The Cornea Society bestows highest award to Eversight Medical Director

Advancing knowledge

Dr. Jonathan H. Lass spends a lot of time pondering the future.

He has treated thousands of patients as a corneal surgeon at University Hospitals Eye Institute and mentored young physicians for decades as the Charles I Thomas Professor of Ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University. But what’s kept Dr. Lass’ mind on the future is the incredible possibility of what could be—the next cure or innovative therapy is never far away. The Cornea Society awarded Dr. Lass with its highest honor, the Castroviejo Medal, in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the field of cornea and anterior segment surgery. He will receive the medal and deliver the Castroviejo Lecture at the Society’s scientific symposium at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting in November.

“Dr. Lass has made a significant impact in how we assess issues in corneal surgery,” said Dr. Marian Macsai, Cornea Society President. “He has been instrumental in the development, implementation and interpretations of numerous multicenter trials that have moved the field of corneal transplantation forward. The Board of Directors of the Cornea Society unanimously chose Dr. Lass as the 2017 recipient of the Castroviejo Medal.”

His research in corneal genetics and image analysis have improved the understanding of what factors impact success in corneal preservation and transplantation. And the Cornea Preservation Time Study, which Dr. Lass is currently leading, has the potential of doubling the availability of donor corneas in the United States. Along with his roles at UH and Case, Dr. Lass is an Eversight Medical Director and Board Member and the Medical Director of the University Hospitals Eye Institute Cornea Image Analysis Reading Center.

“He’s one of the world’s foremost experts in cornea and external diseases, and we’re honored he’s part of our organization,” said Debbie May-Johnson, Eversight Ohio Executive Director. “He’s selfless in the amount of time and effort he invests in eye banking.”

What initially drew Dr. Lass to Eversight was the chance to give back to the community. As a Medical Director, he oversees and advises all aspects of the Eversight medical operations and ensures the eye bank’s commitment to providing the highest quality services to surgeons and their patients.

“Eversight has been unbelievably supportive of my work taking care of patients and my research over the years,” Dr. Lass said. “It’s a great organization, and I’ve really enjoyed partnering with the Eversight team and advancing their efforts to restore sight and prevent blindness.”

Whether Dr. Lass is spending time at Eversight Ohio, University Hospitals or Case, though, he’s never solely focused on today’s issues—there are always even more opportunities in the future to consider.

“I have a thirst for knowledge and coming up with new approaches to managing the clinical problems in cornea and external diseases,” Dr. Lass said. “I’m repeatedly refreshed by continuing to address problems that arise and finding ways to solve them.”