fellows).
Temerty Medicine has adopted the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) definition for learner mistreatment which refers to intentional or unintentional behaviours that show disrespect for the dignity of others. This may manifest as unprofessional behaviours, discrimination and discriminatory harassment, or sexual violence and sexual harassment.
Temerty Medicine has established a centralized hub of supports and resources for learners who have witnessed or experienced mistreatment. To learn more about how to discuss, disclose, or report learner mistreatment, you can access resources here:
These webpages include an online disclosure form through which you can submit disclosures to the Learner Experience Office in an identified or anonymous way.
Within our own Department, our education leadership team and trusted faculty with whom you feel comfortable are also available to support learners in accessing and understanding the supports and resources available.
Our leadership team includes:
- Clerkship Director: Dr. Jennifer Calafati
- Residency Program Director: Drs. John Lloyd and Amandeep Rai
- Fellowship Director: Dr. Navdeep Nijhawan
Temerty Medicine will also monitor trends from learner concerns to identify systems-level interventions in partnership with the clinical departments and hospitals that can be implemented to improve the learning and working climate for us all.
The bottom line is that we are here for you, please reach out anytime!
Our New Resident: Dr. Ellen Zhou (PGY3)
Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Dr. Ellen Zhou, who transferred from Université de Montréal to University of Toronto in July 2021.
Ellen graduated from McGill's MD-PhD program in 2019, and did her first two years of residency in Montreal. She entered U of T Ophthalmology residency in PGY3 and will finish her residency with 5 other co-residents at the University of Toronto in 2024.
Reflecting on Black History Month 2022
Dr. Patricia Houston, Acting Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Lisa Richardson, Associate Dean, Inclusion & Diversity, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Onyenyechukwu (Onye) Nnorom, Black Health Theme Lead, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Black Canadians have always been trailblazers in healthcare and medicine.
In 1861, Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbot made history as the first Black Canadian-born doctor to graduate from the Toronto School of Medicine, an institute that preceded the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. His supervisor, Dr. Alexander Thomas Augusta, was U of T’s first Black medical student, graduating with a bachelor of medicine degree in 1856 from Trinity College.
In 1995, Black History Month in Canada began, thanks to the efforts of Rosemary Sadlier, president of the Ontario Black History Society, and Jean Augustine, the first Black woman elected to federal Parliament.
Part of Black History Month is not only looking to the past for examples of change-makers, but recognizing that the future is now.
It’s integral to recognize Black excellence within our community at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, as well as across the University of Toronto.
There are countless examples of Temerty Medicine learners, staff and faculty accomplishing exceptional work in their fields.
One specific highlight is the launch of the University of Toronto Black Research Network in October 2021, co-founded by Dr. Lisa Robinson, Temerty Medicine’s Vice Dean of Strategy and Operations.
The Faculty recognizes the need for continuous critical dialogue from all levels of our institutions to address unacceptable forms of discrimination, recognizing its adverse effects on the wellness of Black learners, staff, faculty, and patients.
It also means acknowledging that structural racism within medicine still exists today.
Anti-Black racism continues to persist within health systems, and the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded its harmful effects on Black Canadians.
The Temerty Medicine faculty members have helped lead this initiative, which has aimed to increase vaccination rates to address gaps in COVID-19 health outcomes for Black Canadians.
Faculty’s upcoming Anti-Black Racism in Medical Education report will provide an overview of work done at Temerty Medicine to combat anti-Black racism so far.
The information shared within the report will acknowledge steps made, and will reiterate the commitments Temerty Medicine is making to improve the experience of Black community members.
We encourage all members of the Faculty to reflect on how they can eradicate forms of anti-Black racism.
Please reflect on what your active role is in the process.
Dr. Yeni Yucel, in collaboration with Dr. Neeru Gupta, awarded ALS 2021 Discovery Grants - $1.125 million
ALS Canada together with Brain Canada, announced an investment of $1.125 million towards nine new Discovery Grants to advance understanding, diagnosis and treatment of ALS. Dr. Yeni Yucel, in collaboration with Dr. Neeru Gupta, are awarded $125,000 for their research "Can a new biomarker in the eye help to advance ALS research and care?".Congratulations to Dr. Yucel and Dr. Gupta upon receiving this significant grant.
Congratulations to Dr. Neeru Gupta named as ARVO Gold Fellow 2022. This honour recognizes exemplary contributions and dedication to ARVO's mission to advance research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders.
Dr. Stephan Ong Tone received Eye on The Cure - People's Choice Award from Fighting Blindness Canada
Dr. Stephan Ong Tone (Assistant Professor) received Eye on the Cure - People's Choice Award from Fighting Blindness Canada in November 2021. An award of $30,000 research grant will be used towards his project "Developing a new therapy to improve success of corneal transplantation". Dr. Ong Tone is developing an innovative therapy for corneal diseases. Corneal damage caused by infection or trauma is an important cause of vision loss in Canada. Currently the only treatment that can restore vision is corneal transplantation which unfortunately has its own risks of causing vision loss. There is therefore a significant need for new treatments. Dr. Ong Tone will be testing if vesicles gathered from placental cells can improve transplantation by reducing scarring and the risk of rejection.
