International Night 2015

The Kellogg Eye Center for International Ophthalmology (KECIO) hosted its third “International Night at Kellogg” on October 12, 2015.  The keynote speaker and 2015 Scholar-in-Residence was Thomas M. Lietman, MD, Ruth Lee and Philipps Thygeson Distinguished Professor, University of California-San Francisco, and director of the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology.

Founded in 1947 with the aim of eradicating trachoma worldwide, The Proctor Foundation is the premier United States center for investigation of ophthalmic infectious diseases in this country and abroad, with funded trials in every continent on the planet.   Dr. Lietman’s keynote lecture dealt with his African trials in treating trachoma with azithromycin, which has largely eliminated the disease except in Ethiopia, where he is now concentrating his efforts.  

The evening event drew 135 U-M medical students, Kellogg ophthalmology residents and faculty, and U-M faculty.  It began with a buffet dinner in the Kellogg Atrium. Displayed in the Atrium were posters devoted to international experiences related to Kellogg’s efforts in international ophthalmology.

In the Oliphant Auditorium, the audience was inspired by Timothy R. B. Johnson, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who described U-M’s 20-year project in training Ghanaian physicians, which has reduced the staggering maternal mortality rate in that country.  He stressed that to have an enduring effect on international health, one must make the commitment to teach personnel in country. 

Vicky Koski-Karell, a second U-M medical student enrolled in a combined medical and anthropology PhD program, reported on her multiple summers of working in the rice fields of Haiti.  Roland Chen, U-M research associate in the Department of Engineering, described his portable slit-lamp, which is undergoing field trials in India, as well as other innovative technological designs in ophthalmology.  Zvi Kresch, MD, instructor in Ophthalmology, updated Kellogg’s progress in helping to start a residency training program at St. Paul’s Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

As part of Dr. Lietman’s visit, he breakfasted with U-M medical students and ophthalmology residents, and held seminars at the U-M School of Public Health and with U-M undergraduates interested in medicine. 

Within days of International Night, the KECIO was besieged with inquiries from undergraduates, medical students, and ophthalmology residents about clinical and research opportunities abroad.  Such opportunities are now available on nearly every continent.  Inquiries should be directed to Donna Donato, administrative director of KECIO, at  


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Last Modified: Thursday, 19-Nov-2015 08:19:07 EST