Researcher Into Retinal Damage Wins E. Donnall Thomas Award

Research Into Retinal Damage

Wins E. Donnall Thomas Award

Dr. Sharma and her preceptor, Dr. James Dalton, Bassett’s Medical Education director.

COOPERSTOWN – Dr. Konika Sharma, a Bassett Hospital internal medicine resident in her third year of training, earned the 2019 E. Donnall Thomas Research Day Outstanding Research Presentation award for a finding that could improve detection of damage to retinas caused by diabetes.

Sharma addressed the question: “Is a hand-held non-mydriatic (no dilation required) fundus camera superior to the referred dilated eye exams for the screening and detection of diabetic retinopathy in the primary care setting?”  Her answer was: yes.

“The long-term goal is to improve the detection of diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of vision loss in adults, in our community through better quality measures of patient compliance and screening in the primary care clinics,” she said.

Sharma worked on the study project with her preceptor Dr. James Dalton, Bassett’s Medical Education director.  She earned her medical degree from Acharya Shri Chander College, India. After completing her residency at Bassett in June, she will begin a clinical nutrition fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The E. Donnall Thomas award is given annually to a Bassett trainee who has conducted exceptional research while at Bassett Medical Center during residency.  Its namesake is Bassett’s physician-in-chief from 1955 to 1963, who went on to receive the 1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation, which he began at Bassett. Thomas performed the world’s first human bone marrow transplant at Bassett in 1956.

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