Sear Scholarship: A Note of Thanks

Report by Dr. Leonardo Landó


I am grateful for the chance that the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) and the Sear family have provided me with this research scholarship.

 I did my Ophthalmology residency and fellowship in Retina and Vitreous at the Federal University of Goias, Goiania, Brazil. Doing my training in a publicly funded institution, I gained clinical and surgical exposure from the high volume of patients in my country, though I always bore in mind a dream of studying abroad to compare different learning methods and environments.

 At the beginning of 2019, I came to the University of California San Diego for one year of research in retinal diseases with Dr. Daniel Chao, MD, PhD. Under his supervision and collaboration with other researchers (Dr. Shyamanga Borooah, MD, PhD), I have been involved in projects which allowed me to expand my knowledge on a range of serious blinding diseases. To mention a few, my studies have focused on the genetics of diabetic retinopathy, the mechanisms of retinal detachments, the clinical features of late-onset retinal degeneration, and the teaching methodologies of eye exam to medical students. I am also working on a new eye imaging technology – artificial intelligence-assisted retinal oximetry – which might change the landscape of my subspecialty.

 This fellowship at UCSD has undoubtedly been an important moment in my career. Due to my background, I am certain that my learning opportunities were much facilitated by PAAO’s commitment to medical education with social impact. If things continue at the same pace, I will possibly join the Federal University of Goias, where I hope to apply what I am learning in the US to the good health of the population of Central Brazil. Simultaneously, I hope that the projects I am participating in will foster future international collaborations between the two countries, leading to improvements in medical services and technologies for both American and Brazilian patients.

 I would encourage all trainee ophthalmologists to apply and to also participate in PAAO’s events, and to continue supporting these efforts. I am currently halfway through my research fellowship and it has been such a great career landmark, not only in the scientific realm, but also in comparing social and economic medical contexts from my native and hosting countries.

 Finally, I’d like highlight the generosity of Timothy and Judith Sear in supporting this program and I would like to convey them, as well as all PAAO’s committee, my warmest thanks.


Leonardo Lando


**Dr. Leonardo Landó (Goiânia, Brazil) was awarded one of the 2019 Sear Scholarships. Click here for information and requirements to apply for this scholarship. The deadline for applications is October 1.**


Dr. Leonardo Landó (left) and Dr.  Daniel Chao. 

Dr. Leonardo Landó (left) and Dr.  Shyamanga Borooah.