Award Recipients

Kayser International Award in Retina Research

In 1987 Retina Research Foundation established the Kayser International Award in Retina Research. One or two vision scientists were selected to give a lecture at the Schepens International Society biennially meetings . The prize consisted of $45,000 to the recipient’s institution and $5,000 honorarium to the recipient.

The recipients were:

1987 H. Gobind Koriana, PhD MIT Cambridge, MA
1989 David Hubel, MD Harvard University Boston, MA
1991 John P. Sarks, FRCS
Shirley Sarks, FRCS
Lidcombe Hospital Strathfield, Australia
1993 Thaddeus Dryia, MD Harvard University Boston, MA
1995 Enrique Malbran, MD Fdn. Argentina Buenos Aires, Arg.
1997 Jerry Shields, MD Wills Eye Hospital Philadelphia, PA
1999 Tatsuo Hirose, MD
Akitoshi Yoshida, MD
Harvard University
Asahikawa Med Col.
Boston, MA
Asahikawa, Japan
2001 Hilel Lewis, MD Cleveland Eye Cleveland, OH
2003 Eugene De Juan, MD USC Los Angeles, CA
2005 Judah Folkman, MD
Gary Abrams, MD
Harvard University
Kresge Eye Institute
Boston, MA
Detroit, MI

After 2005, the Kayser Award became part of the Charles L. Schepens, MD/AAO /Award Lecture which is presented yearly at the Retina Section at the Subspecialty Day held at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. This Award is co-sponsored by Schepens International Society and Retina Research Foundation.

Charles L. Schepens, MD/AAO Lectureship

In 2007 Schepens International Society and Retina Research Foundation created a new lectureship to honor a man who for most of us in this audience has been a mentor, as well as educator, inventor and scientist—a man who has been a prime mover of retina research. Dr. Charles L. Schepens.

At the Retina Society meeting in 2007 an announcement was made of a new annual lectureship named in the honor of Dr. Charles L. Schepens in appreciation of his life’s work dedicated to vision sciences.. This new lectureship will be named the Charles L. Schepens, MD/AAO Lecture and will be delivered annually at the Academy Subspecialty Vitreoretinal Meeting beginning in Atlanta in November 2008. The award was conceived as a vehicle to recognize outstanding achievements of vision scientists and link them with the groundbreaking path that Dr. Schepens had left for us. Thus we can honor the past while carrying on an important step forward on the long road to the conquest of blindness caused by retinal and vitreoretinal diseases.

The recipient of the award will be carefully chosen by a select committee composed of a representative from each of the following: Retina Society, Macula Society, American Society of Retina Specialists, Club Jules Gonin and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

To insure that the lecture continues for decades to come, both the Retina Research Foundation- Houston and the Schepens International Society will boldly financially guarantee funding by establishing a permanently endowed fund held in each individual organization. The yearly income of these accounts will be specifically dedicated for this annual lectureship.

The award offers a $50,000 cash prize that includes a $35,000 honorarium, an engraved gold medal and $15,000 to the individual’s institution. Prior awardees of the Retina Research Foundation or other organization will not affect eligibility.

Dr. Schepens never had a hobby – his passion for medicine filled his daily work and leisure hours. This is certainly not for everyone – but mankind sometimes benefits by occasionally having one person to focus on one subject so absolutely. For six decades Dr. Schepens single handedly LIT and CARRIED the torch of enthusiasm, doing more than any other individual to enkindle and nourish the flame of ever-increasing interest in the retina. Such was his case in becoming ‘The Father of Modern Retina Surgery.’


A gold medallion will be presented each year to the person chosen to give the Charles L. Schepens, MD/AAO Lecture at the Academy Subspecialty Vitreoretinal Meeting each year.

On the face is a bust of Dr. Schepens below the word RETINA in bold print and above his name and dates. Surrounding the bust are the words EDUCATOR, INNOVATOR, SCIENTIST and MENTOR. On the back within a wreath of laurel leaves will be engraved the name of the recipient and the date of the lecture.

The medallion was designed and sculpted by Jamie Lester of Morgantown, West Virginia. On behalf of his native state, he has designed the West Virginia quarter featuring the bridge over the New River Gorge, and sculpted bronzes of native son Jerry West of basketball fame and the actor Don Knotts.

Nationally, Jamie created and sculpted the life size memorial of 105 New York fire fighters who died on September 2001, which is located at Keyspan Park on Coney Island. Other portraits sculpted by Jamie Lester have been over 100 bronzes at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida, portraits of Roger Maris, Ron Guidry and Red Ruffing at the Yankee Stadium Monument Park Wall of Fame, a bust of Mickey Mantle at the restaurant bearing his name, and portraits of Pat Tillman and the Olympian Amy Crow at the Los Angeles Coliseum Hall of Fame.

After finishing the portrait of Dr. Schepens, Jamie transferred it to a computer program which was forwarded to the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa, Canada. There, under the direction of James McKelvey, the medallion was struck. It measures 57.25 mm in diameter, weighs 100 grams (3.2 oz), has a fine sterling silver core (.925), and is proof/gold plated and lacquered.

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