Newsletters & Events



Dr. Culican was presented the award at the 2020 AUPO Meeting in Palm Springs, California.

The Straatsma Award was established through funding from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), and private funds, to recognize and celebrate an outstanding Program Director in ophthalmology.

Dr. Susan Culican served as the residency program director at Washington University in St. Louis for 15 years. She is a product of Wash U having received her BA, MD and PhD there. Following residency, she was selected to serve as chief resident, prior to completing her pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Predictably, she joined the faculty at Wash U in 2004.

Dr. Culican started her academic career as a clinician-scientist focused on discovering the cellular mechanisms that defined the critical period of visual development. Early in her career she realized that ophthalmology education, like ophthalmology clinical practice, could benefit from data-driven approaches. She has since applied her bench science skills to scrutinize and analyze what we do and how we do it in resident education to bring transparency and rigor to the understanding of how we measure and track resident performance throughout residency training.

Dr. Culican has served on numerous education and quality committees at Wash U and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Nationally, she has served on AUPO and ACGME councils, committees, and subcommittees, including most recently the Milestones 2.0 workgroup. She is a reviewer for many journals. Notably, she is the Section Editor for Pediatric Ophthalmology for the British Journal of Ophthalmology.


Quote from faculty Dr. Collin McClelland, and former resident: 

Susan has played an instrumental role in the development of hundreds of students, residents, and fellows in her career as an educator and program director.  I feel fortunate to have been one of those residents who trained in her program where we learned how to be outstanding clinicians and academia contributors.  Susan has an infectious passion for education which benefits everyone around her. 

Deborah Ferrington, PhD awarded the Distinguished McKnight University Professorship


Dr. Ferrington was awarded the Distinguished McKnight University Professorship in a ceremony hosted by Provost Karen Hansen on May 6. 

This program recognizes outstanding faculty members who have recently achieved full professor status and are nominated by the Department Chair.  Dr. Ferrington is recognized for her pioneering studies in the aging eye and age-related macular degeneration.