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Leon Goldman Memorial Award

Nominations for the 2024 honorary awards are closed. 
Leon Goldman

Leon Goldman, MD

This award was established in 1998 to recognize a practicing physician whose career demonstrates excellence in clinical research, patient care, or education, related to medical lasers. It is given in memory of the many contributions of Leon Goldman, MD, the “Father of Laser Medicine.”

This award may be given to either ASLMS members or non-members. The award recipient will receive a plaque and $1,000 at the Annual Conference and will be required to present a lecture at the conference.

The candidate must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for this award:

  1. A practicing physician who has demonstrated longitudinal excellence throughout his/her career in performing clinical laser research, providing high quality laser services to patients or educating others in medical laser applications
  2. Share the characteristics of honesty, high ethical standards, and a dedication to patients that were possessed by its namesake

No award will be granted to any person if the award would be contrary to any United States law, including but not limited to trade embargoes administered by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.


2023 Recipient


Merete Haedersdal, MD, PhD, DMSc

  • Q&A with Dr. Haedersdal

    Please comment on receiving the award and what it means to you.
    Receiving the Leon Goldman Award is an incredible honor. Leon Goldman's contributions to laser medicine and surgery are legendary, and to be recognized with an award bearing his name is truly humbling. Realizing that I’m now part of the historic list of Leon Goldman Award recipients makes me extremely proud. 

    You will be delivering your award presentation, "Channels for Change," at the Awards Brunch on Sunday, April 16. Can you share some highlights of your talk?
    Since the nomination, I’ve thought a lot of about what lessons I may have learned during my career in research, patient care, and education, that are important enough to share. My humble attempt is called “channels of change.” In the talk, I’ll go through how tiny microchannels became the focus of my research path for more than 10 years, leading to the concept of laser-assisted drug delivery, one of the most important personal changes of my career. I’d like to share how I’ve lately come to think about how doctors and researchers have the potential to be major channels for change ourselves — as medical authorities, leaders at our organizations, teachers to our residents, and thanks to our proximity to patients. In the talk, I’ll cover how I’m trying to do just that back in Copenhagen.  

    Please share highlights of your background that have contributed to who you are today.
    I have been privileged to have two amazing mentors, my Danish mentor Hans Christian Wulf, who invented daylight PDT, and my international mentor, Rox Anderson, who opened his lab to me to pursue laser-assisted drug delivery. Working together with these gifted guys has changed my career. I was a foreigner, a deeply rooted Danish physician who suddenly found my way to the international scene. I’ve learned that sharing a deep motivation to innovate can lead to lifelong friendships. 

    How has your involvement in ASLMS contributed to your career? Why should young researchers become involved with ASLMS?
    ASLMS is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated specifically to pioneering in lasers and energy-based devices. Thanks to ASLMS, I’ve had access to a wealth of brilliant, international minds. These colleagues have been a major source of inspiration and cooperation through the years as we steadily get better together. For me personally, being involved in ASLMS and LSM, the great red journal, means having the entire world as my research playground. I never get tired of discussing new ideas with colleagues in this community.  

    Tell us something our members may not know about you. 
    I’m the first college graduate in my family, born and raised by the most loving and caring parents, who taught me that change rarely occurs spontaneously; it comes from yourself. I took the most influential decision of my life, when I was 21 years old, marrying my husband Carsten, who made it possible for me to combine family life with having an international academic career. My best career advice is “choose the right partner to live your life with.”


Past Recipients

2022 - Pablo Boixeda, MD, PhD
2021 - Arielle N.B. Kauvar, MD
2020 - Suzanne L. Kilmer, MD
2019 - Paul M. Friedman, MD
2018 - Kristen M. Kelly, MD
2017 - Gerald Goldberg, MD
2016 - Christine Dierickx, MD
2015 - Mathew M. Avram, MD, JDE
2014 - E. Victor Ross, MD
2013 - Raymond J. Lanzafame, MD, MBA
2012 - Robert A. Weiss, MD
2011 - Stephen G. Bown, MD, FRCP
2010 - Brian S. Biesman, MD
2009 - Christopher B. Zachary, MBBS, FRCP
2008 - Jerome M. Garden, MD
2007 - J. Stuart Nelson, MD, PhD
2006 - Roy G. Geronemus, MD
2005 - Ronald G. Wheeland, MD
2004 - Richard E. Fitzpatrick, MD
2003 - Kenneth A. Arndt, MD
2002 - R. Rox Anderson, MD
2001 - Tina S Alster, MD
2000 - Jeffrey S. Dover, MD
1999 - David J. Goldberg, MD


The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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