Congratulations to Dr. Stephan Ong Tone on receiving the award.
Dr. Jovi Wong received Eye on The Cure - Researcher to Watch Award from Fighting Blindness Canada
Dr. Jovi Wong (PGY2) received Eye on the Cure - Researcher to Watch Award fromFighting Blindness Canadain November 2021. This unique event was first of its kind presented by FYidoctors and Fighting Blindness Canada and featured emerging researchers competing in a 'Dragon's Den-style' event for the prize money. The Researcher to Watch Award is a $50,000 research grant which will be used towards Dr Wong's project "Using a smartphone to diagnose eye disease earlier", which investigates retinal disease detection using AI and smartphone photography. Dr. Wong is trying to increase access to eye screening by developing a eye exam that can be done through your smartphone. 75% of all vision loss and blindness can be prevented with early screening and timely treatment. Retinal examination through a technique called fundoscopy is the main method for screening, diagnosing and monitoring the leading causes of blindness: age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), and glaucoma. Visualizing the fundus is challenging without specialized equipment. In this project, Dr. Wong is combining a smartphone fundoscope and artificial intelligence that could allow health care workers in rural, remote or underserved areas to more easily diagnose eye disease in order to prevent unnecessary vision loss. Dr. Wong will be using this funding to begin testing her prototype this year.
Dr. Jovi Wong was featured in the Canadian Medical Association blog Boldly in an article published in November 2021 highlighting Retinographer as one of the Joule Innovation Award winners in 2020.
Dr. Jovi Wong also received $10,000 from the Chisholm Memorial Fellowship awarded by the PGME towards her research on the effect of eye disease on sleep and circadian rhythms. This award supports residents engaged in medical research and will be used to develop circadian rhythm experiments using gold standard equipment.
Congratulations to Dr. Jovi Wong on her accomplishments.
Dr. Edsel Ing and Dr. Felix Tyndel's New Book "Award-Winning Medical Teaching" offers Practical Tips for Medical Teachers
Dr. Edsel Ing and Dr. Felix Tyndel compiled a text of practical tips for medical teachers with more than 30 multidisciplinary contributors from Harvard, Hopkins, Washington University, the University of Connecticut and Western University. Topics include how to teach cataract surgery, ophthalmology, internal medicine, mental health, surgery, equity diversity and inclusion, and education leadership. The foreword is written by the head of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The ebook is free through https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1129809 and the print version is available on Amazon at cost, in hopes that satisfied readers will contribute to their local food banks.
Newly published article currently on front page of JAMA Ophthalmology
Special congratulations to Dr. Marko Popovic (PGY3) who ultimately pushed through this important work. There is significant hesitation among ophthalmologists to use Diamox (or Neptazane), though it can be an incredible temporizing measure for patients dealing with acute glaucoma issues.
Dr. Rosa Braga-Mele won Bronze medal in Canadian Body-Building Competition
Dr. Rosa Braga-Mele is an all-natural womens physiques bodybuilder and recently competed in Canadian Naturals National Pro-Qualifier in Toronto on Nov 26, 2021. This is with the IFBB pro league. For women's Masters category in physique (35 and over) Dr. Braga-Mele placed 3rd and earned a bronze medal. She has been bodybuilding for the last 3 years and earned her qualification for National level by earning 1 gold and 2 silver medals at a regional competition in 2019.
Dr. Braga-Mele also holds a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan karate and is nationally qualified as a certified Canadian basketball coach.
Elected Director-at-Large for the World Association of Medical Editors Nov 2021
Completed Masters of Education in the Health Professions, John Hopkins University School of Education Nov 2021
2022-2023 World Glaucoma Association President
Marko Popovic, Prem Nichani, Peter Kertes, Rajeev Muni:
Pars plana vitrectomy versus vitrectomy with scleral buckling for the repair of rhegmatogenous retinal detachments: a meta-analysis. Awarded the Best ePoster Prize - 3rd Place at the 21st European Society of Retinal Specialists (EURetina) Congress.
Prem Nichani, Marko Popovic, Rajeev Muni, Peter Kertes:
Treat-and-extend dosing of intravitreal anti-VEGF agents in neovascular age-related macular degeneration: a meta-analysis of 1697 eyes. Awarded the Most Popular Free Paper Award, recognizing the most popular presentation based on audience voting in the free paper category at the 14th annual Asia-Pacific Vitreo-retina Society Congress.
