International Blindness Prevention Award

AAO honors Marilyn T. Miller, MD MS for international service

Marilyn T. Miller, MD, MS Professor of Ophthalmology, received the International Blindness Prevention Award at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2012 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Miller has a longstanding participation in international ophthalmology, especially in educa¬tional activities in a number of developing countries including Nigeria and India, as well as several other Asian and South American countries. Dr. Miller has visited a clinic in rural Nigeria for over 25 years with a small non-governmental organization, FOCUS, Inc. originally, their visits were focused on treating patients, but now the role is primarily in the area of teaching and lecturing. Currently, she is president of FOCUS, Inc. and continues to visit the eye clinic at Mercy Hospital Eye Center in Abak, Nigeria.

Dr. Miller has been recognized for her many contributions to international service in ophthalmology, including the Humanitarian Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), and more recently the Howe Medal by the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS), the Park Silver Medal from the Children’s Eye Foundation of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) and the Dr. G. Venkataswamy Endowment Oration Award. The Howe Medal denotes distinguished service to ophthalmology and has had 75 recipients since first awarded in 1922. Dr. Miller is only the third woman to receive this honor. She also served on the AOS Council and served as its first woman president. Other organizations for which she has been president include the Chicago Ophthalmologic Society and AAPOS.

Dr. Miller has served on a number of boards and advisory committees, including the Board of the AAO, Advisory Committee of the Foundation of the AAO, Medical Advisory Committee of the Division of Specialized Care for Children in Illinois, Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, Bernadotte Foundation for Children’s Eyecare and the Advisory Committee of the World Health Organization. She has also participated in many of the international com¬mittees of the AAO chairing one of the first international committees, the Committee on International Ophthalmol¬ogy. In addition, for many years she served as one of the AAO’s representatives to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

A current major area of interest for Dr. Miller is in training and education internationally in the field of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus and she has been on the organizing committee for many international conferences and congresses for the pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus section. She has also been an invited lecturer at several national and international medical schools and hospitals. Dr, Miller has delivered a number of named lectures and received the Bock Award for a contribution in the field of neurodevelopment. Her research interest in congenital anomalies and teratogens led her to Sweden where years later she received an honorary degree from the University of Goteborg for her clinical research in thalidomide embryopathy.

She obtained her medical degree and clinical training in ophthalmology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine – Chicago and has been on the University of Illinois at Chicago faculty since 1965.