Images Magazine

World’s 50 Most Influential People in Ophthalmology

Three of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s faculty members are among those honored as the Top 50 most influential figures in ophthalmology. PHILIP J. ROSENFELD, M.D., PH.D., CAROL KARP, M.D. and J. WILLIAM HARBOUR, M.D., were named to the Ophthalmologist Power List 2019.

Rosenfeld pioneered the off-label use of Avastin (bevacizumab) to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss among the elderly. A specialist in vitreoretinal diseases, he said upon receiving the award, “On a daily basis, I am most proud of my research team and their ability to tackle difficult problems, endure failure, understand what it takes to perform bulletproof science, and merge with exciting new data that makes a difference in the world.” His discovery has saved vision in millions, has become the standard of care for retina specialists throughout the world for its effectiveness, and has saved health-care agencies billions of dollars. This is the fourth time Rosenfeld has been named to the Power List.

Karp, holder of the Richard K. Forster Chair in Ophthalmology, is expert in the management of ocular surface tumors and anterior segment surgery. In the late 1990s, she pioneered the use of interferon for the treatment of ocular surface squamous neoplasia. She designed protocols to study the drug in patients with ocular surface tumors, curing them of their cancer without surgery. Her work has helped to change the standard of care of these lesions.

Harbour, holder of the Dr. Mark J. Daily Endowed Chair, is one of the most highly respected ocular oncologists in the world. He discovered the key gene mutations in uveal melanoma and then invented a highly innovative prognostic test for the disease, based on gene expression profiling and computer machine learning. This test has become the standard of care throughout the United States and is considered the most accurate prognostic test available for ocular melanoma – benefiting thousands of patients every year.

Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., Bascom Palmer’s director, was named to the Power List in 2014, 2016 and 2018. Also named in 2018 were Bascom Palmer professors of ophthalmology Harry W. Flynn, Jr., M.D.; Richard Parrish, II., M.D.; and Sonia Yoo, M.D. In 2017, Ranya Habash, M.D., assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology, was included in the Power List that featured ophthalmology’s “Top 50 Rising Stars.”

The members of this year’s Power List are recognized in five categories: Champions for Change, Inventors, Emerging Leaders, Mentors and Surgical Pioneers. Each of Bascom Palmer’s 2019 honorees are listed as inventors. Three other doctors on the 2019 Power List trained at Bascom Palmer: Alan Bird, M.D., (fellow, 1969), recognized as a mentor; inventor Steven Charles, M.D. (resident, 1973); and surgical pioneer Robert H. Osher, M.D., (resident, fellow, 1981).