Newswise — San Francisco, CA - January 28, 2022: Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) President and CEO, Thomas M. Brunner, announced today that glaucoma specialist Ronald L. Fellman, MD (Glaucoma Associates of Texas; The Cure Glaucoma Foundation) will be honored with the Catalyst Award at their Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala on February 10, 2022. 

Additional glaucoma research visionaries being honored and celebrated at the Gala are David Calkins, PhD (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), a leading authority on the neurobiological basis of vision loss in blinding eye disease, and Steven and Michele Kirsch of Los Altos Hills, CA, who inspired Glaucoma Research Foundation to establish the Catalyst for a Cure — an innovative, collaborative research model that was designed to accelerate the pace of discovery toward a cure for glaucoma. 

The 2022 Catalyst Award will be presented to Ronald L. Fellman, MD of Glaucoma Associates of Texas and The Cure Glaucoma Foundation. “GRF will be honoring Dr. Fellman for his outstanding contributions to the field of glaucoma as a specialist, researcher, and patient advocate whose enduring dedication has improved the lives of countless people with glaucoma,” said Mr. Brunner. “I should add that Dr. Fellman’s commitment to excellence and patient care continues to this day!” he said.

The 2022 President’s Award will be presented to David J. Calkins, PhD, Assistant Vice President of Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in recognition of his ongoing leadership and exemplary commitment to advancing glaucoma research. Dr. Calkins is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the development of new therapeutics based on neuronal protection, repair, and regeneration. “As the Chair of the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s Catalyst for a Cure Initiative and our Research Committee, Dr. Calkins has provided invaluable guidance and inspiration,” Mr. Brunner said. “We are honored to recognize David for his many contributions to vision research and his longstanding work with GRF first as a research scientist and now as an advisor,” he said.

With their leadership support over the past 20 years, philanthropists Steven and Michele Kirsch have generously provided funding for three Catalyst for a Cure research consortiums, each making critical discoveries toward the goal of a cure. “Steve and Michele believe medical research should be collaborative rather than competitive, and they inspired us to establish our Catalyst for a Cure consortium 20 years ago, to join forces with other research institutions to find a cure for glaucoma, said Mr. Brunner. “We are extremely grateful to Steve and Michele and pleased to honor them with the 2022 Visionary Award,’’ he added. Andrew Iwach, MD, Chair of the Glaucoma Research Foundation and Executive Director of the Glaucoma Center of San Francisco, noted that “our 2022 Glaucoma 360 honorees Ronald Fellman, MD, David Calkins, PhD, and Steven and Michele Kirsch have inspired us with their generous contributions to glaucoma research over many years, each in their own unique way. They represent so many significant advances being made for glaucoma patients thanks to innovative scientific research, excellence in care, and distinction in philanthropy.” 

The Annual Gala and other Glaucoma 360 events will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 345 Stockton Street, near Union Square in downtown San Francisco, California. For the health and safety of attendees, the in-person events will follow the city of San Francisco guidelines requiring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and the wearing of masks for patrons of indoor public settings, except while eating and drinking. For those who prefer to attend virtually, Glaucoma Research Foundation will also present a livestream of the Gala on a virtual platform.


About Glaucoma 360

Glaucoma 360 is a series of annual events presented by Glaucoma Research Foundation to highlight the latest advances in glaucoma research and the development of novel therapies. Glaucoma 360 events for February 2022 include the Annual Gala, New Horizons Forum, the Glaucoma Symposium CME, and the Optometric Glaucoma Symposium. On February 10th, the Annual Gala will honor leaders in glaucoma research and the visionaries and catalysts who share Glaucoma Research Foundation’s mission to cure glaucoma and restore vision through innovative research. On February 11th, the 11th annual New Horizons Forum will bring together leaders in glaucoma research and industry to speed the translation of new ideas to improved therapies for glaucoma patients. Presented as hybrid event this year, participants can choose to attend in person or virtually via livestream. On February 12th, both the 26th annual Glaucoma Symposium CME and the 7th annual Optometric Glaucoma Symposium, for practicing ophthalmologists and optometrists respectively, will be presented as in-person (only) events. More information is available at


About Glaucoma Research Foundation

Founded in San Francisco in 1978, Glaucoma Research Foundation is America’s oldest and most experienced institution dedicated to its mission to cure glaucoma and restore vision through innovative research. The Foundation has a proven track record of pioneering, results-oriented research and produces definitive educational materials used by eye care professionals across the country. The Glaucoma Research Foundation website,, provides valuable information about glaucoma to 3 million visitors annually.

For more information about Glaucoma Research Foundation and Glaucoma 360 events, please contact Brizette Castellanos at 415.986.3162 ext. 221 or [email protected] or visit

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