Kreissig Award for Excellence in Retinal Surgery

This award, established by Ingrid Kreissig, MD in 2020 with an endowment through the ARVO Foundation, recognizes the next generation of curious, enterprising investigators who seek to optimize functional outcomes for patients needing retinal surgery.

The purpose of the award is to recognize investigators who have expanded or enhanced scientific knowledge related to the understanding of:

a)    The rationale and mechanisms for a minimal approach in retinal surgery

b)    An innovative surgical approach to retinal disease

c)    The functional results after the newly developed retinal surgery

The recipient will receive a $30,000 honorarium. The first award was issued in 2021.

Award qualifications

This award recognizes excellence in the understanding of the mechanisms of retinal disease requiring surgical management, innovative approaches to management, and/or outcomes of surgical treatment.


Eligibility criteria include:

  • Must be a university/academic-based clinician-investigator having specialized in retina
  • Must be practicing at least 10 years as a full trained ophthalmologist specialist in the posterior segment surgery of the eye
  • Must be an ARVO member
  • Must be age 55 or younger at the time of nomination
  • There are no restrictions on citizenship, residency, sex or race

Applications open on Aug. 1
Applications close on Oct. 1
Recipients notified in December

2023 recipient

2024 Kreissig Award recipient - David Zacks David Zacks, MD, PhD, completed his undergraduate degree at Cornell University, where he majored in neurobiology. This was followed by a combined MD and PhD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He finished his ophthalmology residency in 2000 and his vitreoretinal fellowship in 2002, both at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston.

Zacks joined the Retina Service of the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center in 2002 and currently holds the Edna H. Perkiss Research Professorship. His main research interest is in the molecular regulation of photoreceptor cell death during retinal disease. He has held numerous research grants, including from the National Eye Institute and from various foundations such as Research to Prevent Blindness and the Foundation Fighting Blindness. He serves also on the Executive Council of The Retina Society.

In addition to his clinical and academic endeavors, Zacks co-founded ONL Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech company committed to protecting and improving the vision of patients with a range of retinal diseases, including retinal detachment, age-related macular degeneration, and open-angle glaucoma. ONL Therapeutics is pioneering a novel breakthrough technology designed to preserve vision by blocking retinal inflammation and cell death.