Minority Fellowship Travel Grants


Each year the Diversity Initiatives Committee awards three minority fellowship travel grants. The ARVO SACNAS Eye and Vision Research Award is given to an individual with the best vision and ophthalmology-related abstract from the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science conference of that year. The ARVO Vision Research Minority Fellowship Award is awarded to an individual who has won a Rabb-Venable Excellence in Ophthalmology Award at that year's U.S. National Medical Association's annual convention (two awards given each year). The Rabb-Venable award is named in honor of Dr. Maurice Rabb, Jr., and Dr. H. Phillip Venable, two pioneering African American ophthalmologists and researchers. For more information about these grants, please contact awards@arvo.org.

2018 ARVO Minority Fellowship Travel Grant recipients

Lewis Marquez  |  ARVO SACNAS Eye and Vision Research Award recipient

Lewis MarquezWinning project: Downregulation of Cytochrome C Oxidase Following IOP Elevation in Rat Model of Glaucoma Is Attenuated By Αb-Crystallin Core Peptide (ABCP)

Mr. Marquez became the first in his family to attend college. He participated in an NIH-funded research program BUILD PODER (Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity and Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research). He conducts organic chemistry research with a focus on the synthesis of potentially therapeutic benzimidazole compounds utilizing atropisomerism to produce more enantiomerically pure compounds. He has been accepted into graduate school and will continue researching new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

Joah F. Aliancy, MD  |  ARVO Vision Research Minority Fellowship Award recipient

Joah F. Aliancy

Winning project: Long-term capsular clarity with a disc-shaped intraocular lens

Dr. Aliancy was born in Haiti, and spent his formative years in south Florida. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida in Chemistry with honors distinction, and his medical degree from Florida State University. He has been honored with induction into both Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Honor societies. Dr. Aliancy later completed an ocular pathology research fellowship at the University of Utah John A. Moran Eye Center. He is presently a PGY-1 resident at Aventura Hospital Transitional Program. In 2018, Dr. Aliancy will attend the Harkness Eye Institute at Columbia University for his ophthalmology residency training. His research interests include novel intraocular lens technology, mechanisms to decrease capsular lens opacification, toxic anterior segment syndrome, and nitric oxide as a treatment modality in glaucomatous disease. 

Caryn Cobb  |  ARVO Vision Research Minority Fellowship Award recipient

Caryn CobbWinning project: Micro-Cannula Technique in Periorbital Rejuvenation

Ms. Cobb is a medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Caryn graduated with honors as an undergraduate at Brown University, where she was also inducted into the Sigma Xi Honors Research Society and named Academic All-Ivy honors. Caryn serves on the executive board of the Association of Women Surgeons at Brown. She has served as the National Committee co-chair of External Affairs for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). She was the SNMA associate regional director, overseeing and organizing SNMA chapters within seven New England states. Caryn has a passion for research and enjoys mentoring students interested in medicine. 


Recipients from prior years

2017 ARVO SACNAS  |  Jesse Velasco  |  Characterizing the effects of SPHK1 knockout in the mouse neural retina

2017 ARVO VRMF  |  Deanna Lyttle, MD  |  Levodopa as a possible treatment of visual loss in nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION)

2017 ARVO VRMF  |  Akosua Nti, MD  |  Analysis of the African American and Hispanic sub-groups in the IIHTT treatment trial

2016 ARVO SACNAS  |  Stephanie Landeros  |  Effects of human retinal progenitor cells on glial and immune cell reactivity in the RCS rat

2016 ARVO VRMF  |  Ahmara Gibbons Ross, MD, PhD  |  The threshold of ultraviolet light energy to eliminate acanthamoeba

2016 ARVO VRMF  |  Ijeoma S. Chinwuba  |  Systemic associations of macular retinoschisis, hemorrhagic cysts, and retinal folds in children

2015 ARVO SACNAS  |  Sierra Warren  |  Improving underwater vision with amphibious contact lenses

2015 ARVO VRMF  |  Nikisha Q. Richards  |  Ophthalmic presentation of giant cell arteritis in African Americans

2015 ARVO VRMF  |  Alexis K. Warren  |  Bevacizumab (Avastinâ) as a treatment alternative for threshold retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)

2014 ARVO SACNAS  |  Daniel Foster  |  Using change blindness to study the effect of visual attention on neural activity in visual area v4

2014 ARVO VRMF  |  Alexandros Pappas  |  Success of intraocular pressure control in glaucoma patients undergoing canaloplasty with and without cataract extraction in a single center setting

2014 ARVO VRMF  |  Dianne Barrett  |  Identifying candidate proteases to degrade cochlin using biochemical and bioinformatic techniques

2013 ARVO SACNAS  |  Emily Sales  |  Retinal Ganglion type specific Axon Targeting to the Superior Colliculus in EphrinA2/EphrinA5 Knock-out Mice

2013 ARVO VRMF  |  Ian A. Thompson  |  CFH and HTRAI risk alleles in Caucasian and African American ocular sarcoidosis patients

2013 ARVO VRMF  |  O’Rese J. Knight  |  Comparison of confocal corneal endothelial image analysis methods