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Dr. de Juan receives Catalyst Award; opera singer Márquez gets Visionary Award


A renowned ophthalmologist and an accomplished opera singer were the highlight of Thursday night’s Glaucoma 360 annual Gala, when the two were presented with the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s (GRF) highest honors-The Catalyst Award and Visionary Award.

A renowned ophthalmologist and an accomplished opera singer were the highlight of Thursday night’s Glaucoma 360 annual Gala, when the two were presented with the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s (GRF) highest honors-The Catalyst Award and Visionary Award.


Catalyst Award

Eugene de Juan Jr., MD, one of the world’s foremost ophthalmic innovators, surgeons, researchers, and entrepreneurs, received the Catalyst Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership and commitment to advancing ophthalmology. Dr. de Juan is the Jean Kelly Stock Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, and founder and vice chairman of ForSight Labs.

Photo by Trish Tunney

“Dr. de Juan is an extraordinary physician and teacher, as well as a successful entrepreneur,” said Thomas M. Brunner, president and chief executive officer of GRF. “He has dedicated his career to the development of new and innovative technologies to preserve vision. GRF is thrilled to have this opportunity to recognize Gene for his many contributions to medicine and improving the lives of patients with blinding eye diseases.”

Dr. de Juan’s career spans more than 30 years as innovator and clinician. As a retina specialist, Dr. de Juan has developed many procedures and devices to treat retinal disorders, including macular translocation, pharmaceuticals, retinal implants, retinal transplantation, and robotic surgery.

Holding more than 50 patents for various medical devices, he has been influential in the development of more than 100 medical technologies, including surgical instruments, biochemical therapies, and complex microcircuitry. Dr. de Juan’s research over the years also has included advancements in ocular drug delivery for age-related macular degeneration. 

As an entrepreneur, Dr. de Juan has founded many medical companies, including Nexis Vision Inc. (formerly ForSight VISION3 Inc.), ForSight VISION4 Inc., and ForSight VISION5 Inc. His other ventures include: InnoRx, NeoVista, Retina Labs, Second Sight, Transcend Medical Inc., and VISION2.

Visionary Award



Visionary Award

GRF presented its Visionary Award to Janette Márquez, a talented and accomplished opera singer who is blind from congenital glaucoma.

“Despite her visual challenges at such a young age, Janette was determined to realize her dream of being singer,” Brunner pointed out. “She is a true inspiration and we are so grateful for her dedication to raising awareness about glaucoma.”

Born in the United States to Dominican Republic parents, Márquez demonstrated exceptional music and singing skills at an early age. When her parents decided to move to the Dominican Republic, her talent began to bloom when she entered the Instituto de Cultura y Arte and continuing at Hogar de la Armonía (Harmony Home), two well- respected academies. When Márquez finished high school, she entered the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, majoring in music.

In 2013, Márquez’s voice got noticed by the acclaimed José Antonio Molina, for whom she auditioned and received an invitation to debut with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Dominican Republic. Márquez later performed with the Dominican Orchestral Theater, a program held by the Dominican Culture Ministry, and the Juan Pablo Duarte Orchestra of the Dominican National Conservatory of Music, under the direction of Dante Cucurullo.

In 2014, Márquez participated in two significant performances under the title "My Music Is My Flag” at the Ritz Theater in Elizabeth, NJ, and the United Palace in New York City. She was also invited for a special presentation at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.

Later the same year, Márquez celebrated her official debut at the National Theater of Dominican Republic, performing with some of the top musical artists of the country. She later performed at the Fine Arts Theater of Santo Domingo, Culture Ministry's Hall, and the Great Theater of The Cibao-all in the Dominican Republic.

With her success as an opera singer, Márquez created the Coralia Foundation to bring hope for people with blinding disabilities. The mission of the foundation is to help talented individuals with limited resources to obtain equipment and musical/language education so that they, too, can pursue their dreams.

Márquez provided a special performance at the Gala to conclude the evening’s festivities.

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