Dr. David L. Epstein Award


This award honors David L. Epstein, MD, who is widely considered to be one of the most influential leaders in the world of glaucoma and glaucoma research over the past 40 years. The award was created by Dr. Epstein’s 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. It is the intent of the donors that this award further Dr. Epstein's 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 $100,000 award, which is supported through the ARVO Foundation, was first presented in 2016.

Eligible applicants include ARVO members who are well-established, senior-level investigators with documented history of conducting eye and vision research in glaucoma and who have a record of successfully mentoring clinician-scientists to independent academic and research careers. The award will fund a research project that supports the applicant’s mentee in the applicant’s lab.

Specific eligibility criteria include:

  • Applicant must be the PI of an active research program and have a history of obtaining at least two NIH grants in the U or R series (or two grant equivalents if the applicant is from outside the United States), at least one of which is current.

  • Applicant must have a record of accomplishment in successfully mentoring clinician-scientists to independent academic and research careers.

  • Applicant must agree at time of application that Epstein Award funds will be used specifically to support a clinician-scientist, within five years of completion of formal training, in the awardee’s laboratory or area of research to further research for:
    • a period of two years at a minimum of 30% effort per year. If funds remain at the end of two years, the principal investigator may apply for a no cost extension; OR
    • one year at a minimum of 75% effort. If funds remain at the end of a year, the principal investigator may apply for a no cost extension.

  • The applicant’s mentee must be committed to becoming a clinician-scientist.

  • Applicant must be an employee of a tax-exempt academic institution, and said institution must be willing to receive and disburse the award monies under the guidelines of ARVO. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure his/her institution can and will accept the award monies for the sole purpose set out in this award, as specified in the criteria, including that the institution agrees not to apply or withhold administrative fees or indirect costs.

  • Must follow ARVO described processes for application including established deadlines.

  • There are no geographic (international or domestic) restrictions.

  • There are no age restrictions.

Additional information:

  • Unsuccessful applicants may apply for the award again in subsequent years.

  • Past recipients are eligible to apply for the award again after a period of three years. There is no limit to the number of times a recipient may receive the award.

  • The award winner will be expected to present results from his/her research project at the ARVO Annual Meeting two years later (for example, the 2016 winner will present at ARVO 2018).


Applications open July 1, 2017
Applications close September 1, 2017 (11:59pm U.S. Eastern time)
Recipients notified February 2018

Past Dr. David L. Epstein Award Recipients and Mentees:

David Huang MD, PhD, FARVO
Oregon Health & Science University
Mentee: Liang Liu, MD
“Structural OCT and OCT angiography to diagnose and monitor glaucoma progression”