Newswise — SAN FRANCISCO – Jan. 8, 2020 – Anne L Coleman, M.D., Ph.D., has begun her one-year term as the 124th president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. A glaucoma specialist and educator with a deep commitment to expanding access to quality eye care, Dr. Coleman was elected to leadership by the Academy’s community of 32,000 ophthalmologists. Dr. Coleman begins her term with a challenge to Academy members:  Make 2020 the year to step up your effort to provide access to quality eye care – for everyone who needs it.

Dr. Coleman is professor of ophthalmology at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute (SEI) and professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, where she researches the public health impact, risk factors, causes and treatments of blindness worldwide. As director of the SEI Center for Community Outreach and Policy, she provides care to the underserved and vulnerable who lack access to health care because of finances, transportation issues or language barriers; a program that has screen 90,000 children over the last five years.

Dr. Coleman’s passion as a leader, educator and patient advocate has fueled many Academy programs. She was the first director of the Hoskins Center for Quality Eye Care. She was involved in the development of the IRIS® Registry, the nation's first comprehensive eye disease registry for improved clinical care. She was chair of the Interspecialty Education Committee, chair of the Knowledge-Base Glaucoma Panel, Quality of Care Secretary, and co-chair of the Pyott Glaucoma Education Center.

“It’s up to us to make eye and vision health a societal priority,” Dr. Coleman said. “So, I’m challenging our membership to dig deep for the answers. This isn’t something that’s easily accomplished. But the issue is solvable. It takes thought, it takes creativity, and it takes courage—not just from a few individuals but from all of us. The year 2020 is a year for challenge and the year we will truly honor our mission to save sight and empower lives— not only for those who are fortunate enough to be evaluated by us, but also for the community as a whole.”

Dr. Coleman previously served as council chair for the American Ophthalmological Society, chair of the American Glaucoma Society (AGS) Annual Program Meeting Committee, president of Women in Ophthalmology, and chair of the National Eye Institute Eye Health and Education Program Planning Committee. She is currently Associate Editor of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2016, was the 72nd Jackson Memorial Lecturer, is a Gold Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and US Priory Hospitaller of the Most Venerable Order of St. John, and was awarded the Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award, the Suzanne Veronneau-Troutman Award, the American Glaucoma Society Lecturer Award, and Anagnostakis-Trantas Medal from the Greek Glaucoma Society.

Dr. Coleman earned her medical degree at the Medical College of Virginia School of Medicine and her PhD from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. She completed her residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center and her fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit