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The American Academy of Ophthalmology takes special pride in honoring Danièle S Aron-Rosa MD as a recipient of the Laureate Recognition Award at its 108th Annual Meeting.

The brilliant career of Dr. Aron-Rosa has brought the ophthalmic world the picosecond pulsed Nd:YAG laser for the treatment of posterior capsule opacification. Aron-Rosa performed the first Nd:YAG posterior capsulotomy in January 1979.

Born in France in 1934, Danièle Aron-Rosa studied physics before turning to medicine. Dr. Aron-Rosa received her medical degree in 1962 at the University of Paris, residency at the Hopitaux de Paris Assistée Publique, and a fellowship at the AP HP University of Paris.  Her interest in physics led to subsequent interest in ophthalmology during her residency rotation in that specialty.

She began her career with research on tumors at the back of the orbit. But after watching early ruby lasers, that had very slow pulses, Aron-Rosa called on her physics background to create a faster laser pulse. She then focused on retinal and cataract surgery before concentrating on refractive surgery.  Her passion is to move toward the new and challenging fields in ophthalmology.

It is often assumed that Dr. Aron-Rosa?€™s first pulsed YAG laser was a direct descendant of the Krasnov pulsed ruby laser.  Although Dr. Aron-Rosa had the highest admiration for Krasnov, the true predecessor of her Nd.YAG was the ruby laser of Campbell who, with Rittler, was the first to try to cut ocular tissues.  Inventing the technology to deliver a noninvasive laser incision required Dr. Aron-Rosa to determine a laser beam wavelength that would not disrupt the temperature or the integrity of surrounding tissue within 100 um of the target.  By multiplying the Nd:YAG frequency, Dr. Aron-Rosa was able to use the laser in various wavelengths.  Although she anticipated the transition from posterior capsulotomy and replacement of posterior capsule laser openings with photodynamic therapy to be difficult, she did not expect Nd:YAG laser capsulotomies to exist 25 years after her 1978 patent.

Dr. Aron-Rosa has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Chevalier de la Legion d?€™Honneur in 1983 by President Mitterand, the Award for the Invention of the YAG Laser, the Barraquer Lecture Award from the European Society of Refractive Surgery, the Academy?€™s Honor Award, the International Award for Excellence in Ophthalmology RHEMS, and the IIC Binkhorst Medal.  She is the only woman to have been named to both the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery?€™s Ophthalmology Hall of Fame and the Charles Kelman Innovators Award in Ophthalmology.

A world renowned teacher and clinician, Dr. Aron-Rosa has served as Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology, at Paris University and Chair of Ophthalmology at Hospital Robert Debrè and Foundation Rothschild, Paris.  She has served on the International Committee for Quality Control of Ophthalmic Instruments and Devices among other important leadership positions.

Dr. Aron-Rosa is one of the leading international educators in ophthalmology and has produced hundreds of articles, papers, scientific books as well as several teaching films on picoseconds YAG Laser surgery. She continues her passion of teaching and moves toward new and challenging fields in ophthalmology while devoting her spare time to several new projects, including having her paintings on display in recent art exhibits.

Dr. Aron-Rosa is honored at this 2004 Joint Meeting for her distinguished career and contributions to ophthalmology. It is with great pleasure that the Academy welcomes Dr. Danièle Aron-Rosa as a 2004 Academy Laureate.