Faculty

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Program Co-Directors

Diana V. Do, MD

Byers Eye Institute

Diana V. Do, MD, is Professor of Ophthalmology and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs at the Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University.

She is an internationally recognized physician who specializes in the surgical and medical treatment of retinal disorders. Dr. Do is a board-certified ophthalmologist and is an expert in the management of age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, vein occlusion, retinal detachment, macular hole, infections, cataract, and epiretinal membrane. She incorporates state-of-the-art treatment options for her patients while treating each individual with compassion and dignity. Her goal is to provide the highest level of care for each patient. She has been selected as a “Top Doctor” in the Bay Area, and she has been voted as one of the “100 Top Women in Ophthalmology” in the Ophthalmologist Power List.

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Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, MD, MHS

Byers Eye Institute

Prithvi Mruthyunjaya MD, MHS is Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford Univeristy, member of the Vitreoretinal Surgery Service and is the new Director of Ocular Oncology at the Byers Eye Institute. He is a board certified ophthalmologist who has completed two prestigious fellowships: the first in Vitreoretinal Surgery at Duke University and the second in Ocular Oncology at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, England.

He cares for patients with conditions related to cancer of the eye in both adults and children–either benign, pre-cancerous, or eye cancer. These conditions include ocular melanoma, hemangioma, cancers from other parts of the body which spread to the eye, Coats’ disease, retinoblastoma, iris tumors (melanoma, cysts, metastatic lesions) and tumors of the conjunctiva including melanoma, and squamous cells carcinoma. He also manages the eye related side effects of chemotherapy treatments. He is an expert in using the most advanced diagnostic tests to make a personalized treatment plan for every patient. With his expertise in retinal surgery, he treats patients with a variety of advanced techniques including small instrument tumor biopsy, vitrectomy, and radiation therapy.

As a retinal surgeon, he manages complicated retinal diseases including retinal detachment, macular holes, epiretinal membranes, and diabetic eye disease.

His approach to any patient is to provide customized care for every patient and works closely with other experts at the Stanford Cancer Institute. Dr. Mruthyunjaya is actively involved in research in ocular cancer imaging, genetics, and new modalities of tumor biopsy.

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Quan Dong Nguyen, MD, MSc

Byers Eye Institute

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, and immigrated with his parents and three brothers to the United States in 1980, Dr. Quan Dong Nguyen currently is Professor of Ophthalmology at the Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine.

After completing his education in 2001, Dr. Nguyen joined the faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Medical Education. In 2013, he was appointed as the McGaw Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and the Inaugural Director of the Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute, and Assistant Dean for Translational Research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

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Stephen Smith, MD

Byers Eye Institute

A Vitreoretinal Surgeon and Clinical Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology at the Byers Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, at the Stanford University School of Medicine. His goal is to put the needs of his patients first, and this commitment to patient-centered care dictates his approach to both his clinical and surgical care.

Dr. Smith received a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology and earned his MD – graduating with distinction – from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He completed his internship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeon’s Bassett Medical Center. Dr. Smith was an ophthalmology resident at University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center, consistently rated among the top 10 ophthalmology programs in the country. At University of Michigan he received numerous awards, including the Aizman Award, which is given to the resident who achieved the most significant scholarly achievement during residency with highest distinction in clinical excellence. Following a 2-year adult and pediatric vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at Stanford University’s Byers Eye Institute, he joined the vitreoretinal faculty on a part-time basis.

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2023 Faculty

Robert B. Bhisitkul, MD, PhD

UCSF Health San Francisco, CA

Dr. Robert Bhisitkul is an ophthalmologist and retina specialist who provides medical and laser treatment for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other retinal diseases. He also performs surgery on macular hole and macular pucker (conditions that cause blurred or distorted vision), retinal detachment and complications of diabetic eye disease.

Bhisitkul recruits patients to participate in UCSF clinical trials on novel therapies for macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, and also for studies on long-term outcomes for treatments such as surgically implantable devices that deliver medication. He also conducts research on retinal disease mechanisms and surgical innovations. With the USCF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, he is collaborating on a project to develop a bioengineered polymer device for ocular drug delivery.

