Bascom Palmer Director Dr. Eduardo Alfonso Receives Prestigious 2022 Heed-Gutman Award

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Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., received the 2022 Heed-Gutman Award at the recent American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting. This prestigious award, presented by the Society of Heed Fellows, recognizes extraordinary and distinguished leadership in ophthalmology as well as major clinical, research and educational contributions to the field.

Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D.

Dr. Alfonso is director of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, and holder of the Kathleen and Stanley J. Glaser Chair at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is known for his clinical and research expertise in eye diseases, corneal surgery, and ocular microbiology, and administrative skills in health care.

Born in Cuba, Dr. Alfonso grew up in Puerto Rico. He received a bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and medical degree from Yale University. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. This was followed by fellowships in clinical and surgical cornea at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, in ophthalmic pathology at the David G. Cogan Eye Pathology Laboratory, and research at the Howe Laboratory.

An internationally known clinical and research expert on cornea and ocular infectious diseases, Dr. Alfonso specializes in corneal transplants, having performed over 1,000 surgeries in adults and children. He helped develop the surgical and clinical applications of keratoprosthesis, an artificial cornea. Dr. Alfonso has delivered more than 25 named honor lectures and been an invited lecturer in over 200 national and international meetings. He serves on the editorial boards of ophthalmology journals and has authored more than 300 scientific publications.

Dr. Alfonso has received the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Honor Award, the Senior Achievement Award, the Life Achievement Honor Award, and the Special Recognition Award. The Pan American Ophthalmological Foundation honored him with the Ambassador for Education Award. He was named CEO of the Year by South Florida Business Journal and named one of the 100 most influential leaders in South Florida. He was honored with the Florida Society of Ophthalmology leadership award in 2011 and received the ORBIS International Medical Faculty Award in 2004.

Dr. Alfonso has served as director and president of the Miami Ophthalmological Society; Sociedad Iberoamericana de Cornea y Cirugia Refractiva; the Cuban Ophthalmological Society in Exile; the Ophthalmology Research Foundation; the Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group; Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology; Heed Ophthalmic Foundation; and the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology. He has served or serves on the boards of the Society of Heed Fellows; the Cornea Society; the International Council of Ophthalmology; Ophthalmology Foundation; the Florida Society of Ophthalmology; the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research; and the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research.

Dr. Alfonso shares the 2022 Heed-Gutman Award with Mark W. Johnson, M.D. (Bascom Palmer fellow 1990). Last year's recipient, James Chodosh, M.D., M.P.H., was also a graduate of the Bascom Palmer fellowship program (Bascom Palmer fellow 1993).

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