Discovery Eye Foundation Gala and Awards Ceremony in Beverly Hills

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On Thursday, October 11, 2007 over 300 people crowded into the Crystal Ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel to celebrate the successes of The Discovery Eye Foundation over the past thirty-seven years and also to recognize some incredible people committed to the field of vision research and treatment.

Discovery Eye Foundation Logo

The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.

On Thursday, October 11, 2007 over 300 people crowded into the Crystal Ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel to celebrate the successes of The Discovery Eye Foundation over the past thirty-seven years and also to recognize some incredible people committed to the field of vision research and treatment. Ms. Beverly Gelfand and Ms. Sue Marshall were the co-chairs of this evening, entitled "A Night for Discovery".

Founded in 1970, by Morris and Rita Pynoos, the Discovery Eye Foundation (DEF) is dedicated to finding cures and treatments for corneal and retinal eye diseases while providing exceptional patient education through two outstanding outreach programs -- Macular Degeneration Partnership and National Keratoconus Foundation. DEF has program and administrative offices in West Hollywood and has clinical research facilities in collaboration with the University of California at Irvine. DEF funded researchers are currently supporting research into treatment and cures for diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, ocular herpes and keratoconus.

A highlight of the evening was a tribute to three individuals who have made enormous contributions towards improving the quality of life for those persons with debilitating eye diseases. Honored for their dedication, commitment and generosity were:

Iris Cantor, Philanthropic honoree
As chairman, president and co-founder of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, Iris Cantor has dedicated nearly three decades to advancing a variety of medical, education and cultural organizations and causes through philanthropic support. Mrs. Cantor has been recognized by many national governments and medical and cultural institutions for her generosity and commitment. Her twin passions for women's health care and the visual arts, in particular, have driven her to establish comprehensive women's health centers in California and New York, and have earned her a place as a trustee of several museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dr. Anthony Nesburn, Iris Cantor, James Mazzo

Mrs. Cantor has been a member of the Discovery Eye Foundation Board of Directors and a major supporter of the organization's work since the 1980's. Mrs. Cantor and her late husband, B. Gerald Cantor shared a belief in the need to support advances in eye research. Mr. Cantor's longtime struggle with diabetes and his resulting vision loss because of this disease provided the Cantors with an even stronger commitment to support research into the causes of and treatments for eye-related diseases. Through support spanning more than two decades, the Cantor Foundation established the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Diabetic Eye Research Program and Laboratory at UCI, which has been responsible for important advances in eye research including the development of a non-surgical procedure for treating vitreous hemorrhage.

James V. Mazzo, Industry honoree
James (Jim) V. Mazzo is Chairman, President and CEO of Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) where he has focused the energies of more than 4,200 employees around the globe on a common mission: the discovery and delivery of innovative vision technologies that optimize quality of life for people of all ages. Mr. Mazzo has been a member of the AMO Board of Directors since 2001. He has served as President and CEO from AMO's inception through May 2006, at which time he also became the Chairman of the Board. With AMO, Mr. Mazzo actively works with federal, state and local elected officials to address a variety of issues that impact the eye care and medical device industries. Under Mr. Mazzo's stewardship, AMO has set a new strategic direction and has positioned itself for accelerating performance in the years ahead.

AMO has long been a supporter of the Discovery Eye Foundation, and Mr. Mazzo provides DEF with a valued perspective on current innovations and future possibilities for vision technology. As the Chair of the steering committee for the proposed Eye Institute at the University of California and Irvine he works closely with Dr. Tony Nesburn, Medical Director of DEF and DEF Board Chairman Jack Schoellerman to help ensure that this project becomes a reality.

Anthony B. Nesburn, M.D., F.A.C.S., Medical honoree
An internationally respected eye surgeon, educator, lecturer, researcher, Dr. Nesburn has served as Medical Director of the Discovery Eye Foundation since it founding. "Dr. Tony "is beloved by his many thankful patients and highly respected by his medical peers as a Doctor's Doctor. He is repeatedly included in Outstanding Medical Specialists in U.S., The Best Doctors in America and America's Top Doctors.

Dr. Nesburn, an LA native and UCLA magna cum laude graduate, earned a cum laude MD degree and received his extensive post-graduate research and ophthalmology training at Harvard Medical School. After returning to Southern California in 1968, he joined his father, Dr. Henry Nesburn, in private practice of ophthalmology.

He has always had a passion for research and decided to make research a priority in his life. Dr. Nesburn has devoted over half of his time to patient-oriented laboratory research and clinical research projects. He has been awarded ongoing NIH research support throughout the ensuing years that has resulted in many important sight-saving scientific and clinical advances and over 180 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Entertainment during the evening was provided by Mr. Tom Sullivan and Ms. Stefanie Powers. Mr. Sullivan who has been blind almost since birth is recognized for his work as an author, an actor, a musician and entertainer, a television news correspondent, an athlete and a motivational speaker Mr. Sullivan gained a solid presence in the entertainment world, frequently appearing in guest roles on such television programs as Designing Women, Highway to Heaven, Fame, M.A.S.H., Mork & Mindy, and WKRP in Cincinnati. As a special correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America, Tom gave touching and insightful reports inspiring millions of Americans each morning.

Ms. Powers began her career at age 15, dancing for Jerome Robbins. Under contract to Columbia Pictures, she appeared in 15 films, among them Experiment in Terror, The Interns, and McClintock! After her first television series, "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.", came 12 more films, over 20 mini-series stage productions and the long-running "Hart to Hart." She is co-founder of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation, established in 1982 as a public charity, is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Zoo, Royal Geographical Society and Explorers Club of America, and she created the Jaguar Conservation Trust for Jaguar Cars North America. Powers will bring her new one-woman show, One from the Hart, to the Orange County Performing Arts Center in November.

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