The 2022 Albert C. Muse Dinner had an atmosphere of homecoming. Held on November 17, 2022, both recipients have ties to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Following a cocktail hour, Eye & Ear Foundation CEO Lawton Snyder briefly welcomed everyone and introduced George Fechter, Chairman of the EEF Board of Directors. He provided an excellent background on the Muse Celebration, details on EEF, and spoke of the work in the Department of Ophthalmology.
To honor world leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, EEF established the Albert C. Muse Prize in 2002. The prestigious celebration alternates between the two fields each year, recognizing individuals who have made significant advancements in research and patient care within these specialties. In 2018, the Muse Award was created to recognize individuals who have contributed significantly to the Pittsburgh region through innovation and service.
In naming these honors after Albert C. Muse, his 50+ years of dedication and service to the Eye & Ear Hospital, Institute, and now the Foundation, are recognized.
The 2022 Albert C. Muse Prize for Excellence in Research and Advancement of Care in Ophthalmology was presented to John E. Dowling, PhD, the Gordon and Llura Gun Professor of Neurosciences Emeritus at Harvard University. He attended with his wife and granddaughter Olivia, who is a Pitt student. The renowned researcher in his field provided the Muse Lecture in the afternoon on “Understanding Retinal Disease Using Connectomic Methods.”
The 2022 Albert C. Muse Award for Excellence in Innovation and Service in Ophthalmology was presented to Joel S. Schuman, MD, FACS, the Elaine Langone Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Ophthalmology, Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology at NYU Langone Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He is also a past chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Schuman attended with his wife.
Both winners were very gracious, and their speeches were grateful and interesting. There was a closeness in the room, more of a family than colleagues. Dr. José-Alain Sahel, Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, was taken back to med school, where Dr. Dowling was his professor. His introduction of Dr. Dowling was filled with memories, reverence, and gratitude or the role Dr. Dowling played in his career. They have stayed in touch since medical school.
For Dr. Schuman, it really was a homecoming. He left six years ago, but Pittsburgh stays in his heart and there were many familiar faces in the room. When Dr. Sahel introduced Dr. Schuman, they shared a common link as past and present chairs of the department.
Congratulations to both on these prestigious awards!