Meet the 2023 Dale Meyer Rising Star

2023 Dale Meyer Rising Star, in my own words. 

                When I started my ophthalmology residency, I didn’t know much about the field of oculoplastic surgery. Working with Dr. David Tse in the clinic and operating room opened my eyes to a unique side of ophthalmology. I found myself drawn to complex cases requiring multidisciplinary care, and I felt inspired by the life-saving care we often provided. I was fortunate to care for a patient with lacrimal gland adenoid cystic carcinoma (LGACC) who had received trimodal therapy. This inspired my research into obtaining intraoperative margin clearance in tumor removal, which remains the highest risk factor for mortality.

Under Dr. Tse’s guidance, I helped design in vitro studies using fluorescent markers to simulate intraoperative visualization of tumor cells. This emerging technique has shown promise for many systemic cancers and is already employed by other specialties. We chose three potential markers and compared the fluorescence between normal lacrimal gland and LGACC cells. We found that all three markers were preferentially retained by the malignant tissue. Our next step is testing the in vivo efficacy in a line of transgenic mice bred to develop LGACC, and we hope this will eventually translate into intra-operative use. As an oculoplastics fellow, I hope to continue working towards a cure for orbital malignancies and deliver innovation to the field of ophthalmology.

I am tremendously grateful to have been chosen to receive the 2023 Dale Meyer Rising Star Award. My appreciation of this honor is due to Dr. Tse’s mentorship and the incredible research team. The caliber of presented projects was impressive, and it’s clear my colleagues are doing high-quality, impactful work. I’m excited to be joining a community of dedicated physicians on the frontier of innovation and advancement in ophthalmology. Winning this award was an extraordinary way to end my residency training, and I feel more energized and inspired than ever going into my fellowship program. Thank you so much to the ASOPRS Foundation for this prestigious recognition.

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