The Borish Award (established in 1996) recognizes an outstanding young scientist or clinician scientist who shows exceptional promise in conducting independent research directly related to etiology, prevention, detection, diagnosis, or management of clinical ocular disorders. The award need not be given every year. At the time of nomination, a Borish Award nominee should be within 6 years of the date of completion of his or her final degree. Typically this degree will be the PhD but, in exceptional circumstances, current research accomplishments and promise for the future may qualify an individual for consideration for this award with the degree Doctor of Optometry, Master of Science, or other professional or research degree. The recipient need not be a Fellow of the Academy nor an optometrist.


The deadline for nominations is April 1, 2021. Please submit the following by email to Helen Viksnins at

  • A letter of nomination from an Academy Fellow, explaining why the nominee is particularly deserving of the award for which the nomination has been made.
  • A copy of the CV of the nominee.
  • A letter seconding the nomination from another Academy Fellow


Past Award Recipients

2020 - Zhichao Wu, BAppSc(Optom), PhD
2019 - Andrew D. Pucker, OD, PhD, FAAO
2018 - Not Awarded

2017 - Ava K. Bittner, OD, PhD, FAAO
2016 - Nimesh Patel, OD, PhD, FAAO
2015 - Ravi C. Bakaraju, BOptom, PhD, FAAO
2014 - Laura E. Downie, PhD, FAAO
2013 - Pete S. Kollbaum, OD, PhD, FAAO
2012 - Melissa D. Bailey, OD, PhD, FAAO
2011 - Jason Nichols, OD, PhD, FAAO
2010 - Alex R. Bowers, PhD, MCOptom, FAAO

2009 - Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, FAAO

2008 - Konrad Pesudovs, OD, PhD, FAAO
2007 - Nancy McNamara, OD, FAAO
2006 - Erica L. Fletcher, OD, PhD
2004 - Brad Fortune, OD, PhD, FAAO
2002 - Austin Roorda, PhD
2001 - S.P. Srinivas, PhD
1999 - Susana Chung, OD, PhD, FAAO
1997 - Suzanne M. J. Fleiszig, OD, PhD, FAAO
1996 - Donald O. Mutti, OD, PhD, FAAO

Photo Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)