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American Academy of Optometry Recognizes IU Professor for Distinguished Career

“The Academy’s awards represent the very best of us, and it is right and fitting that in our centennial year we take the time to honor and celebrate our award recipients.”




Ann E. Elsner

Ann E. Elsner

(PRESS RELEASE) BLOOMINGTON, IN — Indiana University School of Optometry Distinguished Professor Ann E. Elsner has been named the 2022 Charles F. Prentice Medal Award recipient by the American Academy of Optometry. Each year, the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions and excelled in the profession.  

Established in 1958, the Prentice Medal Award is presented annually to a distinguished scientist or clinician scientist in recognition of a career-long record of advancement of knowledge in vision science. The award is considered the most prestigious of the academy’s awards for achievement in research.

“The Academy’s awards represent the very best of us, and it is right and fitting that in our centennial year we take the time to honor and celebrate our award recipients,” said John G. Flanagan, PhD, DSc, FAAO, chair of the awards committee and dean of the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Elsner’s research focuses on developing retinal imaging and visual function techniques to fight vision loss. Her work has had an impact on research and health care worldwide, including revolutionizing retinal imaging and specialized techniques for presenting visual stimuli. Her research led to the discovery that infrared light can provide a clinically useful image of the retina. She studies a range of retinal pathologies with a focus on diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and normal aging of the eye. Dr. Elsner, who earned her Ph.D. at University of Oregon in 1977, is also the founder and CEO of Aeon Imaging LLC, a Bloomington-based company that provides advanced imaging and image display technology for use in medicine and science.

In 2018, Dr. Elsner received the Edwin H. Land Medal jointly from Optica and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology for her contributions to the fields of ophthalmic instrumentation and vision science with innovative imaging technologies, state-of-the-art psychophysical research, and entrepreneurial ventures. In 2020, IU named her a Distinguished Professor and bestowed her with a Bicentennial Medal for her contributions to the university.


The American Academy of Optometry inspires excellence in optometric practice by fostering research and disseminating knowledge in vision science through its journal, Optometry and Vision Science, and the continuing education presented at its annual meeting. Dr. Elsner will be recognized at a special ceremony during Academy 2022 San Diego, AAO’s annual meeting, which will be held this year from Oct. 25–29, in San Diego. 


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