Steve Charles, MD – 2018 AAO Laureate Recognition Award Recipient

October 10, 2018, RetinaLink Profile What's New

Dr. Steve Charles will be honored at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in Chicago on Sunday, October 28, during the Sunday General Session. Dr. Charles is the 2018 Laureate Recognition Award Recipient which is the AAO’s most distinguished award.

Steve T. Charles, MD

The AAO’s website,, explains this honored award – every year, ophthalmologists distinguish themselves and the profession by making exceptional scientific contributions toward preventing blindness and restoring sight worldwide. The Academy’s Board of Trustees will recognize these extraordinary contributions with its Laureate Award, the Academy’s single highest honor.

The Laureate Award may be given to individuals who:

  • Developed new techniques accepted worldwide.
  • Made a seminal invention or adapted a previous technology.
  • Introduced a new treatment modality.
  • Discovered the etiology of a disease state.
  • Reassessed previous findings, resulting in a significant shift in treatment.
  • Established new standards of quality care in ophthalmology.
  • Made breakthroughs in genetic understanding.
  • Conducted primary research in new pharmacological product.
  • Provided sustained, impactful leadership to the profession.

RetinaLink contacted Dr. Charles to ask about his innovations, mentors and guidance for second year Fellows.

RetinaLink: What three innovations are you most proud of and why?
Steve Charles, MD (SC)L ACCURUS® Surgical System, CONSTELLATION® Vision System, endophotocoagulation and their worldwide acceptance as the best systems.

RL: During your career, in your opinion, what is the most significant change in medical and surgical retina
SC: Medical retina: Anti-VEGF agents for DME, wet AMD, RVO, ROP and many other disorders.
Surgical: 3 port vitrectomy (Conor O’Malley, MD)

RL: Who are your mentors? Please elaborate.
SC: I have several mentors that have impacted my personal and professional life. Personally, my Father, Clayton Charles, was a college professor, great teacher and hard worker. My Uncle, John Charles, Dad’s brother, my godfather was a world class colon and rectal surgeon who was both caring and compassionate. Finally, Harry Johnson, my maternal grandfather, was a brilliant mechanical engineer, hard worker and unselfish.

Professionally, I have three mentors. Dr. Edward W.D. Norton. Dr. Norton was selfless, ethical, hard-working and caring visionary. J. Donald M. Gass, MD. Dr. Gass was an extraordinary clinical observer and thinker as well as devoid of greed and ego and Dr. Robert Machemer – Dr. Machemer taught me vitrectomy. 

RL: What guidance would you give second year fellows?
SC: Watch as many surgeons operate, attend meetings, read the literature.

Congratulations Dr. Charles and we look forward to seeing you receive your award in Chicago.

See the latest on Dr. Charles: World’s Foremost Eye Surgeon Works & Works & Works in Germantown, from Ted Evanoff, who is a writer for Memphis daily newspaper, Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Dr. Charles can be reached via e-mail –

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