Dr. David L. Epstein Award

Supporting mentorship of clinician-scientists working in glaucoma

David L. Epstein, MD

This award honors David L. Epstein, MD, who is widely considered to be one of the most influential leaders in glaucoma and glaucoma research over the past 40 years. The award was created by his family to perpetuate and honor his commitment to the scientific understanding and cure of glaucoma through the support of promising clinician-scientists in exceptional research environments.

The Dr. David L. Epstein Award is given annually to a well-established, senior investigator with a documented history of conducting eye and vision research in glaucoma and mentoring clinician-scientists to independent academic and research careers. The award supports a collaborative project for the mentor and mentee related to glaucoma.

The award was created by Dr. Epstein's family with the intention of furthering his long-standing determination and interest in solving the complex issues of glaucoma through well-conceived and executed scientific research focused on finding the causes and new treatments for the disease. The first award of $100,000 was presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting.

Applications open Aug. 1 - Oct. 1

View eligibility details and how to apply

2023 Dr. David L. Epstein Award recipients

Pradeep Y. Ramulu, MD, PhD (mentor) and Jithin Yohannan, MD, MPH
Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute (Baltimore, Md.)
Improving the Enrollment and Implementation of Glaucoma Neuroprotective Trials by Harnessing Deep Learning

Joshua Stein, MD, MS (mentor) and Lev Prasov, MD, PhD
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Using Big Data and Familial Studies to Define Novel Glaucoma Genes


Past recipients

Jamie Craig, MBBS, FRANZCO, DPhil (mentor) and Owen Siggs, MD, DPhil (mentee)
Flinders University, Australia
Investigating the utility of polygenic risk scores to prevent blindness in primary open-angle glaucoma

Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, FARVO (mentor) and Julie Cho, MD, PhD (mentee)
Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University
Functional effects of therapeutics for neuroprotection and regeneration in a model of glaucoma

Harry A. Quigley, MD, FARVO (mentor) and Thomas V. Johnson, MD, PhD (mentee)
Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Stem cell transplantation for RGC replacement and optic nerve regeneration

Janey Wiggs, MD, PhD, FARVO (mentor) and Ryan Collantes, MD (mentee)
Harvard Medical School
Genetics of childhood glaucoma in the Philippines: genetic testing, gene discovery and implications for treatment

David Huang, MD, PhD, FARVO (mentor) and Liang Liu, MD (mentee)
Oregon Health & Science University
Structural OCT and OCT angiography to diagnose and monitor glaucoma progression

Jonathan G. Crowston, MBBS, FRCOphth, FRANZCO, PhD (mentor) and Peter van Wijngaarden, MD, PhD, FRANZCO (mentee)
University of Melbourne, Centre for Eye Research Australia
Energy supply in glaucoma: the role of oligodendrocyte-mediated lactate transport in maintaining the integrity of ganglion cell axons in the optic nerve

About David L. Epstein

The Joseph A.C. Wadsworth Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Dr. Epstein served as chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Duke University School of Medicine for 22 years before he passed away on March 4, 2014. He was a longtime ARVO member and served as president in 1992. Dr. Epstein received the 2013 Mildred Weisenfeld Award for Excellence in Ophthalmology for his distinguished scholarly contributions to the clinical practice of ophthalmology. He developed novel drugs for the treatment of glaucoma, leading to 10 patents that involve all aspects of ophthalmic patient care and treatment.

Dr. Epstein authored more than 230 scholarly papers and consulted in glaucoma clinical care while maintaining an active glaucoma research program. He is credited with inspiring generations of young ophthalmologists as a gifted mentor and teacher with a Socratic teaching style. In 2012, he received Duke University School of Medicine Medical Alumni Association's Distinguished Faculty Award.

Dr. Epstein also served on numerous national scientific advisory boards, and as president of the Chandler-Grant Glaucoma Society in 1992 and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology in 2013.

Award details

Learn more about the Dr. David L. Epstein Award, including how to apply for the award.

Eligibility and application details
Learn more about the eligibility requirements and how to apply for the Dr. David L. Epstein Award