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ICO – RRF Helmerich International Fellowships
Two ICO – RRF Helmerich International Fellowships are awarded each year by the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) to young ophthalmologists from developing countries who are committed to enhancing ophthalmic education and patient care in their home countries.
Recipients chosen have been recommended by the head of a teaching or public service institution and must have a commitment to return to a position at a teaching institution or public service hospital in their home country following the fellowship. The ICO Foundation Fellowship Committee is the selection committee for this award.
Each fellowship provides support for one year of ophthalmology subspecialty training at one of the world’s leading ophthalmology centers. Funding of $25,000 each for two Fellowships is provided to ICO Foundation by Retina Research Foundation, in honor of the public service leadership of Mr. W. H. Helmerich, III.
For more information: http://icoph.org/refocusing_education/fellowships.html
2016 ICO – RRF Helmerich International Fellows
Thiago George Cabral, MD (from Brazil) – for training in Retina
Fellowship with Dr. Stephen Tsang (New York, NY)
Jose Manuel Guajardo Beroiza, MD (from Chile) – for training in Glaucoma
Fellowship with Dr. Kim Sheng Lim (London, UK)
Waheed Ibrahim, MD (from Nigeria) – for training in Vitreoretina
Fellowship with Dr. Jain (Satna, India)
2015 ICO – RRF Helmerich International Fellows
Yeshigeti Gelaw Birhanu, MD (from Ethiopia) – for training in Vitreoretinal Surgery
Fellowship: Eye and Laser World Center, Cairo, Egypt
with Dr. Ihab Saad Othman
Nopasak Phasukkijwatana, MD, PhD (from Thailand) – for training in Medical Retina
Fellowship: Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
with Dr. Bartly Mondino and Dr. David Sarraf
Qisheng You, MD, PhD (from China) – for training in Retina
Fellowship: Jacobs Medical Center, Shiley Eye Center at UCSD, San Diego, CA
with Dr. William Freeman
Excerpt from Dr. You’s Report:
This is to report that I have completed the ICO sponsored fellowship training (2015.8.1 to 2016.8.1) in Jacobs Retina Center Shiley Eye Insitute, University of California San Diego, under the tutoring of Dr. William Freeman.
During the fellowship-training, I got large amount of clinical exposure and enormous academic research opportunities. I observed Dr. Freeman’s clinics (about 4000 out patients/year), operations (about 300 vitrectomies/year), intraocular injections (about 1000 injections/year) and ocular imaging (about 2500 outpatients/year). I was also involved in several clinical trials for neovascular age-related macular degeneration, geographic atrophy and diabetic retinopathy. I carried out several research projects, wrote 6 scientific papers as first author or co-first author. In addition, I was involved in another 8 papers as a co-author. While being trained in Jacobs Retina Center, I kept collaborating with my colleagues in my home country. I published 10 papers together with the researchers from my home country during the fellowship training.
Now I have returned to Beijing and started to work in my home institute, the Beijing Institute of Ophthalmology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University.
2014 ICO – RRF Helmerich International Fellows
Guillermo Salcedo-Villanueva, MD (from Mexico) – for training in Medical Retina
Fellowship: University of Colorado, Denver, CO
with Dr. Hugo Quiroz-Mercado
Mehran Zarei-Ghanavati, MD (from Iran) – for training in Cornea and External Diseases
Fellowship: Sussex Eye Hospital, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS, in Brighton, UK
with Dr. Christopher Liu
2013 ICO – RRF Helmerich International Fellows
David Rivera de la Parra, MD (from Mexico City) – for training in Retina
Fellowship: Jules Stein Eye Institute, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Steven D. Schwartz, MD
Dr. Rivera de la Parra with Dr. Gregg T. Kokame from Retina Consultants of Hawaii (left) and Dr. Brad Straatsma, President Emeritus, ICO Foundation (Interestingly the statue in the back is that of Dr. Jules Stein.)
