Back arrow

Glaucoma Research Foundation Honors and Celebrates Glaucoma Innovators at 2022 Annual Gala

"Glaucoma 360 honorees Ronald Fellman, MD, David Calkins, PhD, and Steven and Michele Kirsch have inspired us each in their own unique way," said GRF Board Chair Andrew Iwach, MD.

The Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala took place February 10, 2022, at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco. Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) presented glaucoma specialist Ronald L. Fellman, MD (Glaucoma Associates of Texas; The Cure Glaucoma Foundation) with the 2022 Catalyst Award. 

Additional glaucoma research visionaries honored and celebrated at the Gala were 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 was presented to Ronald L. Fellman, MD of Glaucoma Associates of Texas and The Cure Glaucoma Foundation. “GRF is proud to honor 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 was 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 as a research scientist and 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, MDDavid 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 were held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, near Union Square in downtown San Francisco, California.

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 include the Annual Gala, New Horizons Forum, the Glaucoma Symposium CME, and the Optometric Glaucoma Symposium. More information is available at


Last reviewed February 2, 2024