Bhisitkul earned his medical degree at Stanford University School of Medicine and his doctoral degree in neurosciences at Yale University. He completed a residency in ophthalmology and a vitreoretinal fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

Bhisitkul has received the Achievement Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has published more than 60 papers in clinical and scientific journals. He serves on the editorial board of American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports and has served as associate editor of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Bhisitkul is an associate examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology and has served on the exam committee of Kuwait’s ophthalmology board.

David Boyer, MD

Retina Vitreous Associates Medical Group Beverly Hills, CA

Dr. David Boyer is a world-renowned clinician, surgeon, and educator. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign, IL, after which he completed a medical degree at the Chicago Medical School. In 1976, he finished his residency at the Los Angeles County -USC County Medical Center.

A year long retinal surgery fellowship at the Wills Eye Hospital, in Philadelphia, completed his training. He is currently a leading investigator for various national clinical trials on retinal diseases and serves as an advisor for multiple research, educational and charitable institutions.

David M. Brown, MD

Retina Consultants of Texas Houston, TX

Dr. David M. Brown is a world-renown Medical and Surgical Retina Specialist and clinical trial specialist. He is the only Texas Medical and Surgical Retina Specialist elected to all three retina honor societies (Retina Society, Macula Society, and Club Jules Gonin). He is a 5th generation native Texan (from Deer Park, Texas) and he has pioneered research and treatment in the areas of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusion.

Kimberly A. Drenser, MD, PhD

Associated Retinal Consultants Royal Oak, MI

Dr. Drenser has had a distinguished academic career, having received a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology in addition to her medical degree from the University of Florida, Gainesville. She completed her post-doctoral work at UC San Francisco in 1999, and has received numerous academic honors and awards. She has been with Associated Retinal Consultants since completion of her fellowship in 2005.

Dr. Drenser’s special interest is in translating laboratory science into practical treatments for retinal diseases. She established and serves as Director of the Pediatric Retinal Disease Molecular Genetics Laboratory on the Royal Oak campus. She has authored co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and has spoken at numerous national and international ophthalmologic meetings.

Dr. Drenser is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Medical Association and the Association in Research of Vision and Ophthalmology.

Peter K. Kaiser, MD

Cleveland Clinic Cleveland , Ohio

Peter K. Kaiser, M.D. is the Chaney Family Endowed Chair for Ophthalmology Research and a Professor of Ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. As an NIH grant funded investigator, Dr. Kaiser leads a team involved in the evaluation of vascular biology in AMD and diabetic retinopathy, and is actively involved in numerous clinical trials. He is Editor-in-Chief of Retinal Physician, Associate Editor of International Ophthalmology Clinics, and serves on the editorial boards of several other publicationsDr. Kaiser received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, completed his internal medicine internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, an ophthalmology residency at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and a vitreoretinal fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Christine Kay, MD

Vitreoretinal Associates Gainesville, Florida

Dr. Kay has a special interest in inherited retinal disease and is actively involved as an investigator in multiple clinical trials at VRA involving Stargardt disease, Achromatopsia, and Usher syndrome.

She was previously an Assistant Professor of at the University of Florida, and is currently Affiliate faculty at the University of South Florida.

Dr. Kay was recently inducted into Retina Society in 2017 and received an honor award from American Society of Retina Specialists in 2012.

Eleonora M. Lad, MD, PhD

Duke Eye Center Durham, NC

Eleonora (Nora) Lad, MD, PhD is a clinician scientist and retinal ophthalmologist with the primary goal of developing novel strategies for early diagnosis and treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Dr. Lad specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of macular diseases, such as AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vascular diseases. She is involved in clinical trials and innovative therapies for the treatment of macular diseases. Dr. Lad is committed to providing the highest level of evidence-based patient care.