Excerpt from Dr. Rivera de la Parra’s report:One of the major advantages of doing this Fellowship at UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute is the complexity of the patients, many with severe or rare diseases. This depth of pathology makes this place unique in the amount of knowledge that you may acquire while working in here. The Institute´s staff is incredibly good at its work and maintains very high standards. All the staff is always willing to learn and being up to date with all issues. Discussing interesting cases always helps everyone and is something that frequently occurs in UCLA medical halls. The academic activities (surgical rounds, grand rounds, research meetings, imaging conferences) are of a very high quality and the doctors, fellows and residents are always interested in contributing and distributing new knowledge. Also I got involved in several interesting research projects that will contribute with new concepts to the medical literature. My goal will be to use this newfound knowledge to help me deliver the best care possible to my patients in México.
Bruna Vieira Ventura, MD (from Brazil) – for training in Cornea
Fellowship: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
Douglas D. Koch, MD
Fellowship dates: May 2013 to April 2014
2012 ICO – RRF Helmerich International Fellows
Henry E. Nkumbe, MD (from Madagascar) – retina surgery fellowship training at Eye Foundation Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, and the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles
A native of Cameroon, Dr. Nkumbe is a graduate of the University of Goettingen, Germany. He was assigned to Madagascar by the international disability and development organization CBM and has been instrumental in implementation of VISION 2020 and training of eye doctors and ophthalmic personnel, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Madagascar and the Malagasy Ophthalmological Society. He is a founding member of the Cameroonian Forum for Medical Sciences, and the General Secretary of the African Ophthalmology Forum.
Update on Dr. Nkumbe (2013)
Dr. Nkumbe is currently engaged in Retina Fellowship at Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai. After his Fellowship, he will be the Chief of Ophthalmology and Chief of Retina at the Magrabi – ICO Cameroon Eye Institute, Yaounde, Cameroon. Currently under construction, the Magrabi – ICO Cameroon Eye Institute will be the first ophthalmology subspecialty training and patient care center in Central Africa.
Pukhraj Rishi, MD (from Chennai, India) – ocular oncology fellowship training at Wills Eye Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Rishi is a graduate of B J Medical College and M & J Institute of Ophthalmology in Ahmedabad. He trains residents, fellows and ophthalmic personnel at the Sankara Nethralya Medical Research Foundation in Chennai, India, where he also conducts research and clinical trials. His areas of interest are age-related macular degeneration and ocular oncology.
His Helmerich Fellowship in ocular oncology at the Wills Eye Institute will enable Dr. Rishi to build global partnerships with leading oncology research centers.
2011 ICO – RRF Helmerich International Fellows
Lala Ceklic, MD, PhD (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – fellowship training at Bern University Hospital, Switzerland
Afsun Sahin, MD (Turkey)
Fellowship training at Mass Eye & Ear Schepens Eye Research Institute at Harvard University, Boston, MA
Training with: David A. Sullivan, PhD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Fellowship dates: October 2010 – September 2011
Post-fellowship teaching position:
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Eskisehir Osmangazi University Medical School, Eskisehir, Turkey
2010 ICO – RRF Helmerich International Fellows (first recipients)
Mohammed El-Hanan, MD (Egypt) – Fellowship training at L. V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
Siamak Zarei-Ghanavati, MD (Iran) – Fellowship training at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Excerpt from Dr. Zarei-Ghanavati’s report following Fellowship (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011):
“The fellowship program offered comprehensive training in all aspects of corneal transplantation (including the newest surgical techniques such as endothelial transplantation, femtosecond laser assisted keratoplasty procedures, and keratoprosthesis), refractive surgery, and uveitis.
During the first four months of my fellowship, I focused primarily on research; I worked under Dr. Aldave’s direction, on the search for and characterization of the genes corneal dystrophies. Under supervision of Dr. Deng, I studied confocal imaging of limbus and corneal stem cells. We wrote two articles and we have submitted one. I have also submitted a paper about “Ocular response analyzer in keratoconic patients” in ARVO, under direction of Dr. Hamilton.
The clinical and surgical experiences have provided me extensive exposure to all aspects of cornea, external disease, anterior segment surgery, and new refractive surgeries.”