ARVO Foundation welcomes new chair Paul Sternberg, Jr.Paul Sternberg, Jr.

Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD, FARVO, will take the helm of the ARVO Foundation as chair of the Board of Governors in April. Sternberg has served as a Governor since 2014 and is a past ARVO Trustee representing the Retina Section.

Sternberg is the G. W. Hale Professor of Ophthalmology at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and chief medical officer and chief patient experience officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. He also serves as associate dean for clinical affairs at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. He is a clinician-scientist specializing in retina with research studies targeting the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration.

Sternberg recently shared his thoughts on ARVO and the future for the ARVO Foundation.

What has ARVO meant to you professionally during your career?

The ARVO meeting in Honolulu will mark my 40th anniversary as an ARVO member. I vividly remember traveling to my first ARVO Annual Meeting in Sarasota in 1978 as a third-year medical student. While the meeting was quite small by today's standards, it still seemed daunting to me. It was also incredibly invigorating and solidified my career. ARVO is my professional home as a vision scientist. Over the decades, I have made countless friends, developed multiple scientific collaborations and grown exponentially as a researcher through my ARVO experiences.

Among all your professional responsibilities, why was it important to you to take on this additional leadership role?

I am honored to serve as chair of the ARVO Foundation because it means I can play an active role in promoting and growing support for ARVO and vision research. The ARVO Foundation was created to provide financial support to enhance the mission of ARVO, including education, innovation and collaboration among vision scientists worldwide. ARVO Foundation initiatives have greatly enhanced the ability for international vision researchers to attend the Annual Meeting, as well as fund awards that range from recognizing talented young investigators to rewarding careers of accomplishment.

What is your vision for the ARVO Foundation as you take on the chair role? What new opportunities do you see?

The ARVO Foundation is still a young organization and is just starting to realize its potential impact. It has been remarkable to see how my predecessors in this role have grown the scope and impact of the Foundation ,and I hope to continue this impressive trajectory. Clearly, there is no shortage of opportunities for support, ranging from funding travel to the Annual Meeting to growing junior investigators to educating the public to stimulating innovative and novel discovery.

The challenge is growing the funds available for the daunting need. My vision is to continue to grow the resources that the ARVO Foundation can make available to our community, both with expanded endowment funds and those that can be used immediately. We will accomplish this by leveraging the success of many of our members, as well as the profound impact our vision research successes have had across the world.

The ARVO Foundation relies on support from ARVO members to continue its work. Why should ARVO members invest in the ARVO Foundation?

No one knows the impact of vision discovery more than our members. Similarly, no one better knows the challenges we face as vision researchers. With a gift to the ARVO Foundation, members have an immediate and long-lasting impact on their passion, their livelihood and their future, while also profoundly influencing how vision science advances the quality of life for patients around the world. AJ