PORTLAND, Ore., – Paragon BioTeck, Inc., an ophthalmic pharmaceutical and device company, announced today that Xinxin Zhang has been named its 2017 Koch Kellan Scholar. Paragon Gives, a Paragon BioTeck initiative, awards the Koch Kellan Scholarship to an outstanding graduate medical student committed to pursuing a clinical, teaching or research career in ophthalmology.
“We are wholeheartedly committed to furthering education and shining a light on the next generation of ophthalmic innovators, such as Xinxin Zhang,” remarked Patrick H. Witham, President and CEO.
Both Robert Kellan, MD and Paul Koch, MD, are impressed by Ms. Zhang’s early dedication to ophthalmology and her strong desire to serve underprivileged populations. “Xinxin exemplifies the values of Paragon BioTeck and this scholarship through her volunteer work at free clinics, similar to those that supported her and her family when they first moved to the U.S. from China, as well as the research project she undertook in her country of origin. She will be a great future leader of ophthalmology,” Koch stated.
Xinxin Zhang is a third-year student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her experiences with poverty as a child in both China and the United States exposed her to many treatable eye conditions at an early age and sparked her desire to serve. Ms. Zhang’s passion for ophthalmology was cemented during a research project focused on bringing technological diagnostic advances to some of China’s poorest provinces, where high rates of preventable blindness occur primarily due to lack of screening opportunities. After spending last year researching dry eye disease and leading UNC’s student-run ophthalmology clinic, Ms. Zhang is committed to bringing ophthalmological innovation to the rural areas of the state she has come to call home.
Upon receipt of the award, Ms. Zhang expressed her appreciation not only for the financial assistance that the scholarship provides, but also for the spotlight that it places on ophthalmology. “Ophthalmology is not always at the forefront of people’s minds when they think of mainstream medicine. As a student who is very passionate about ophthalmology and its impact, it is extremely encouraging and validating to find a scholarship that honors my future profession.”
Paragon Gives will formally present the Koch Kellan Scholarship to Ms. Zhang at an event attended by scholarship namesakes, Drs. Koch and Kellan, as well as other distinguished industry leaders, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, held May 5-7 in Los Angeles.
About Paragon Gives and the Koch Kellan Scholarship
Paragon Gives, a Paragon BioTeck, Inc., initiative, supports a number of charities and organizations, including those within the biotechnology and health care arena. The initiative also works with individuals and organizations that have made a positive impact on our customers, vendors, investors and industry as a whole.
The Koch Kellan Scholarship affirms Paragon’s commitment to elevating the standard of eye care and enhancing patient quality of life. Xinxin Zhang is the third recipient of the scholarship. The 2016 recipient was Hasenin Al-khersan of University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and the scholarship was first awarded to Captain Edward Woodward of the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in 2015.
About Paragon BioTeck, Inc.
Paragon BioTeck, Inc., is a privately held pharmaceutical and medical device company specializing in the development and commercialization of ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, devices and therapies. Paragon BioTeck’s portfolio of products is designed to protect and preserve eyesight and deliver comfort to the eyes.