Chew Sek-Jin award

In memory…

Chew Sek-Jin Memorial Lecture

The Chew Sek-Jin Memorial lecture is named in the memory of Dr. Sek Jin Chew, who died at the age of 39 years of complications from surgery for a brain tumor. He was a Professor of Ophthalmology at the Singapore National Eye Center and Deputy Director of the Singapore Eye Research Institute. Sek received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Rockefeller University in New York, where his close friendship and scientific collaboration with Josh Wallman also began. Together they worked to resurrect the International Myopia Conference series, which had been earlier attached to the now long defunct Myopia International Research Foundation, for which Dr Chew served as President.

The Chew Sek-Jin Memorial lecture represents one of 2 keynote presentations to be given at the IMC. By tradition, it is given by a senior myopia researcher whose work has made a significant impact on the field.

The Chew Sek-Jin Award is sponsored by CooperVision 

 2017 Chew Sek-Jin award recipient: Professor Christine Wildsoet


Professor (Chris)tine Wildsoet is based at the University of California Berkeley, in the School of Optometry, and is also a member of their Vision Science graduate program. She received her optometry training at the Queensland University of Technology and her pharmacology and PhD graduate research training at University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane, Australia, when she began her myopia research under the mentorship of Professor Jack Pettigrew. She is a recipient of a University medal from UQ and the Glenn A. Fry Award from the AAO (for research). On-going research of the Berkeley Myopia Research Group, for which she serves as senior faculty sponsor, has strong cross-disciplinary and translational emphases, with four main directions: 1. Visual environmental influences on eye growth regulation and myopia, 2. Local ocular signaling pathways involved in eye growth regulation, 3. Optical, pharmacological and tissue engineering approaches to myopia control, and 4. Mechanisms underlying myopia as a risk factor for other ocular disease, including glaucoma. Both human- and animal model-based as well as in vitro and in vivo approaches are used. Working on these projects is a multidisciplinary team of US and international clinician scientists, graduate PhD students, as well as graduate OD students and a large number of undergraduate students. Their work featured among the hot topics for ARVO 2017. Research funding is from the National Eye Institute and industry. Chris is seriously committed to mentoring young scientists and received Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award from UC Berkeley for her contributions.


Josh Wallman Memorial Lecture & ZEISS Young Investigator Award in Myopia Research

The Josh Wallman Memorial Lecture – acknowledging both his contribution to myopia research and support for junior researchers. As a long-term senior faculty member of City University of New York, Prof Josh Wallman pioneered the use of the avian model for understanding eye growth and made invaluable contributions to vision research and the field of myopia. There are likely no myopia researchers who have not read a paper from Josh Wallman’s myopia research laboratory. For young researchers, he will be remembered for his enthusiasm for science and interest in and promotion of their work. Professor Josh Wallman, passed away March 3, 2012, when he succumbed to pancreatic cancer.

ZEISS is committed to its heritage:  Promotion of excellence in research. Innovation has a long tradition at ZEISS since 1846.  Promoting future scientists is anchored in the company statutes – a specification of Ernst Abbe who established the Foundation.  It is our strong belief that, through close collaboration, science and innovative business have contributed to better and healthier lives. The ZEISS Young Investigator Award on Myopia Research recognizes young researchers for their distinguished research contribution in the field of myopia research, including visual psychophysics, physiological and biomedical optics and the research efforts to overcome the respective limitations of vision. It is thus very fitting that ZEISS sponsor the presenter of the Josh Wallman Memorial Lecture at the 2017 International Myopia Conference.

Eligibility is restricted to active junior myopia researchers, who completed within the last 10 years their PhD or equivalent research degree, or myopia research training (for non-related PhD research).

This award is sponsored by Zeiss

Josh Wallman Memorial Lecture & ZEISS Young Investigator Award in Myopia Research recipient: Dr Alexandra Benavente-Perez

Alexandra Benavente-Pérez is a clinician scientist trained under the mentorship of research experts in the field of clinical and experimental myopia, and ocular vascular research (Dr. Sarah Hosking, Dr. Nicola Logan, Dr. Doina Gherguel and Dr. David Troilo). She received her optometry degree from the University of Valladolid in Spain, and 2 years after starting her career in optometry as a clinician she moved to Manchester, UK, to pursue a MS degree in Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences. Under the mentorship of David Troilo, she dedicated her postdoctoral training to study the mechanisms of visually guided eye growth in the marmoset. The most recent years of her career have been focused on describing the spatial and temporal integration properties of refractive development in this animal model, and the role that peripheral refraction plays on visually guided eye growth and myopia development. She is currently developing exploratory research questions that combine her basic and clinical research interest in myopia, ocular imaging, animal models and vascular hemodynamics with collaborators in the fields of retinal physiology, neuroanatomy, physics and imaging: Dr. David Krizaj, Dr. Falk Schroedl, Dr. Norberto López-Gil, Dr. Miduturu Srinivas, Dr. Suresh Vishwanathan, Dr. Ava Bittner, Dr. Scott Read and Dr. Toco Chui.

History of Awards

Sek-Chin Chew lectures:

2000, Boston: Eric Yap

2002, Hong Kong & Guangzhou: Josh Wallman

2004, Cambridge: Richard Stone

2006, Singapore, whole meeting dedicated to Sek-Jin Chew, lecture by Josh Wallman

2008, Cairns: Terry Young

2010: Tuebingen: Tom Norton

2013, Asilomar: Seang Mei Saw

2015, Wenzhou: Frank Schaeffel


Josh Wallman Lecture/ Zeiss Young Investigator Award

2013: Regan Ashby

2015: Scott Read