The Roman god Janus is often depicted as having two faces, to look forward and back, and is credited by some as the inspiration for our month of January. January is most often associated with looking ahead, but this month, we’re true to Janus and his dual focus.

On the theory that the best way to prepare the future is to take the best of the past and learn from it, this month we offer a new department, Masters of Surgery (p. 44). The series will feature some of the leading surgeons and educators in ophthalmology, who will share their insights and the best ideas that they like to pass on to the residents and fellows fortunate enough to study with them. Thanks to Dr. Gary Abrams for kicking off the series this month; look for installments every other month as the year moves on. And a special thanks to Emmett Cunningham for bringing us the concept.

And in celebration of his 250th Therapeutic Topics column, by far our longest running contribution, Mark Abelson harkens back to the earliest days of translational research, even before the concept of bridging basic science and clinical application was fully defined. Dr. Abelson and his team have been instrumental in creating pathways from “bench to bedside.” His column this month offers an intriguing real-world example of how translational scientists take a seemingly simple physiological action like the blink, and in their fashion, reverse engineer it back to the lab in pursuit of better, more effective treatment options.

We look forward to many, many more lessons from all of our masters.