Two at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Receive Newly Endowed Chairs

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Endowed chairs are the highest honors that can be awarded at a research university. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s worldwide leadership in research, education, and clinical care would not be possible without the generous support of donors who share the Institute’s passionate commitment to excellence in ophthalmology. The two newest chair recipients, Alana Grajewski, M.D., and Swarup Swaminathan, M.D., are being recognized for their remarkable accomplishments.

Alana Grajewski, M.D.
Kolokotrones Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology
Alana Grajewski, M.D.

Alana Grajewski, M.D., professor of clinical ophthalmology and a tenured faculty member, has been awarded the Kolokotrones Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology. For more than two decades, Dr. Grajewski has been a leader in the international effort to eradicate blindness from pediatric glaucoma. She established the Samuel & Ethel Balkan International Pediatric Glaucoma Center at Bascom Palmer, the first integrated services center dedicated to pediatric glaucoma and anterior segment dysgenesis. The Center serves as the hub for internationally collaborative research to find underlying causes and genetic factors, and to advance treatment methods for pediatric glaucoma.

Dr. Grajewski also co-founded the Childhood Glaucoma Research Network, a global association of specialists collaborating to advance childhood glaucoma research. An expert in specialized surgical treatment, her influence has been felt worldwide through patient care and education, and establishment of the Global Eye SITE® to train surgeons in dedicated disease management to increase treatment access.

In 2021, Dr. Grajewski was named to The Ophthalmologist Power List as one of the world’s 100 most influential women in the field of ophthalmology. Wendy and Theo Kolokotrones have generously established the endowed chair at Bascom Palmer to promote the advancement of research and treatment in ophthalmology. They have also created the Kolokotrones Lecture Series, a Balkan Center educational symposium for eye clinicians and surgeons.

Swarup Swaminathan, M.D.
Mary Lee and Richard E. Bastin Chair in Ophthalmology
Swarup Swaminathan, M.D.

Swarup Swaminathan, M.D., a board-certified ophthalmologist focused on caring for patients with cataracts or glaucoma, has been awarded the Mary Lee and Richard E. Bastin Chair in Ophthalmology. A magna cum laude graduate of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Swaminathan completed his residency at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. He subsequently completed fellowship training in glaucoma at the Duke Eye Center before joining the faculty at Bascom Palmer as an assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology.

Dr. Swaminathan has received multiple accolades, including the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for his research in protein biochemistry, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Research Fellowship to study trabecular meshwork dysfunction in glaucoma, and the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship, awarded to young ophthalmologists with a strong dedication to ophthalmic research.

With a keen interest in ophthalmic imaging and the application of statistical modeling in glaucoma, Dr. Swaminathan is eager to improve the clinician’s ability to rapidly identify glaucoma patients at high risk for visual disability. Unique in its support of a junior faculty member, the newly endowed chair from the Bastins will support novel glaucoma research that includes refining these statistical methods, assessing treatment burden, identifying novel risk factors, and improving care for patients suffering from this blinding disease.