The Ruskell Medal
In 2001, WCSM introduced a bronze medal (now designated the Ruskell Medal in memory of the late Professor (and Liveryman) Gordon Ruskell) and a purse of £750 to encourage new research to contribute to the advancement of our understanding of vision and our ability to overcome threats to it by publishing the results of their recent work.
The Ruskell Medal is awarded each year to the first-named author of the best paper in the fields of ophthalmology or visual science for studies undertaken within the United Kingdom and published during the qualifying period, regardless of his or her status or how long he or she has been working in the chosen field. The qualifying period runs from 1 July in the year before the competition is announced to 30 June in the year when the award will be made.
The 2016 Ruskell Medal was awarded on 5th October 2016 to Dr Jasmina Cehajic Kapetanovic, a trainee academic ophthalmologist based at the University of Manchester/Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Her work centres around the use of gene therapy to convert cells in the retina into photo receptors and potentially restore vision. The technology has now been licensed to a biotechnology company by the University of Manchester with the aim of developing a treatment for patients with advanced retinal dystrophies.
The Masters Medal
A further Bronze award, the Master’s Medal, and a purse of £750 is directed specifically at those making their initial “first author” published contribution to the advancement of optometry or physiological optics. This could include papers on product development, manufacturing or tablet and smartphone applications as well as more traditional academic research projects. Entries are invited from researchers holding a first degree, diploma or other acceptable qualification which has been obtained within the last three years.
The Master’s Medal for 2016 was awarded to Corinne Fulcher, an optometrist studying for a doctorate at the University of Bradford, for her paper “Object size determines the spatial spread of visual time”. Corinne recently begun working part time as a Research Optometrist at Bradford Royal Infirmary. She also works as an Optometrist at an independent practice in Huddersfield, her home town.
Both the Bronze Medals are the subject of a competition, publicised among universities, colleges and medical and optical institutions each Spring.
Competition winners are invited to receive their medal at a lunch at Apothecaries’ Hall, so that their work can be recognised and rewarded publicly by the Master, Wardens and Court of Assistants.
Bronze Medals 2015
The 2015 Ruskell Medal was awarded to Professor James Bainbridge.
The 2015 Master’s Medal was won by Mrs Laura McKernan Ward.