This quarter’s newsletter highlights the dynamic nature of our department.  On the one hand, we are celebrating the career of Jim Kinyoun, MD as he transitions to retirement.  Jim has served our patients, our trainees, and our institution for 40 years as faculty member in our vitreoretinal divison.  He taught scores of residents and numerous fellows, instilling in each some of the diligence, good humor, and grace that have characterized his long career at UW.  We are delighted to be raising an endowment to help support our retina fellowships in Jim’s honor.  On the other end of our career spectrum, in this issue we feature stories on three of our junior faculty who have recently been awarded prestigious early career development awards.  Ram Sabesan, PhD and Kathryn Pepple, MD, PhD were both awarded Career Development Awards from Research to Prevent Blindness in the past several years; while Mike Manookin, PhD and Dr. Pepple were both awarded the Alcon Young Investigator Award.  Aaron Lee, MD, MSCI was awarded a K23 grant from the NIH, joining Dr. Pepple and Dr. Cecilia Lee as current K-awardees in the department.  We are truly fortunate to have this group of extremely talented investigators working in our group – this portends a very bright future for research in our department. 

In this issue, we also highlight two unique clinical environments.  The Puget Sound VA is a critical partner for our department, and is home to three of our full-time faculty and (at any given time) about a third of our residents.  It is a major care site and a major training site for our department, and has blossomed under leadership of Debra Lam, MD.  The addition of the American Lake campus near Tacoma has increased our reach and provided outstanding educational opportunities for our residents.  And finally, the new Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) clinic opened this past year at the UW Medicine Eye Institute.  This interdisciplinary clinic – the first of its kind in the US – provides one-stop medical and surgical management of this challenging condition under the leadership of Dr. Courtney Francis.

We hope you enjoy this issue of InSight, in its new internet-enabled format.  Please feel free to reach out to me directly ( with comments, or if I can help you in any way.

Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, PhD

Boyd K. Bucey Memorial Chair

Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology


Director, UW Medicine Eye Institute