Past Recipients

2017 Recipient

SriniVas R. Sadda, MD

SriniVas R. Sadda, MD, is the President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Doheny Eye Institute, the Stephen J. Ryan – Arnold and Mabel Beckman Endowed Chair, and Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), David Geffen School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. After an internship at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, he returned to Johns Hopkins University and the Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore for an ophthalmology residency as well as neuro-ophthalmology and medical retina fellowships. 

Dr Sadda’s major research interests include automated retinal image analysis, retinal substructure assessment, advanced retinal imaging technologies, and vision restoration approaches. His research has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and multiple private organizations including the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Research to Prevent Blindness, Foundation for Retinal Research, and the Macula Vision Research Foundation. He has organized multiple consensus efforts for the classification of various retinal disorders. Dr. Sadda has served as Principal Investigator for over 30 major clinical trials, and has led several international collaborative research programs. He is the founder and Emeritus Director of the Doheny Image Reading Center, one of the largest centralized reading centers in the world. He has more than 340 publications in peer-reviewed journals and over 300 published abstracts. He authored the first edition of the textbook Emerging Technologies in Retinal Disease, as well as 14 other book chapters. As an invited lecturer, he has given more than 350 presentations around the country and the world, including multiple named lectures. Dr. Sadda also serves as an editorial board member of Ophthalmic SurgeryLasers & Imaging, Retina, Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology Retina, and Ophthalmology. He is also an editor of the 5th edition of the Ryan’s Retina textbook.  He regularly serves the NIH Center for Scientific Review on study section. 

2016 Recipient 

Jayakrishna Ambati, MD

Jayakrishna Ambati, M.D. is a vitreoretinal surgeon whose laboratory studies angiogenesis and cell death in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). He was trained as an electrical engineer at The Johns Hopkins University and, after graduating with an M.D. (magna cum laude) from SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn, completed ophthalmology residency at the University of Rochester and clinical and research retina fellowships at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of Harvard Medical School. His laboratory has reported numerous seminal advances in ocular vascular biology and immunology in journals such as NatureScienceCellNature Medicine, New England Journal of MedicineJournal of Clinical InvestigationProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and eLife. He pioneered the concept that AMD is an inflammatory disease that is driven by perturbations in innate immunity. His foundational contributions have led to fundamental conceptual advances that are on the cusp of improving the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

He is a member of the National Academy of Inventors, and was the first ophthalmologist to win the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, Burroughs Wellcome Fund Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research, Ellison Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging Award, and Harrington Discovery Institute Scholar-Innovator Award. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The American Society for Clinical Investigation and was the first ophthalmologist to be elected to The Association of American Physicians. He also won the ARVO Cogan Award and Carl Camras Translational Research Award, Roger Johnson Memorial Award for Macular Degeneration Research, Prix Soubrane, Junius Kuhnt Medal, and Chanchlani Global Vision Research Award. RPB awarded him its Senior Scientific Investigator Award, Wasserman Merit Award, and Physician-Scientist Award. He serves on the Editorial Boards of IOVS and Ophthalmic Research, is an Associate Editor of Ophthalmology and of Translational Vision Science & Technology, and is listed in “Best Doctors in America.”

2015 Recipient

Hendrik PN Scholl, MD, MA


Hendrik P.N. Scholl, M.D., M.A. is the Dr. Frieda Derdeyn Bambas Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute. He is the director of the Retinal Degenerations Clinic of the Retina Division and the director of the Visual Neurophysiology Service. He is also the co-director of Wilmer’s newly founded Center for STem cells and Ophthalmic Regenerative Medicine (STORM). He received his medical degree from the Eberhard Karls University of Tuebingen, Germany and completed his residency at the Center for Ophthalmology at the University of Tuebingen. His clinical research fellowship was done at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, UK. In 2004, he was awarded the Heisenberg-Fellowship of the German Research Foundation for his achievements in the field of macular degeneration and subsequently joined the faculty at the department of ophthalmology at the University of Bonn for five years until he was recruited to the Wilmer Eye Institute in 2010.

Dr. Scholl specializes in medical and surgical management of retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy. He has a specific expertise in inherited retinal degenerations and uses the latest diagnostic technology such as eletroretinography, microperimetry and high-resolution imaging. Dr. Scholl’s primary research interest relates to visual loss in retinal degenerations and to therapeutic measures in order to rescue vision. In his leadership role of large multi-center clinical studies, he aims to develop better tools to prove therapeutic efficacy for upcoming clinical trials.

Dr. Scholl has received the European Vision Award, the Wynn-Gund Translational Research Award by the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Macular Degeneration Research Award by the American Health Assistance Foundation/BrightFocus, the ARVO/Pfizer Opthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award and the Green Award from the Macula Society.

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