Meet the Winners

Last update: May 31, 2017

Up Close and Personal with 2014 Award Winners

Mrinali Patel Gupta, MD

I am an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College / New York-Presbyterian Hospital. In addition to my growing clinical and surgical practice treating adult and pediatric vitreoretinal diseases, I am engaged in research spanning the basic science-translational-clinical research spectrum that interrogates the molecular basis of and novel therapeutic platforms for retinal disease. I remain committed to resident and fellow education and also serve as Program Director for our Medical Retina Fellowship. This combination of patient care, research, and teaching has thus far been both super fun and rewarding. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Arun, and our energetic 1.5-year old son, Aarav, and taking advantage of all that NYC has to offer.

Samuel K. Steven Houston, III, MD

I am currently a partner with Florida Retina Institute (FRI) and actively involved in research and innovation at Wills Eye Hospital Department of Telemedicine. At FRI, I have a busy medical and surgical retina practice. I was active in starting our clinical trial unit which is now one of the fasting recruiting new sites. Outside of clinical practice, I have a passion for innovation in healthcare. I am currently working with several start-ups on digital health solutions, including remote home vision monitoring and tele-ophthalmology. Partnered with my wife, Jessica (a healthcare innovation consultant), we started a company, Houston Global Group, and are excited about numerous projects and collaborations with start-ups and established healthcare companies.

Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our son, Jackson. We enjoy traveling and anything outdoors. In my spare time, I am an avid triathlete and ironman, enjoying swimming, biking, and running.

Ehsan Rahimy, MD

After completing my fellowship at the Wills Eye Hospital in 2015, I joined the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I am currently in my second year of practice. In addition to building the retina division within the organization and providing excellent care for my patients, I have had the opportunity to explore numerous clinical research interests with various collaborators in Silicon Valley, notably as a member of the Google Brain team.

My primary research interests center around the growing interplay between technology and medicine with emerging artificial intelligence and deep learning platforms, and how ongoing advancements and further integration will transform healthcare delivery in the future. As a separate, but potentially related area of interest, through philanthropic avenues within my organization, I am spearheading several potential global initiatives for surgical and medical retina skills transfer programs in countries abroad.

In my spare time, I enjoy playing recreational sports and staying active outdoors in Northern California.

Damien C. Rodger, MD, PhD

After finishing my retina fellowship at USC, I started as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the USC Roski Eye Institute and Research Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at USC. I’m also a Visiting Associate in Medical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Clinically, I focus on vitreoretinal surgery and uveitis. I also continue to leverage my background in engineering to continue my research in ophthalmic microdevices for implantation as well as for diagnostics, for which I hold a number of grants. I am also the site PI on a variety of uveitis studies at USC.

I am lucky that my wife, Grace Richter, is also a member of the glaucoma faculty at the Roski Eye Institute. In our spare time we surf and snowboard, and I am be happy to still be able to play tennis against my wonderful colleagues. My wife and I have also this year welcomed new twins to our family, who, along with our dog bring incredible joy to our lives!

Sumit Sharma, MD

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic, Cole Eye Institute. My clinical practice includes medical and surgical vitreoretinal disease as well as complex posterior segment uveitis. My research focuses on the development of objective measures of disease activity in ocular inflammatory diseases using both currently available imaging techniques and new imaging modalities that we are developing. Additionally, I am the principal investigator for various industry sponsored clinical trials in both retinal diseases and uveitis.

I enjoy spending time with my wife, our family and friends. We both love to travel to new and exciting places around the world. In my spare time I enjoy tinkering with electronics, watching football, obsessing over my fantasy football team, playing ice hockey and watching movies.

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.