Dr. Santosh G. Honavar. (photo provided)

Dr. Santosh G Honavar, a Hyderabad-based ophthalmic plastic surgeon and ocular oncologist, has achieved the unique distinction of being the first Indian ophthalmologist to receive the Life Achievement Honor Award, the highest award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology confers to its members, according to a press release.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye specialists. The mission of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is to protect sight and empower lives. Founded in 1896 and headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., the American Academy of Ophthalmology has 32,000 professional members that include about 90 percent of practicing ophthalmologists in the United States.

Honavar was chosen for its highest award to recognize “contributions to the Academy, its scientific and educational programs, and to the advancement of ophthalmology.” In a citation announcing the award, the American Academy of Ophthalmology states that “Dr. Honavar’s contributions have been instrumental in supporting the Academy’s mission to protect sight and empower lives.”

The award was formally presented Honavar at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology held in San Francisco recently.

Honavar is a nationally and internationally acclaimed for his work in the field of ophthalmic plastic surgery and ocular oncology. He was previously awarded one of the highest recognitions in Indian science, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award, by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India, for his path-breaking research on the childhood eye cancer Retinoblastoma; the Jerry Shields Award by the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology; and most recently the Peter Rogers Oration by the Australian and New Zealand Society of Ophthalmic Plastic Surgeons.

Honavar was trained at Bangalore Medical College in Bangalore, the Dr. Rajendra Prasad Center for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, in New Delhi; and Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, Penn. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Formerly the director of the Department of Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery and Ocular Oncology, director of Ophthalmology Residency Program and associate director of LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Honavar currently heads the Department of Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery and Ocular Oncology and National Retinoblastoma Foundation at Center for Sight in Hyderabad and leads the medical services team and the educational wing, CFS Education.

The Center for Sight is the leading network of 54 tertiary care eye hospitals in India and is supported by the Mahindra Group.

Honavar is also the chief editor of the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, which is a 66-years-old flagship monthly professional medical journal of the All India Ophthalmological Society.

Eye cancers have been the principal focus of Honavar and he is known to have contributed to the understanding and treatment of tumors affecting the eyelid, ocular surface, intraocular structures and orbit. Honavar’s overall research contributions have had very significant impact on the diagnosis and management of retinoblastoma and its outcome.

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