Bronze medal winners

Two Bronze Medals are awarded annually by the Spectacle Makers’ Company.

Both the Bronze Medals (the Ruskell Medal and the Master’s Medal) are the subject of a competition, publicised among 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.

Medals were presented to our 2020 winners 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 who is a Clinician Scientist for Google Health and is 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 AMD in one eye will develop the condition in their second eye.The findings of this study, and the paper published by Jason Yim and Reena Chopra in Nature Medicine in May 2020, demonstrate the potential for AI to help improve the understand of disease progression and predict the future risk of patients developing sight-threatening conditions – and in the future could help identify which patients might benefit from preventative treatment.

The WCSM Master’s Medal for 2020 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 is entitled: “Association of Messenger RNA Level With Phenotype in Patients With Choroideremia: Potential Implications for Gene Therapy Dose”.

The paper was published in JAMA Ophthalmology in December 2019.

Bronze Medals 2019

The 2019 Ruskell Medal was awarded to Dr Kanmin Xue of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Oxford University.  Dr Xue was the first author of a paper published in Nature Medicine October 2018 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 at the City University while studying for his PhD and has shown that natural eye movements recorded using near-infrared eye tracking while patients watch TV clips could be used to discriminate between healthy eyes and those with advanced glaucomatous field loss.  The paper attracted considerable attention following its first publication in the Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science in July 2018.

Bronze Medal Winners – 2018

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.


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.

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 her paper on 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.