April 2019


Ron Kurtz, MD, to deliver Kelman Innovator’s Lecture

by Liz Hillman EyeWorld Senior Staff Writer

Ron Kurtz, MD, will deliver the 2019 Charles D. Kelman Innovator’s Lecture on Monday, May 6 during the Innovators General Session, which begins at 10 a.m.
“It is particularly meaningful for me to receive an award from ASCRS, which I have come to admire as one of the most important organizations in ophthalmology,” Dr. Kurtz said. “ASCRS was founded by ophthalmic innovators who wanted to create a forum to advance their field. I hope to focus my talk on some of the factors in ophthalmology that have made this effort so successful.”
Dr. Kurtz chose to go into ophthalmology because it “checked all the boxes for me.” It provided the opportunity to deliver surgical and medical care, and he said he was interested in its connection to neuroscience. For these same reasons, he specialized in retina.
“I now also appreciate many other aspects of the field, including its close relationship with optics, the importance of vision in the lives of our patients, and the tremendous professionals who have devoted their careers to its advancement.”
Dr. Kurtz is well known in the field for his work with lasers, but he said his interest didn’t take off until he saw an accidental laser injury while on call. A graduate student aligning an open laser system failed to wear protective eye wear, leading to what Dr. Kurtz described as “very focal damage in the fovea but with surprisingly excellent retained visual acuity.” This injury, Dr. Kurtz said, was caused by one of the first femtosecond lasers.
After that, Dr. Kurtz began working with the group led by Gerard Mourou, PhD, investigating medical applications for the technology. This led to his collaboration with Tibor Juhasz, PhD, and creation of IntraLase and femtosecond corneal surgery. Later, Dr. Kurtz, Dr. Juhasz, and Eric Weinberg co-founded LenSx Lasers (later bought by Alcon) and developed femtosecond technology for cataract surgery.
Now, Dr. Kurtz is the president and CEO of RxSight, which developed the Light Adjustable Lens. Dr. Kurtz said he had followed the development of this innovation, but he became convinced that postoperative adjustability would be required to attain the next levels of performance and joined that effort in 2015.
“While RxSight does not use lasers, many of the same optical principals are applicable,” he said.

About the doctor
Ron Kurtz, MD

President and CEO
Aliso Viejo, California

Financial interests
: RxSight

Contact information
: rkurtz@rxsight.com

Ron Kurtz, MD, to deliver Kelman Innovator’s Lecture Ron Kurtz, MD, to deliver Kelman Innovator’s Lecture
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