Expanding connections and influence

David Beebe's service to ARVO is recognized with 2015 Joanne G. Angle Award

Originally published in the Spring 2015 issue of ARVONews

David C. Beebe, PhD, FARVO, the current editor-in-chief of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science

The 2015 Joanne G. Angle
Award recognizes David
Beebe for his dedicated service
to ARVO.

(IOVS), has been selected for the 2015 Joanne G. Angle Award. The Angle award, ARVO’s highest service honor, acknowledges outstanding volunteers and leaders who have made significant, continuous contributions to ARVO in support of its mission.

Beebe, a Gold Fellow, has served ARVO for nearly 20 years. “My entrée into the organization as a volunteer began when I was elected to the Annual Meeting Program Committee. It occurred because of the science, which is where it should always start, because that’s what ARVO is about. Once I entered on that level, it seemed natural to expand my participation in an administrative sense.”

From 1996 through 2002, Beebe served on the Board of Trustees (LE Section), and was elected ARVO president in 2000. He has also been a member of the Publications and Advocacy Committees and a member and chair of the Finance Committee.

He has held his current position as IOVS editor-in-chief since 2012, and views this role as one of the highlights of his contributions to the organization.

“It engages my creativity,” says Beebe. “Things were already going well. But as editor-in-chief, I had to ask, ‘What can we do to make the journal work even better and maintain the high quality of science?’”

We were able to institute a number of changes and additions, especially in service to the authors who send papers to IOVS to try and make it a better experience. Now they get reviews more quickly. And we started a new policy of acknowledging the reviewers who do an exceptional job — those who go above and beyond in coming up with new insights that serve the author.”

“It’s a pleasure to acknowledge and thank Dr. Beebe for his years of outstanding service to ARVO, and in particular his editorship of IOVS,” says ARVO President William Mieler, MD, FARVO. “He has shown dedication beyond the already significant tasks associated with managing the review of 2,000-plus submissions per year, and ensuring that IOVS is a shining example of scholarly journal standards.”

Beebe is the Janet and Bernard Becker Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., where he was recently honored by with an endowed lectureship.

“The Dr. David C. Beebe Lecture celebrates the scientific curiosity, translational research, mentoring and passion that Dr. Beebe has brought to our field and the 20 years of service he has brought to Washington University School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences,” says Todd Margolis, MD, PhD, FARVO, chair of that department and a former ARVO president.

Beebe’s research focuses on the early development of the eye and the cause and potential prevention of nuclear cataracts and glaucoma.

In addition to the lectureship, Beebe also was recently named an outstanding postdoctoral mentor. According to his trainees, “the keys to his success are his energy, contagious enthusiasm and flexibility.”

Beebe’s interest in young scientists includes encouraging them to become involved in serving ARVO based on his own personal experience.

“When you get involved, it’s not just about you and your narrow interests. You meet a lot of people outside your area of expertise. Volunteering is practical in that you expand your connections and influences in the world by meeting people who are also interested in participating and are committed to the organization. It adds up. You end up with a group of people you can go back to for assistance and you have the satisfaction of being a good friend. That’s been very satisfying to me. I have met people from around the world after working with them at ARVO who have remained my friends for many years.”

Among the many friendships Beebe developed was the one with ARVO’s longtime executive director, the late Joanne G. Angle, for whom the award is named. “Joanne was such a dynamic person and so committed. She represented ARVO in every way, so it is a great honor to be included with her legacy of service.”

Beebe is ever mindful of the association’s impact. “You get a great deal of satisfaction by participating in an organization like ARVO that does so much for vision research around the world. It’s satisfying to participate in an organization that really works.”

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