August 2005
Volume 46, Issue 8
Lecture  |   August 2005
Introducing David H. Abramson, the 2004 Recipient of the Weisenfeld Award
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science August 2005, Vol.46, 2683. doi:
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      Barrett G. Haik; Introducing David H. Abramson, the 2004 Recipient of the Weisenfeld Award. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(8):2683. doi:

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

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It is a great honor for me to introduce Dr. David Abramson as the 2004 recipient of the Mildred Weisenfeld Award for Excellence in Ophthalmology. Dr. Abramson is an individual of extraordinary intellect, drive, and creativity who has dedicated his life to the care of patients afflicted with eye cancer. His life’s work truly meets the standards embodied by the Weisenfeld Award, which recognizes “distinguished scholarly contributions to the clinical practice of ophthalmology.” 
In what ways has Dr. Abramson “distinguished” himself? First and foremost, he is recognized as a national leader in the treatment of eye cancers. He is one of the rare clinical ophthalmologists who understands radiation physics and the effects of both ionizing radiation and chemotherapy on the eye. He always questions established rules of disease and looks for evidence-based medical reasoning. His long involvement in the study of ophthalmic cancers truly exemplifies the commitment to research into the causes and cures of vision-related diseases that motivated Mildred Weisenfeld to found Fight for Sight in 1946. 
Early in his career, Dr. Abramson was awarded a Heed Fellowship, which he completed under the preceptorship of Dr. Robert Ellsworth and Dr. Algernon Reese at the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute. He joined Dr. Ellsworth in practice at Columbia-Presbyterian’s Eye Tumor Center and continued his collaboration with Dr. Ellsworth and with Dr. D. Jackson Coleman when the Tumor Center relocated to New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. Thus, Dr. Abramson represents a lineage of outstanding physicians who have cared for thousands of patients with ophthalmic cancers for over 100 years. Dr. Abramson’s study of the treatment of eye cancers has been recognized by faculty appointments at Columbia University and the Weill/Cornell Medical Center, as well as his current appointment as Chief of the newly created Ocular Oncology Surgical Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical Center. 
Dr. Abramson has also distinguished himself in his ability to communicate his clinical research. He has delivered more than 300 lectures in both national and international venues and has been the speaker at numerous named lectureships, including the Charles May Lecture in 1999. He has also published nearly 400 scientific articles, as well as a textbook, Tumors of the Eye and Ocular Adnexae, authored with Robert H. Sagerman (Pergamon Press, 1983). 
His distinguished contributions to the treatment of eye cancers have not gone unrecognized in the general medical community. In 2001, Dr. Abramson received the New York State Ophthalmological Society’s Hobie Award, presented yearly to one ophthalmologist in New York State for outstanding service. In addition, Dr. Abramson was the 1997 recipient of the Franceschetti medal from the Swiss Ophthalmological Society, an award given biennially to the ophthalmologist who has made the most significant contribution to eye genetics. 
Finally, it is not every year that this lecture is given by a distinguished swimmer. At Harvard, Dr. Abramson was the captain of the swimming team, setting NCAA freshman records in the 220- and 440-m freestyle. He was elected to the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1993 in recognition of his swimming achievements. 
It is my great pleasure to welcome Dr. David Abramson—a man who in his distinguished career has made a dramatic impact on the field of ophthalmology—to present the Mildred Weisenfeld Award Lecture. 

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