Dr. Lad’s career goal is to translate her doctoral training in neuroscience into developing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for AMD. Her research interests are the following:
1) investigating the role of neuroinflammation and abnormal protein aggregates in the pathogenesis of AMD and developing relevant treatments
2) visual function testing in dry AMD with the goal of establishing functional endpoints for future clinical studies in early AMD
3) elucidating the use of novel retinal imaging biomarkers for early diagnosis of aging diseases (AMD and Alzheimer’s disease), including through the use of artificial intelligence (machine and deep learning).  On these studies, she is collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of investigators from Ophthalmology, Geriatrics, Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Dr. Lad is the recipient of the VA Merit Award I01, Patient-Oriented Research Career Development (K23) Award from the National Eye Institute, the 2016 Research to Prevent Blindness Ernest & Elizabeth Althouse Special Scholar Award, the 2016 ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award, Heed Foundation award, and Duke Institute for Brain Sciences incubator award, among others. She is a member of the Macula Society, Retina Society, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, International Society for Eye Research, Society of Heed Fellows, Society for Neuroscience and American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair.

Jennifer I. Lim, MD, FARVO, FASRS

llinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Jennifer Lim is the Director of the Retina Service at UI Health. Dr. Lim is involved in both the clinical treatment and research aspects of retinal and vitreous diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, and age-related macular degeneration, and she has been the principal investigator in dozens of clinical trials for various retinal diseases. Dr. Lim has performed more than 6,000 vitreoretinal surgeries, and she is one of the few surgeons in the United States to perform implantation surgery for the Argus II retinal prosthesis, which can restore vision in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a rare eye disease that causes damage to the retina, resulting in loss of vision. She is the Marion Schenk Chair for Research of the Aging Eye at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Arshad Khanani, MD, MA, FASRS

Sierra Eye Associates Reno, NV

Arshad M. Khanani, MD, MA, FASRS is a Managing Partner, Director of Clinical Research, and Director of Fellowship at Sierra Eye Associates and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

Dr. Khanani founded the clinical research department at Sierra Eye Associates, which is now one of the leading clinical research centers in the country. He has served as a principal investigator for over 100 clinical trials and has been a top enroller in the country for multiple Phase 1-3 trials. In addition, Dr Khanani has been the first one to perform surgical procedures in multiple surgical clinical trials dealing with sustained delivery and gene therapy. He has over 75 scientific publications.

Dr. Khanani also serves as a member of numerous national and international clinical trial steering committees as well as scientific advisory boards with the goal of bringing new treatment options for patients with retinal diseases. Dr. Khanani is frequently invited as a guest speaker at national and international meetings.

Dr. Khanani is an elected member of the Macula Society, Retina Society and has received numerous awards of distinction.  In 2019, he received the Nevada Business MagazineHealthcare Heroes Physician of the Year award for his continued dedication to the field of ophthalmology. He has received the Senior Honor Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) and was also awarded the prestigious ASRS Presidents’ Young Investigator Award in 2021.

Dante J. Pieramici, MD

California Retina Consultants Bakersfield, CA

Dr. Dante J. Pieramici graduated with honors from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed Ophthalmology Residency at the Wilmer Eye Institute. He receive vitreoretinal fellowship training at the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta Georgia. Dr. Pieramici has held full-time academic positions at the Yale University Eye Center and the Wilmer Eye Institute, where he served as the Assistant Chief of Service and Director of Ocular Trauma. Currently he is the Codirector of the California Retina Research Foundation, a partner of the California Retina Consultants, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the Doheny Eye Center in Southern California. Dr. Pieramici has published over 100 articles, 16 book chapters, and has edited 3 books on retinal diseases. He lectures nationally and internationally on retinal diseases and ocular trauma.

Dr. Pieramici’s research interests have been varied, and include clinical and basic science projects aimed at better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of ocular diseases, so as to improve treatments for patients with age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular diseases, and severe ocular injuries. He has been a clinical investigator, principal investigator, or reading center investigator in numerous NIH and pharmaceutical company sponsored clinical trials. Dr Pieramici has helped in the development of new surgical techniques including limited macular translocation and 25-gauge (small incision) vitrectomy surgery. Currently he is involved in the development of new drug delivery techniques for various retinal vascular diseases.

