Doheny Eye Institute Names Renowned Interdisciplinary Program for Dr. Stephen J. Ryan

June 2016

LOS ANGELES (June 3, 2016) – The Doheny Eye Institute announced today that it is changing the name of its interdisciplinary macular research program to the Stephen J. Ryan Initiative for Macular Research. The new name honors late Doheny President, Dr. Stephen J. Ryan, who died three years ago.

Originally the Beckman Initiative for Macular Research, Dr. Ryan founded the program with the support of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Dr. Arnold O. Beckman understood the power of great intellect and commitment, both of which he saw in Dr. Ryan, whom he met when seeking treatment for macular disease. Dr. Ryan also had great admiration for Dr. Beckman, a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Beckman Instruments, Inc., whose products revolutionized science and medicine.

“The new name – the Stephen J. Ryan Initiative for Macular Research – emphasizes our appreciation for Dr. Ryan’s leadership and pioneering work in the field of retinal research,” said SriniVas Sadda, M.D., Doheny Eye Institute’s President and Chief Scientific Officer. “He left an indelible mark on ophthalmology and on the lives of those who were lucky enough to work under him.”

An internationally recognized expert in the field of retinal diseases and ocular trauma, Dr. Ryan was an icon in ophthalmology — an exemplary leader and caring mentor, charismatic, energetic, intelligent, and visionary. His impact was boundless; his research, teaching, mentorship, and clinical practice forever changed how these conditions are treated. He advocated for federally-funded vision research on Capitol Hill, and edited the textbook RETINA, considered by generations of ophthalmologists as their primary source for research and clinical insights.

Dr. Ryan was a leader of the esteemed Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and chaired world ophthalmology congresses in Sao Paulo, Berlin, and Hong Kong. In the winter before his death, Dr. Ryan was recognized as a “Laureate of the America Academy of Ophthalmology,” their single highest honor.

The new name is effective immediately, and will be fully implemented across the program’s website and communications before the program’s 9th annual conference in January, 2017.

AMD and the Ryan Initiative for Macular Research
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease of aging that affects the macula; the region of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. AMD occurs in two forms: dry (atrophic) and wet (neovascular). Dry AMD accounts for more than 85% of patients, affecting more than 10 million Americans and making it a leading cause of vision loss in America today. No effective treatments are available for dry/atrophic AMD.

The Ryan Initiative for Macular Research (RIMR) brings together outstanding basic scientists, engineers, medical researchers, and clinicians to develop a better understanding of age-related atrophic macular degeneration. At annual conferences, these accomplished leaders from very different backgrounds and disciplines explore technologies, discoveries, and ideas. By sharing their diverse perspectives in interdisciplinary discussions and research collaborations, participants are improving AMD diagnostics, and expanding the prospect of new treatments for the number one cause of visual impairment and blindness in older Americans.

About Doheny Eye Institute
In 1947, Carrie Estelle Doheny, wife of prominent Los Angeles entrepreneur and oilman Edward L. Doheny, created and funded the Doheny Eye Institute as a center where doctors would help discover advanced treatments alongside scientists who would carry out pioneering research to prevent, treat, and cure vision disorders.

In 2013, Doheny Eye Institute and UCLA Stein Eye Institute created a unique affiliation. Doheny-affiliated researchers and physicians hold faculty appointments at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Doheny provides infrastructure and support for the research faculty and patient care is under the UCLA Health enterprise, known as Doheny Eye Center UCLA, with locations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. At Doheny, translational medicine holds paramount importance as it bridges the gap between scientific discoveries and tangible improvements in healthcare. By seamlessly connecting laboratory research (the “bench”) with practical patient care (the “bedside”), translational medicine accelerates the transformation of promising scientific insights into innovative diagnostics, treatments, and therapies that directly benefit individuals around the world.


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