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American Academy of Ophthalmology Announces Sunil K. Rao, MD, Memorial Retina Fellowship Award

06/10/2013   10:30:35 AM

Grant funds attendance to 117th Annual Meeting of the Academy; supports professional development

SAN FRANCISCO–The American Academy of Ophthalmology today announced the establishment of the Sunil K. Rao, M.D., Memorial Retina Fellowship Award, which provides funding for two retina fellows to attend the 117th Annual Meeting of the Academy on Nov. 16-19 in New Orleans. The application process is underway and will conclude on July 15, 2013.

The fellowship honors Dr. Sunil K. Rao, a retina specialist, who taught and practiced ophthalmology with extraordinary expertise and enthusiasm and was renowned for his generosity. Dr. Rao trained at Brown University and completed his medical and surgical vitreoretinal fellowship at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. He passed away suddenly in 2012 at age 34.

As a tribute to his memory and passion for ophthalmology, his colleagues, family and friends established a memorial fund through the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This year, the Foundation is administering an award from the fund to support two distinguished ophthalmologists, who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in retinal disease.

"Dr. Rao set an example for all of us through his extremely high level of knowledge, skill and compassion for patients," said Daniel Brocks, M.D., one of the fund's founders. "This award will ensure that Dr. Rao's legacy of promoting patient care, education and enthusiasm for the profession continues on and enables a bright future for the next generation of retina specialists."

Nominees must currently be a retina fellow and be in good standing with the Academy. He or she may be nominated by program directors, department chairs, societies or individuals, or be self-nominated. The nominee's resume must demonstrate outstanding dedication and/or achievement in biomedical ethics, scholarship, teaching and/or professionalism, with demonstrable involvement in Academy activities in these areas. To read a full description of the award, including qualifications and criteria, and to submit a nomination, visit

The 117th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is in session on Nov. 16-19 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. It is the world's largest, most comprehensive ophthalmic education conference. More than 25,000 attendees and 500 companies gather each year to showcase the latest in ophthalmic education, research, clinical developments, technology, products and services. To learn more about the place Where All of Ophthalmology Meets, visit

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About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 32,000 members worldwide.  Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit or to learn more.


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