Bronze medal winners
Two Bronze Medals are awarded each year to recognise research among early career professionals working across many disciplines in vision science and associated fields.
The criteria and application process for both the Bronze Medals (the Ruskell Medal and the Master’s Medal) are made public on this website and on social media channels, and distributed to heads of department at all UK universities, colleges and medical and optical institutions, each Spring.
Competition winners are invited to receive their medal at a lunch at Apothecaries’ Hall, so that their work can be recognised and rewarded publicly by the Master, Wardens and Court of Assistants.
The Ruskell Medal was awarded to Dr Hillary Rono,Kenya Country Director for Peek Vision, for his paper entitled "Effectiveness of an mHealth system on access to eye health services in Kenya: a cluster-randomised controlled trial”. This public health study drew directly on his work in Kitale, where he works in a large, rural population. The study was supervised under the aegis of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The Master's Medal was awarded to Dr Xiaofan Jiang, as part of her doctorate studies at UCL/The Institute of Ophthalmology. Her medal submission was entitled “Electrical responses from human retinal cone pathways associate with a common genetic polymorphism implicated in myopia”. We know that the number of individuals affected by myopia is predicted to increase substantially over the coming years, so research in this area is extremely important.
The 2021 Ruskell Medal was awarded to Mr Harry Orlans, an Honorary Research Associate at the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology in Oxford, Vitreoretinal Fellow at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London and a Locum Consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital for his paper “Mirtron-Mediated RNA knockdown/replacement therapy for the treatment of dominant retinitis pigmentosa”. Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disorder which destroys retinal cells, leading to loss of most, or all, of the patient’s central vision.
Bethany Higgins, from the Crabb Lab at City, University of London, was awarded the 2021 Master's Medal for her paper entitled “Novel Computer-Based Assessments of Everyday Visual Function in people with Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
Medals for our 2020 winners were presented at a virtual ceremony on 17 December 2020.
The 2020 WCSM Ruskell Medal was awarded to Ms Reena Chopra, an optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London and a Clinician Scientist for Google Health who was studying for her PhD at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (supported by the College of Optometrists).
In a collaboration between Moorfields Eye Hospital, DeepMind, and Google Health, she led a team in a trial to see if an AI system could be trained to predict whether a patient with wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration in one eye will develop the condition in their second eye.
The 2020 WCSM Master’s Medal was awarded to Dr Lewis Fry, a junior doctor and Rhodes Scholar from New Zealand. His submission was developed from his PhD studies on genetic therapies within Professor Robert MacLaren’s team at the University of Oxford. The paper was entitled: “Association of Messenger RNA Level With Phenotype in Patients With Choroideremia: Potential Implications for Gene Therapy Dose” .
The 2019 Ruskell Medal was awarded to Dr Kanmin Xue of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Oxford University for a paper published in Nature Medicine entitled “Beneficial effects on vision in patients undergoing retinal gene therapy for choroideremia”. This paper described the results of the world’s first phase 1/2 study of gene therapy for choroideremia, a major cause of inherited blindness, and demonstrated preservation or improvement in visual acuity in treated eyes over 2 to 5 years. The laboratory at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, under the leadership of Professor Robert MacLaren, has been at the forefront in this area of research in the last few years.
The 2019 Master’s Medal was awarded to Daniel S Asfaw, a member of the Crabb Lab team at City, University of London, for his paper “Does Glaucoma alter eye movements when viewing images in natural scenes? A between- eye study”.The work was undertaken by Daniel while studying for his PhD.
The 2018 Ruskell Medal was awarded jointly to Professor Lyndon da Cruz and Professor Pete Coffey for their work on gene therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Their research has resulted in development of innovative stem-cell therapy which could have a significant impact in reversing some forms of AMD.
The 2018 Master’s Medal was won by Dr Lindsay Rountree, of Aston University for her paper “Optimising the glaucoma signal/noise ratio by mapping changes in spatial summation with area-modulated perimetric stimuli”. This was a first publication, undertaken during research for her doctorate at the University of Cardiff. This work will make a major contribution to diagnosis in glaucoma.
Bronze Medal Winners – 2017
The 2017 Ruskell Medal was awarded to Geraint Williams PhD FRCOphth for his paper on developing a predictor for scarring in ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid, a blinding form of conjunctivitis. Dr Williams is an Honorary Consultant Opththalmologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. He works at the Worcester Royal Hospital and Kidderminster Treatment Centre, running the corneal and external disease and cataract and refractive service.
The Master’s Medal for 2017 was awarded to Deanna Taylor, of City, University of London, for her paper “Searching for Objects in Everyday Scenes: Measuring Performance in People With Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration” – an assessment of the real life impact of dry age-related macular degeneration. Dr Taylor completed her PhD in 2018 and is now a post-doctoral research fellow at City, University of London.
Bronze Medal Winners 2016
The 2016 Ruskell Medal was awarded to Dr Jasmina Cehajic Kapetanovic for research conducted at the University of Manchester/ Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Dr Kapetanovic is now an NHR Academic Fellow in Vitreo-Retinal Surgery within the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, and part of the Oxford Clinical Ophthalmology Research Group headed by Professor Robert MacLaren.
The Master’s Medal for 2016 was awarded to Corinne Fulcher. After studying optometry at Cardiff University, Dr Culcher attained her PhD at the University of Bradford. Her winning paper was her first published work on visual perception.
Bronze Medal Winners 2015
The 2015 Ruskell Medal was awarded to Professor James Bainbridge, already a recipient in 2009 of the silver Fincham medal. Professor Bainbridge is Chair of Retinal Studies at the UCL Institute of Optometry in London and a Consultant Ophthalmologist at the world-famous Moorfields Eye Hospital. He is a leading proponent of novel genetic and cellular therapies for inherited blindess and macular degeneration.
The 2015 Master’s Medal was won by Laura McKernan Ward.for her work on ageing in the visual cortex, undertaken as part of her PhD at Glasgow Caledonian University.