Inducted into Retinal Hall of Fame 2021
Invited Lectures and Visiting Professorships
Dacryology Updates & Debates. Saudi Commission for Health Specialities. Department of Ophthalmology, King Saud University. November 2, 2021
OCT Imaging of the Retinal Periphery; 2021 American Academy of Ophthalmology Subspecialty Day, New Orleans, USA (November 13th 2021)
Yag Laser Vitreolysis vs. Vitrectomy for Visually Significant Vitreous Opacities; 2021 Asian Pacific Vitreoretinal Society Annual Meeting (November 24th 2021)
Lecture — 45 years as a Lacrimal Suggeon, Virtual International Oculoplastics Course, 2021. University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nov 10,2021 (Visiting Professor)
Cataract Surgery in Eyes with Pre-Existing Corneal Disease, Rising Stars in Ophthalmology Season 2 Episode 5
Online Rounds Schedule and Events
Date: February 18, 2022 Grand Rounds / VPP
Topic: Paediatric ophthalmology: The joy of wearing multiple hats!
Speaker: Dr. Nasrin Tehrani
Date: February 25, 2022 Grand Rounds / VPP
Topic: Pathways of Fluid Leakage in Macular Disease
Speaker: Dr. David Sarraf
Date: March 4, 2022 Grand Rounds / VPP
Topic: Walter Wright Review
Speakers: Drs. Christakis/Eng/Kohly
Date: March 11, 2022 Grand Rounds / VPP
Speaker: Dr. Keyvan Koushan
Date: March 18, 2022 No Grand Rounds / VPP
Date: March 25, 2022 Grand Rounds / VPP
Speaker: Dr. Nancy Tucker
Date: April 1, 2022 Grand Rounds / VPP
Topic: Cataract & Lens
Speaker: Drs. Markowitz/Nido
Date: April 8, 2022 Grand Rounds / VPP
Topic: Global Health
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
Submission Instructions for DOVS Residents, Fellows & Students
This year, the Annual Research Day will be held virtually from 6 pm – 9 pm on the following Tuesdays: April 26th, May 3rd, and May 10th.
The abstract submission deadline is Sunday,March 6th, 2022.
1. Please go to www.ophthalmology.utoronto.ca then select “Research>Abstract Submission” to submit your abstract. Make sure you read and follow the formatting guidelines.
To ensure that we received your abstract, please also email your abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org in the same format. The abstract must include title, authors with affiliations, introduction, method, results, discussion/conclusion. Please also indicate the type of research and the category.
Email’s SUBJECT should be: Abstract submission for UofT DOVS 64th Annual Research Day 2022 - YOUR NAME
** We will confirm your submission by replying to your email. If you do not receive confirmation within one week, please reach out to us **
We will NOT accept abstracts after 23:59 on March 6th, 2022 to be fair to those who submitted on time, and to give the judges enough time to evaluate the submissions.
2. The word limit for the body of the abstract is 400 words. Any abstract that exceeds the word limit will not be accepted, so please double-check! One figure or table will be allowed in your abstract.
3. Please declare any financial or conflict of interest for ALL authors and remember to list their credentials.
4. There will be an abstract committee that will rank the abstracts. The top abstracts will be selected for oral presentation, the rest will be selected for virtual e-poster presentation.
5. The principal supervisor of the research project must be an active University of Toronto Faculty member.
6. The prizes for different categories remain the same. They include:
Alumni Award for Best Resident Paper
John Gaby Prize for Best Clinical Fellow Paper
Best Medical Student Paper
Dr. Martin J. Steinbach Award for Best VSRP/Masters/PhD student/Research Fellow Paper
Best virtual e-Poster Award
As always, if you have any questions or problems, please feel free to contact us.
Mano Chandrakumar Valerie Wallace Rajeev Muni Sherif El-Defrawy
The 32nd Annual Jack Crawford Day
Virtual Conference: Paediatric Ophthalmology Moving Forward in 2022
Friday, April 22, 2022 from 9:00am to 3:20pm (Eastern Time) – SAVE THE DATE!
The conference co-chairs are currently developing the program agenda to create a quality meeting experience. We will make an announcement once the registration and program information are available.
Paediatric Ophthalmology Guest Speaker:
Prof. Dr med Francis Munier
FMH in Ophthalmology & Genetics
Head Ocular Oncology, Pathology & Genetics
Jules-Gonin Eye Hospital
Fondation Asile des Aveugles
Faculté de Biologie et Médecine
Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
Strabismus Guest Speaker:
Dr. Ramesh Kekunnaya
Director, LVPEI Network, Child Sight Institute (CSI) & Center for Technology Innovation (CFTI)
Consultant, Pediatric Ophthalmology, Strabismus & Neuro-Ophthalmology,
L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI),
We look forward to spending time with you at the event.
Ing E, Liu F, Tyndel F, Sundaram A, Ali A, Torun N. Chapter 42. Multiple Ocular Motor Nerve Palsies,p 423-430. In Strabismus and Amblyopia: Scientific Basis and Clinical Management, Edited by Jaime Tejedor, McGraw Hill, 2022, Madrid (Book Chapter)
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