• Press Release

Three Mount Sinai Ophthalmologists Receive Prestigious Achievement Awards

Multiple honors recognize leadership and exemplary scientific and educational contributions

  • New York, NY
  • (December 01, 2020)

Three of the largest and most respected ophthalmology organizations in the world have named members of Mount Sinai Health System’s Department of Ophthalmology as recipients of some of their most prestigious awards of 2020. These honors recognize the researchers’ outstanding leadership and advancements in ophthalmic research and education.

Richard Rosen, MD, Vice Chair and Director of Ophthalmology Research at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE), earned the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) “Life Achievement Honor Award.” This acknowledges his dedication to AAO, including his research contributions to its annual meeting, his support of its educational programs and products as well as its advocacy efforts, and his dedication to advancing the science and medicine of ophthalmology.

The Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology (ARVO) presented Dr. Rosen and Mark Kupersmith, MD, Vice Chair of Translational Ophthalmology Research for the Mount Sinai Health System, with its 2020 ARVO Silver Fellows Award for their extensive contributions to the association. ARVO Fellows serve as role models and mentors for those pursuing careers in vision and ophthalmology research. They also help further ARVO’s advancement of ophthalmology research worldwide.

“The AAO and ARVO are two of the most important pillars of leadership for ophthalmology worldwide. They have been major sources of support and guidance throughout my career and their recognition is both gratifying and humbling. My involvement was largely inspired by the encouragement of our former New York Eye and Ear Infirmary chair, Joseph Walsh, MD, who was an active force in both organizations and got me involved during my residency. His commitment to education and research in the service of patient care has been the blueprint I’ve attempted to emulate,” says Dr. Rosen, who is also Deputy Chair for Clinical Affairs of the Department of Ophthalmology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“I am very fortunate to be recognized by colleagues through the most prestigious organization that drives vision science evolution. This has only been possible because New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai provides the support to foster the mission to improve vision health care. The heart of this effort is innovation and application of new approaches with sound scientific and data-driven advancements,” adds Dr. Kupersmith, who is also Chief of Neuro-Ophthalmology for the Mount Sinai Health System.

Alon Harris, PhD, MS, FARVO, Director of the Ophthalmic Vascular Diagnostic Research Program at The Mount Sinai Hospital accepted the “Silver Plaque Award” from the 4th International Congress of the Italian Association for the Study of Glaucoma for presenting the “2020 Bruno Boles Carenini Lecture,” during September’s international conference. This recognizes his longstanding clinical research programs investigating ocular blood flow and metabolism in glaucoma.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award and appreciate the incredible collaborative spirit established at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Together, our faculty demonstrates a true passion for preventing vision loss, and it is my privilege to contribute to the longstanding legacy of our outstanding Department of Ophthalmology,” explains Dr. Harris, who is Vice Chair for International Research and Academic Affairs of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Dr. Harris is a world leader in his work with glaucomatous optic neuropathy. His research programs include mathematical modeling for determining individualized risk, monitoring techniques for ocular disease progression, glaucoma and generic medications, ocular imaging methodologies, and epidemiology population-based studies. He has authored 361 peer-reviewed journal articles, 22 books, and 69 book chapters including novel findings and their implications in glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy. He serves on the editorial board for many journals and is chief editor of the Journal for Modeling in Ophthalmology.  

Dr. Rosen joined the Department of Ophthalmology at NYEE in 1989. There, he has created one of the most advanced ocular imaging centers in the United States. This center uses novel technologies to explore the vascular basis of retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and retinal trauma, and to examine the retina at a cellular level, which can lead to earlier detection and treatment of a range of blinding eye conditions. Dr. Rosen helped develop the first combined optical coherence tomography/confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope instruments, which were the forerunners of today’s non-invasive OCT angiography systems. This fostered the translation of other novel imaging systems to the clinical setting. Dr. Rosen lectures worldwide and has published extensively on his research interests which include new treatments for macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, along with innovations in diagnostic retinal imaging and vitreo-retinal surgical instrumentation.

Dr. Kupersmith joined NYEE in 1980 and established the Neuro-Ophthalmology Service, which diagnoses and manages patients with complex medical and neurological conditions and teaches residents and fellows. His career has focused on understanding the electrophysiology of human vision, using MRI and optical imaging for optic neuritis, papilledema, and non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. A recognized leader in research, Dr. Kupersmith has worked on numerous clinical trials focused on the diagnoses and treatment of neurological disorders that disturb vision, beginning with the NEI Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial. He helped create the Neuro-Ophthalmology Research Disease Investigator Consortium (NORDIC) which has conducted four clinical trials.  Dr. Kupersmith has authored and co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, as well as a book, Neurovascular Neuro-Ophthalmology.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with 48,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 600 research and clinical labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time—discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 9,000 primary and specialty care physicians and 11 free-standing joint-venture centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, Best in State Hospitals, World Best Hospitals and Best Specialty Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.

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