• Big Data Grants Awarded to Ophthalmologists Working to Improve Patient Care

    Private practice physicians to use the Academy's IRIS Registry database to study eye diseases

    SAN FRANCISCO –  The American Academy of Ophthalmology today announced recipients of analytic programs from two funds developed to advance big data investigations of eye disease: the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. Pediatric Ophthalmology Fund and The H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, Center for Quality Eye Care IRIS® Registry Research Fund.

    The Knights Templar Eye Foundation Pediatric Ophthalmology Fund supports big data analyses investigating both rare and common eye diseases affecting children to uncover optimal, real-world approaches to prevention and treatment. The H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, fund supports Academy members in private practice who want to answer clinical questions that can help improve patient care.

    The goal of both funds is to support Academy members in private practice who want to harness the power of the Academy’s IRIS® Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) to advance patient care. The IRIS Registry is the world’s largest clinical specialty data registry, having amassed data on 60 million patients in just over six years. The Academy developed the IRIS Registry to provide insights on eye disease, and to empower ophthalmologists to effectively improve their practices and their patients’ lives.

    Winners of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. Pediatric Fund are:

    Eric Schneider, M.D., Tennessee Retina. Retinopathy of prematurity is a potentially blinding eye disorder that primarily affects premature infants. Dr. Schneider will use IRIS Registry data to identify risk factors for advanced disease. Results will help ophthalmologists better screen and target interventions for at-risk children. 

    Jeffrey J. Tan, M.D., Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group. Childhood uveitis, which is commonly associated with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, is a challenging disease to treat. Dr. Tan will use IRIS Registry data to better understand if starting immunomodulatory therapy in children newly diagnosed with uveitis is effective and can reduce complications. 

    Akshay Thomas, M.D., Tennessee Retina. Uveitis in children is difficult to study because its presentation varies. Dr. Thomas will use the IRIS Registry to identify the causes of pediatric uveitis and associated vision loss.

    Winners of The H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, Center for Quality Eye Care IRIS® Registry Research Fund are:

    Elizabeth Atchison, M.D., Ophthalmology Ltd.  Dr. Atchison will use IRIS Registry data to identify which patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are at greatest risk of severe visual loss. She will also evaluate how treatment patterns can be enhanced.

    David F. Chang, M.D., Altos Eye Physicians. Cataract surgeons must determine how and which intraocular lens (IOL) to implant in eyes without adequate capsular support. Dr. Chang will use the IRIS Registry database to describe real-world outcomes with different IOLs types, including disparities in patient outcomes.

    Sunir Garg, M.D., Mid-Atlantic Retina. Retinal detachment surgery has a high success rate. However, surgery timing may influence how much vision is saved. Dr. Garg will use the IRIS Registry to evaluate whether the timing of surgery is linked to better visual outcomes.

    Erich Horn, M.D. Private Practice. Many cataract surgeries were delayed this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Horn will use the IRIS Registry to determine if delayed surgery influenced patient outcomes. 

    Ramsudha Narala, M.D., Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group. Uveitis is responsible for 10 to 15 percent of blindness in the United States. Dr. Narala will use the IRIS Registry to determine if immunomodulatory treatment in newly diagnosed patients can prevent recurrence of inflammation and its complications.

     

    About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.