Ahmed A. Sallam, M.D., Ph.D., Honored at Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute Investiture Ceremony

By Andrew Vogler

A renowned eye inflammation and retinal specialist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Sallam was invested in the chair in October 2020, but due to COVID-19 restrictions was unable to be acknowledged in a ceremony.

“I’m very grateful and delighted by this opportunity, it’s a gratifying feeling to be honored with this chair,” said Sallam. “I’m grateful to everyone who made this possible, including my family, the donors, the UAMS leadership, my colleagues, residents, technicians, assistants and above all I am very grateful to the patients.”

The John W. Nutt Chair in Ophthalmology was established in 2012 with a gift from Nutt, who died in 2007, and his family and close personal friends to benefit research, education and patient care.

Susan S. Smyth, Cam Patterson and Ahmed A. Sallam.

Ahmed A. Sallam, M.D., Ph.D., flanked by Susan S. Smyth, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice chancellor of UAMS and dean of the College of Medicine, and Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health.Evan Lewis

An endowed chair is among the highest academic honors a university can bestow on a faculty member. A chair is established with gifts of at least $1 million, which are invested and the interest proceeds used to support the educational, research and clinical activities of the chair holder. Those named to a chair are among the most highly regarded scientists, physicians and professors in their fields.

“Congratulations to Dr. Sallam. We are so grateful to have you as part of team UAMS,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO of UAMS Health. “Your accomplishments so far distinguish you and we are all gratified and excited to see what you will do going forward, especially with the new resources that you have available through this endowed chair.”

Susan S. Smyth, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice chancellor of UAMS and dean of the College of Medicine, echoed Patterson’s statement on the importance of endowed chairs’ role in health care.

“Endowed chairs have a profound impact on our faculty, students, residents, fellows, patients at UAMS and those around the state,” said Smyth. “Ultimately, it is Arkansans that benefit from the generosity of the gifts that go behind the support of the endowed chairs.”

Sallam, who joined UAMS in 2016, is a professor of ophthalmology and director of uveitis services at JEI. He also serves as the director of the ophthalmology residency program and is the associate program director for the vitreoretinal and uveitis fellowship. Sallam specializes in the management of uveitis with emphasis on the use of the advanced systemic and intraocular medications. He is also a retinal specialist with extensive expertise in both surgical and medical treatments.

“Dr. Sallam is an incredible physician, researcher and teacher, and we are very grateful to have him on our world-class team here at the Jones Eye Institute,” said Paul Phillips, M.D., chair of the Ophthalmology Department and director of the Eye Institute. “He is certainly deserving of this honor, and his work in all three mission areas of our institution is a great benefit to our patients, students and colleagues, both now and into the future.”

Sallam was one of three doctors honored during the ceremony. He was joined by Phillips, who was invested in the Pat Walker Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology, and John David Pemberton, D.O., MBA, who was invested in the Stella Boyle Smith/Gissur J. Petursson, M.D. Chair in Ophthalmology.

Sallam earned his medical degree from Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University in Cairo. He received advanced training in the management of uveitis and retinal disorders through four fellowships in the United Kingdom. This included two uveitis and medical retina fellowships at the world-renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and two fellowships in vitreoretinal surgery at Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals NHS Trust in Gloucester and Whipps Cross University Hospital in London.

Sallam is board certified in ophthalmology through the U.K.’s Royal College of Ophthalmologists and has held appointments as a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals NHS Trust. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists and the European Vitreoretinal Society.

Active in research and educational speaking, Sallam authored more than 125 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He has presented at premier ophthalmology conferences and meetings and has been an investigator on numerous uveitis and retinal studies. He has a special interest in medical education and surgical simulation. He has been an educator and a trainer for residents and fellows in both Europe and the United States.

Ferenc Kuhn, M.D., Ph.D, a world renowned retina surgeon, and longtime friend and colleague of Sallam, believes that though Sallam’s professional credentials are impressive, much of his success is due to the relationships that he fosters.

“When you judge a person, you can look at their professional record, but when you want to see what that person is truly like you have to see how others react to them,” said Kuhn. “During my visit shortly after Ahmed moved to Little Rock, I noticed he had strong relationships with his colleagues, and to see was very gratifying for me.”