Announcing… The 2022 Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation Award Winners

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The 32nd Annual Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation Meeting was held in person at the annual American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting in Chicago, IL. Two VR fellows, Drs. Hasenin Al-Khersan and Charles M.T. DeBoer, were selected as this year’s award winners bringing the total number of Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation Award Winners to 107. This impressive number continues to perpetuate Dr. Michels’ legacy.

The Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation was established in 1991 as a non-profit organization whose mission is to support second-year fellows training in vitreoretinal surgery in the United States. The Foundation continues to be supported by contributions from those dedicated to educational excellence in ophthalmology.

Training and education were paramount to Dr. Michels, who left the retina community too soon. Dr. Michels was a not only a pioneer in vitreoretinal surgery, he also impacted the lives of residents and fellows during their fellowship training at the Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, MD.

Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation
Chairman Dr. Alexander J. Brucker 

The Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation’s Chairman, Dr. Alexander J. Brucker, welcomed everyone to the 32nd Annual Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation Annual Meeting. Dr. Brucker enthusiastically remarked, “We are back together again in person to recognize Dr. Michels and this year’s award winners.

One of this year’s annual meeting highlights included Drs. Robert L. Avery and Baruch D. Kuppermann, the first two Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation award winners, who both reflected on their training with the late Dr. Michels.

Dr. Brucker introduced Dr. Audina M. Berrocal, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL, who outlined the many accomplishments of Dr. Al-Khersan. Drs. Thomas A. Albini and Harry W. Flynn, Jr., also congratulated Dr. Al-Khersen.

(L to R) Drs. Alexander J. Brucker, Thomas A. Albini,
Hasenin Al-Khersan, Audina M. Berrocal and Harry W. Flynn, Jr. 

Hasenin Al-Khersan, MD

I am humbled and grateful to have joined the Michels Fellowship Foundation family in the footsteps of the many amazing doctors before me. After receiving my medical degree from the University of Chicago, I completed my ophthalmology residency at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where I am currently a vitreoretinal surgery fellow and Chief Resident. I have been blessed to have great mentors along each step of my training to which I owe this honor.

My current research interests include the novel application and integration of ophthalmic imaging platforms within retinal practice. Past work has included the use of optical coherence tomography angiography to grade diabetic retinopathy. I am also passionate about advancing diversity within medicine.

When not at work, I love to travel and have had the chance to visit over 40 countries.

Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, MD MHS 

Dr. Brucker invited Dr. Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, to the stage to introduce their Fellow, Dr. Charles DeBoer. Dr. Mruthyunjaya complimented Dr. DeBoer him on his achievements and extended his congratulations.

(L to R) Drs. Alexander J. Brucker, Charles M.T. DeBoer
and Prithvi Mruthyunjaya

Charles M.T. DeBoer, MD, PhD

I am deeply honored and humbled to join the Michels Foundation Fellowship family. I completed my clinical training in the MD/PhD program at the University of Southern California and Caltech, where I received a PhD in electrical engineering and focused my research on using microelectromechanical systems to develop a fluid filled, biomimetic intraocular lens as a therapy for presbyopia. After residency at the Roski Eye Institute at USC, I joined the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford as a vitreoretinal surgical fellow.

My long-term research interests involve translational research on implantable and non-implantable medical devices to develop new therapies based upon patient needs.

When I am not designing or building novel devices, my wife and I enjoy gardening, snorkeling, hiking, and playing with my cat.

Kenneth Fan, MD

Cassie A. Ludwig, MD, MS

After this year’s award winners were recognized, and addressed everyone in attendance, two of the Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation 2021 award winners, Dr. Kenneth Fan, Retina Consultants of Texas, Houston, TX and Dr. Cassie Ludwig, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, came to the podium to inform the audience where they are practicing and their current projects.

Amy C. Schefler, MD

Dr. Amy Schefler, Chair of the Foundation’s Fundraising committee, recognized this year’s donors and thanked them publicly for their support.

Richard S. Kaiser, MD

Dr. Richard Kaiser recognized the 2022 corporate sponsors, Platinum – Genentech, Diamond – Regeneron, Silver – IVERIC Bio, Novartis, and Vit-Buckle Society and general support from Alcon.

To find out more about the Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation,, or e-mail Karen Baranick,