ARVO Foundation

Message from the chair

J. Mark Petrash, PhD, FARVO

Everyone can make a difference

J. Mark Petrash

This spring, my term as chair of the ARVO Foundation will come to a close. As I reflect on my time as chair over the past three years, I am both amazed and humbled by how many people have contributed to the ARVO Foundation’s growth and forward progress.

Across the ARVO membership — from every corner of the world and from the most senior scientists to the youngest trainees — hundreds of people have contributed to the ARVO Foundation’s mission of providing opportunities for the next generation of vision scientists.

Everyone has a gift to share and it is the giving of those gifts that makes the ARVO Foundation’s work possible.

Dozens of ARVO members serve as volunteers on ARVO Foundation committees. These volunteers pore over award applications to ensure the most promising researchers receive worthy recognition. Others lend their talents to the ARVO Foundation’s fundraising events, ensuring excellent programs and strong attendance.

Senior researchers contribute by recommending others for the ARVO Foundation’s awards and grants to further important work or by volunteering as mentors to guide first-time attendees through ARVO’s large Annual Meeting.

Many travel grant and award recipients give back to the research community by eagerly sharing their personal stories about how the ARVO Foundation has had an impact on their careers. These scientists willingly share these real-life stories to inspire others to give so that similar opportunities may be possible for even more people.

The ARVO Foundation Gala and WEAVR Luncheon are important events at our annual meeting for our fundraising efforts. Attendees of these two events benefit from networking opportunities and important time to honor those who have made special contributions to our work.

Hundreds of members have given their financial support to enable the Foundation’s mission. From individual members who see a need they can fill to big companies that are eager to support the field of vision research, every financial contribution moves us forward.

I am grateful to everyone who has given something of themselves to the ARVO Foundation during my tenure. Thank you to those that have and continue to support the ARVO Foundation. In April, I will leave my role confidently to Chair-elect Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD, FARVO, who has your wonderful base of support on which to build.


J. Mark Petrash, PhD, FARVO