(Photo: Leiden municipality).
Professor Martin Jäger, a specialist in ophthalmology at LUMC, was appointed Knight to the Order of the Dutch Lion upon her retirement. In 2021, Jäger was named one of the 100 most influential women in ophthalmology worldwide by international colleagues and the international ophthalmologist journal The Ophthalmologist.
During the last day of the International Society of Ocular Oncology (ISOO) conference in Leiden, organized by Geiger, she also gave a farewell speech. Then Deputy Mayor Yvonne Van Delft surprised her with the royal decoration Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion.
Since 1990, Jäger has been a practicing ophthalmologist at LUMC, with a particular focus on patients with diseases of the ocular surface. She made an exceptional contribution to the development of scientific knowledge in the field of ophthalmology. She is one of the leading scientists worldwide and has over three hundred publications, mainly on melanoma of the eye.
Jagger is very involved in student education. Since 2017, she has served as Vice Chairman of the Medical Examination Committee and at the same time has successfully supervised more than 100 students and 25 PhD students, while a number of researchers are still completing their Ph.D. Her enthusiasm, support, trust and commitment are appreciated by many. She is also an informal mentor for many young researchers searching their way into science and ophthalmology.
Jäger also played an important role in international ophthalmology knowledge exchange. Much of Geiger’s scientific research is conducted in collaboration with top institutes elsewhere in the world. Patient organizations are often also directly involved. Jagger has been able to fund all of her research with outside funds through gifts and grants, including two grants from the Horizon 2020 Program.
In 2007, she was elected as the first non-US president of the Society for Vision and Ophthalmology Research, the largest organization of ophthalmologists. As President, she has made a significant impact by, among other things, internationalizing the organization, implementing the relative participation of women and stimulating youth participation and development. The involvement of the least scientifically advanced countries is also of particular interest. In 2014, ARVO awarded her the Joanna Angle Award, the highest honor honoring a volunteer. In addition, it has established a network of scientific researchers in the field of ophthalmology in the Netherlands in the form of ARVONed. Its special ability to inspire, excite and make people work together forms the basis for this.
Jager also does a lot of volunteer work. Among others, for journals and as a board member of scientific organizations. She is a member of the editorial board of a number of ophthalmology journals. In 2017, Jäger became president of the International Society of Ocular Oncology, the world’s largest association of eye cancer specialists, engaged in the exchange of knowledge about eye tumors. She has been involved in organizing the annual ISOO conferences since 2000 and has also used her position there to promote international cooperation. In 2022, Jäger was the president and main organizer of this conference, which took place in Leiden last month.
Her continued commitment to the proportional representation of women on committees and awards has also had an impact on international organizations. She is even considered a role model and inspiration by female researchers around the world. Due to her many international activities, she has already received a large number of awards. After being included in the list of the 100 most influential ophthalmologists worldwide in 2014, Jagger was named one of the 100 most influential women in ophthalmology worldwide in 2021.
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