INDIANAPOLIS — IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz today announced the selection of Indiana University School of Optometry Associate Dean and Professor Dr. Joseph A. Bonanno as dean of that school, pending approval by the IU Board of Trustees.
Bonanno will succeed, Dr. P. Sarita Soni, vice provost for research at Indiana University, who has been serving as interim dean of the optometry school.
“As an optometrist, administrator and distinguished researcher, Dr. Bonanno brings all-important skills to a leadership role that will benefit not only the school but the health and vision of Hoosiers and others around the globe,” Bantz said.
“Dr. Bonanno is a leading researcher and an experienced and successful administrator. He understands the enormous strengths and the exceptional potential of the IU School of Optometry, and he understands how to support the complex teaching, service and research missions of the School,” said Karen Hanson, executive vice president and provost, IU Bloomington.
The IU School of Optometry is one of the leading clinical optometric training and vision science research programs in the world, Bonanno said. “So I feel privileged to head this group of excellent faculty, students and staff that are the heart of the school.”
“On all fronts, teaching, research and service learning, there are new and exciting opportunities to advance knowledge, improve learning, promote health and vision, and establish collaborations and partnerships with our colleagues here at IU Bloomington and all of the IU campuses,” he said. “I am certain that with the help of my colleagues we can chart a course for excellence at the school.”
Bonanno, the School of Optometry’s executive associate dean for academic affairs and student administration, came to IU in 1998 from a professorship at the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry. A teacher of biochemistry and physiology, Bonanno has over the past 18 years focused his research primarily on the ion and fluid transport properties of the corneal endothelium and on corneal metabolic activity in humans.
A fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a former chair of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s Physiology/Pharmacology Program Planning Committee, Bonanno in 2000 received the American Optometric Foundation’s Glenn A. Fry Lecture Award recognizing current research by a distinguished scientist or clinician.
Last October, Bonanno was named to the 12-member National Advisory Eye Council. The council, part of the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute (NEI), provides advice on conducting and supporting research, health information dissemination, training and other programs that address blinding eye diseases and disorders, visual function mechanisms, sight preservation and health needs of visually impaired individuals.
NAE council members serve in the role of federal advisory committee appointees who are in this case leaders in the fields of ophthalmology, optometry and basic sciences, as well as public policy, law, health policy, economics and management.