March 2004
Volume 45, Issue 3
Lecture  |   March 2004
Introducing Reza Dana, the 2003 Recipient of the Cogan Award
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science March 2004, Vol.45, 721. doi:
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      J. Wayne Streilein; Introducing Reza Dana, the 2003 Recipient of the Cogan Award. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(3):721.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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It is my very great pleasure to introduce Reza Dana as the 2003 Cogan Award recipient. I will briefly sketch the outlines of Dr. Dana’s academic origins, training, and accomplishments, and try to place this extraordinary record in its decidedly human context. 
Reza Dana, MD, MPH, is currently an Associate Scientist at The Schepens Eye Research Institute, where he holds an endowed position as the W. Clement Stone Clinical Research Scholar. At the same time, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, where he is a member of the Cornea Service faculty at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. In addition, he is a member of the Committee on Immunology, a graduate program at Harvard Medical School. 
After pursuing his baccalaureate degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Arts and Sciences (where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa), Dr. Dana continued on at Johns Hopkins, obtaining both an MD and a Masters in Public Health. He took a residency in Ophthalmology at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, and after a clinical cornea and external disease fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, he came to Boston to follow a clinical fellowship in Immunology and Uveitis at The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and to pursue laboratory research training in my Ocular and Transplantation Immunology Laboratory at the Schepens Eye Research Institute. He was appointed shortly thereafter to The Schepens and The Harvard faculties, and the rest is history. Remarkable history! 
Dr. Dana, as a scientist, is an immunologist. His major research interests concern the role of cytokines and chemokines in corneal immunology, the trafficking of antigen-presenting cells, and allosensitization. He explores these interests in the field of ocular immunology and the mechanisms of immune privilege. His talk today will reveal the tremendous impact his research discoveries have made in this area of biomedical and vision sciences. 
The first paper based on Dr. Dana’s research in my laboratory was published in 1996, a mere 8 years ago. That this was the 16th paper in his curriculum vitae indicates that I neither introduced him to the dictum “publish or perish” nor forced him to accept it. Since then, he has motivated the publication of 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts, sending the aggregate total well over 85. This output reflects his academic success in the several dimensions in which he operates: in basic laboratory research (of which he will inform us today), in clinical research, and in epidemiologic research, an activity and collaboration he shares with his lovely wife, Dr. Debra Schaumberg. 
“Man should not live by bread alone” is an ancient remedy for a successful life, and it is one that fully describes Dr. Dana. He has not only succeeded in the three dimensions of the physician-scientist—research, teaching, clinical care—he has done so while maintaining and pursuing his protean interests in music, the visual arts, theater, cuisine, and sports. Moreover, he has been and remains a strongly family-oriented person, a dimension most recently focused on his young son, Kian. In his wife Debra’s words, “Reza is a wonderful and caring father who devotes time in a limitless fashion to our son.” 
In my view, the Cogan award is more about the future than the past. Reza Dana’s past is a blueprint for his future, and those who know and care for him eagerly await what lies ahead. I invite Dr. Dana to speak to us on the topic, “Corneal Antigen-Presenting Cells: Diversity, Plasticity and Disguise.” 

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