Meet the Winners

Last update: May 31, 2017

Up Close and Personal with 2016 Award Winners

Aaron Nagiel, MD, PhD

After completing fellowship at the Stein Eye Institute, I am excited to be joining the faculty at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which is affiliated with USC Keck School of Medicine. I feel fortunate to have received excellent clinical and surgical training at Stein and am looking forward to focusing my efforts in the field of pediatric retina. Working under the mentorship of Thomas Lee at CHLA, I look forward to expanding the clinical practice and developing new avenues for clinical and basic research.

I plan to conduct laboratory research utilizing 3-dimensional human retinal organoids to understand retinal development and how it can be affected in early-onset retinal disorders. In addition, I plan to continue clinical and translational research in retinal imaging, surgical techniques, and cellular and gene therapy approaches.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time my wonderful wife Svetlana and three lovely daughters, Elina, Rita, and Mila.

Thanos Papakostas, MD

It is a great honor to be a member of the Michels Fellows family.

After finishing my fellowship at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, I will be joining the faculty at the Weill Cornell Department of Ophthalmology as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology.

My research will be focused on novel pharmacotherapy for proliferative vitreoretinopathy, new surgical techniques and retinal imaging. I am also excited to be involved in Medical Student, Resident and Fellow teaching at Weill Cornell.

Outside of work, I like traveling, trying new restaurants and spending time with friends and family.

Aristomenis Thanos, MD

Following completion of my vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at Associated Retinal Consultants, I will be joining Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon, where I will be practicing adult and pediatric vitreoretinal surgery. I am excited to become a member of a team of top-notch clinicians, who are leaders in their respective subspecialties.

My current research interests include the investigation of the molecular mechanisms involved in both developmental and pathological retinal angiogenesis, imaging of pediatric vitreoretinal diseases, and novel surgical techniques.

I am thrilled to move to the Pacific Northwest and discover the beauties of this part of the country. In my free time, I enjoy painting, creating medical illustrations, and playing my guitars.

Bozho Todorich, MD, PhD

I feel very humbled to be selected to join the Michels family! As a native of former Yugoslavia, I came to the U.S. as an exchange student and received MD and PhD from the Penn State University. During residency at Duke I had great retina mentors who steered me towards VR surgery. I was very fortunate to continue training with awesome folks at the Associated Retinal Consultants, where I am currently in my second year of vitreoretinal fellowship (going too fast!). At the end of fellowship, I plan to return home to Pennsylvania and will be joining Pennsylvania Retina Specialists, PC, where I hope to build a comprehensive vitreoretinal surgical and medical practice with also a strong focus on clinical and translational research.

Currently as a fellow, I am involved in over two dozen studies in pediatric and adult retina. Specifically, my research is focused on improving techniques of scleral IOL fixation, developing strategies for treatment-resistant neovascular AMD and diabetic macular edema, and applications of intraoperative imaging in vitreoretinal surgery.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wonderful wife and our two very active twin boys. In my scarce free time, I try to maintain my jump shot on the basketball court and cheer on my favorite pro and college basketball teams.

Attention former
award winners!

Have you recently moved? Did you start or join a new practice or change academic institutions? If you would like your information to appear on this News page, please email karen.baranick
@michelsfoundation.org.