American University of Beirut

Waring Medal awarded to Dr. Shady Awwad

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Safa Jafari Safa, Office of Communications,

Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology Shady Awwad was honored with the Waring Medal for his research in the field of refractive surgery. Granted by the Journal of Refractive Surgery, the leading authority in this field, the medal honors one awardee a year for their significant contribution to the journal with a study that is deemed most impactful in the field.

Awwad was selected this year for his study Mitomycin C Application After Corneal Cross-linking for Keratoconus Increases Stromal Haze, published in February 2021. The study selected showed that Mitomycin C, an agent that typically is applied on the cornea at the end of laser eye surgery to prevent corneal scarring, paradoxically increases scarring when applied after corneal cross-linking, a procedure meant to stabilize weak corneas like in keratoconus. This study made use of AUB’s patented technique, using artificial intelligence to automatically detect and classify corneal haze and scarring using optical coherence tomography, and hence, making the comparison very objective and accurate. 

Dr. Shady Awwad is head of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Division at AUBMC.  He received his medical degree with the alpha omega alpha honor medical society award and completed his residency training at AUB. He subsequently completed a fellowship in cornea and refractive surgery and then in ocular pathology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. 

His research and clinical interests are focused on analytical corneal imaging including developing machine learning models, ocular and corneal wavefront analysis, keratoconus diagnosis and treatment, intraocular lens calculations, and refractive surgery. He created a patented technique to analyze optical coherence tomography images of corneal haze and demarcation lines using artificial intelligence and another software to analyze slit lamp photos, among others, and accurately compute corneal lesions coordinates and surface area, ideal for custom ablation area phototherapeutic keratectomy. 

The medal award was officially given at the Ocular Surgery News (OSN) New York event and presented by the editor-in-chief of the journal, Bradley Randleman, who also presented Dr. Awwad’s work and received the medal on his behalf. Previous awardees include world-renowned researchers and innovators such as Steven Klyce, PhD; Jorge Alio, MD; Dan Reinstein, MD; Soosan Jacob, MD; and Paolo Vinciguerra, MD. 

The Waring Medal for editorial excellence represents the tenure and contributions of George O. Waring, III, MD, who was a pioneer in ophthalmology and refractive surgery. Before that, between 1989 and 2010, he was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Refractive Surgery, the official journal of the International Society of Refractive Surgery and a partner of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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