The medal, named in honor of Ramon Castroviejo, the father of modern corneal transplant surgery and the inspiration for the founding of the Cornea Society, is the society's highest honor.
“Dr. Sugar has pioneered research into every phase of corneal transplantation. His work has encompassed a dedication to eyebanking, earning him the Paton Award, refining the art and practice of corneal transplantation and finally in playing a leading role in corneal transplantation outcomes research,” Cornea Society President Elmer Tu, MD, said in a news release. “No better example of his commitment and service to the field of cornea has been his exemplary performance as editor-in-chief of the Cornea Society's journal, Cornea, which has continued to grow to be a showcase for all the world's best research. The Board of Directors of the Cornea Society unanimously chose Dr. Alan Sugar as the 2018 recipient of the Castroviejo Medal.”
Dr. Sugar is involved in research on corneal transplantations, genetic features of Fuchs’ dystrophy and new dry eye treatments. He also works with the Eye Bank Association of America and Eversight, is co-chair of the University of Michigan Medical School's Institutional Review Board (IRBMED), and formerly served as president of the Cornea Society.
Dr. Sugar earned his MD, cum laude, from the University of Michigan, completed an ophthalmology residency at Washington University in St. Louis, and then chose the University of Florida for a fellowship in cornea and external disease. He returned to Michigan and joined the faculty in 1979 and obtained an MS in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis from University’s School of Public Health in 1988.
Dr. Sugar has been recognized for his efforts to advance the field, receiving the prestigious R. Townley Paton award from the Eye Bank Association of America in 2011. This award is the highest honor for a corneal surgeon given by this leading cornea organization in the United States.