John Henahan Prize

The winning entry for the writing competition was on the topic of “Do We Need 
A Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial in Cataract Surgery?”

Colin Kerr

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018

Dr Joséphine Behaegel MD

The winner of this year’s John Henahan Prize for Young Ophthalmologists was Dr Joséphine Behaegel. Dr Behaegel is a resident in the University Hospital Brussels, Belgium, and a researcher at the Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium.

The winning entry for the writing competition was on the topic of “Do We Need A Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial in Cataract Surgery?”
Emanuel Rosen, chief medical editor of EuroTimes and chairman of the judging panel, said all the submissions were of the highest quality making selection of a winner extremely difficult.
“We drew up a shortlist of five entries from which we would choose the eventual winner,” said Dr Rosen. “The shortlisted essays were published in EuroTimes and anybody who read them will see what a difficult decision the judges had to make.

“Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are our guide to raising standards in cataract surgery. This winning entry not only encapsulates the essence of the importance of RCTs but is written in a style that encourages belief that the author will be a forceful communicator in her future career,” said Dr Rosen.
Dr Rosen was joined on the panel by Thomas Kohnen, chairman of the ESCRS Publications Committee; José Güell, former president of the ESCRS; Oliver Findl, chairman of the ESCRS Young Ophthalmologists Committee; Sean Henahan, editor of EuroTimes; 
Paul McGinn, editor of EuroTimes; and Robert Henahan, contributing editor of EuroTimes.
Dr Behaegel received a travel bursary worth €1,000 to attend the 36th Congress of the ESCRS and a special trophy was presented to her at the Video Awards Session.

Dr Behaegel studied medicine at Ghent University (Belgium). She started her residency in 2015 at the University Hospital Brussels, and shortly after decided to combine her training with a clinical research PhD at the University Hospital of Antwerp. Her research focuses on regeneration of the anterior cornea using cultivated limbal stem cell grafts.
“This research triggered my interest in the anterior segment and I hope to continue the corneal work in a specialised centre,” said Dr Behaegel. “When I finish my PhD, I will return to full-time clinical work and would like to develop more surgical skills and complete a fellowship abroad.”
Dr Behaegel said she was honoured to receive the Henahan Prize.

“My PhD research gave me a lot of inspiration to write about this year’s subject,” said Dr Behaegel. “I’m thankful to my promotors and the people who supported me during this scientific journey.”

“Winning this prize is very rewarding. I’ve been reading EuroTimes since the start of my residency and I always love the personal stories. Having my own essay in EuroTimes is really an honour.”

The Henahan prize is named in honour of John Henahan, who edited EuroTimes from 1996 to 2001. “John’s work has inspired a generation of young doctors and journalists, many of whom continue to work for EuroTimes. The prize will not only bring satisfaction to the winner and credit to all the contributors, but may enhance all their prospects of pursuing a medical writing aspect to their future careers. We look forward to their further contributions to EuroTimes and the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery,” said Dr Rosen.

Details of next year’s competition are available on

Joséphine Behaegel:

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