• The EnergEYES Award was created in 2009 to recognize and honor an ophthalmologist who demonstrates exemplary leadership skills by energizing others to improve ophthalmology. This individual is one who mentors young ophthalmologists, serves as a strong role model, and displays high energy that motivates them to get involved.

    2019 EnergEYES Award Recipient


    Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD 

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is pleased to announce Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD as the 2019 EnergEYES Award recipient. This honor is awarded to an ophthalmologist who demonstrates exemplary leadership skills by energizing others to improve ophthalmology. This individual is one who mentors and guides young ophthalmologists (YOs), serves as a strong role model, and displays high energy that motivates YOs to get involved.

    Dr. Sternberg is the G. W. Hale Professor of Ophthalmology and Chairman of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee.   He has served as an exemplary mentor and effective role model to residents and young ophthalmologists through his leadership roles in both academic and organized medicine. Dr. Sternberg is the co-founder of the Academy’s Leadership Development Program and has dedicated many years to resident education while energizing and motivating YOs to effectively advocate for their patients and profession.  He has been a critical contributor to the success of the L.E.A.P Forward (Leadership, Engagement, Advocacy and Practice Management) session held for members in training participating in the Advocacy Ambassador Program at the Academy’s annual Mid-Year Forum in Washington, D.C..

    Dr. Sternberg is a recognized retina specialist, and has been named one of the Best Doctors in America for both medical and surgical retinal conditions every year since 1994.  He maintains an active academic and research program, studying the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration.  He has authored more than 230 scientific articles and 30 book chapters, and received research funding from the NIH, numerous foundations, and industry.  Honors include the Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Honor Award, the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Award, Lew Wasserman Award of Merit from Research to Prevent Blindness, the Distinguished Service Award from ARVO, and the Sommer Prize from the EyeCare Foundation.  In 2009, he took on additional leadership responsibilities at Vanderbilt as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Chief Medical Officer, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Adult Health Affairs. 

    Dr. Sternberg is a graduate of Harvard College and University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.  After a residency in ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, he completed a vitreoretinal fellowship at Duke University Eye Center, before returning to Wilmer as Chief Resident.  In 1985, he joined the faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, where he was Chief of the Retina Division and the Thomas M. Aaberg Professor.  He was recruited to Vanderbilt in 2003.

    Throughout his career, Dr. Sternberg has led by stellar example and many YOs have benefited from his extraordinary leadership, mentorship, wisdom and guidance.