Dr. Pieramici has received the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Honor Award from the American Society of Retinal Specialists. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Retina Society, the Macula Society, the American Society of Retinal Specialists, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Society of Ocular Trauma where he serves as Vice President, and the Pan-American Ophthalmologic Society amongst others. Dr Pieramici is a member of S.E.E International and regularly trains international ophthalmologists from undeserved areas.

Philip J Rosenfeld, MD, PhD

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Miami, FL

Philip J. Rosenfeld, M.D., Ph.D., is a world-renown expert on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). He has played a pivotal role in the development of anti-VEGF therapies for neovascular and exudative eye diseases. He revolutionized the treatment of these diseases by pioneering the use of intravitreal Avastin (bevacizumab) therapy, which has prevented blindness worldwide while saving billions of dollars in healthcare expenses. He also introduced the concept of OCT-guided treatment with anti-VEGF therapy. Over the past decade, Rosenfeld has played a pivotal role in the development of the first complement inhibitor for dry AMD known as pegcetacoplan, a C3 complement inhibitor now in Phase 3 clinical trials. He has spent the past 20 years actively involved in the development of clinical OCT instruments and associated imaging algorithms. More recently, he has been instrumental in developing swept-source OCT imaging for clinical use along with numerous novel algorithms for the diagnosis and management of diseases, particularly AMD. Using OCT, Rosenfeld has developed novel clinical trial endpoints that are currently being used to test new therapies for AMD. Dr. Rosenfeld has been named to The Ophthalmologist Power Lists: 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020.

Ramin Tadayoni, MD, PhD

University of Paris Paris, France

Tadayoni is professor of ophthalmology at Université de Paris in France and head of department at Lariboisière, Saint Louis and Adolphe de Rothschild Foundation hospitals.

He is a European Society of Retina Specialists board member, past president of the French-speaking Retina Specialists and the leader of RHU EviRed, a national artificial intelligence project on diabetic retinopathy supported by the French government.

Lejla Vajzovic, MD

Duke University, Department of Ophthalmology Durham, NC

Lejla Vajzovic is a vitreoretinal surgeon with expertise in adult and pediatric retinal diseases and surgery.  She is a Director of Duke Vitreoretinal Fellowship Program and is a tenured Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Duke University.  She is passionate about translational research and collaborates closely with Duke Biomedical engineers to develop imaging devices to improve ophthalmic care.  She serves as a principal investigator for numerous national clinical trials in early to late stages of development.  Her research interests span from pediatric retinal diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity to adult diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and venous occlusive diseases, as well as vitreoretinal surgical topics such as retinal tears, retinal detachments, macular holes and macular puckers.

In addition, Dr. Vajzovic is interested in cutting edge technologies and recovery of vision in hereditary and common retinal diseases with gene-therapy, stem cell technology and retinal implants. She is a co-director of the Duke Pediatric Retina and Optic Nerve Center, and she directs the Duke Center for Artificial and Regenerative Vision, where performs gene-therapy delivery and she implants the Argus II “bionic eye” to restore vision to individuals with total blindness. An influential educator, she organizes and directs several highly successful national and international courses, including the first-of-its-kind Advances in Pediatric Retina Course at Duke and the international Duke Fellows Advances in Vitreous Surgery Course. She is director of prestigious Duke Vitreoretinal Surgical Fellowship and director of Duke Eye Center’s Continuing Medical Education program.

Dr. Vajzovic completed her vitreoretinal fellowship training at Duke and residency training at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL.  While in training, she received Heed Fellowship Award, Society of Heed Fellows Award and Retina Society Research Award. She is active on the Women in Ophthalmology Board of Directors where she serves as a Chair of Clinical Trial Training Program.  She is also elected member of the Retina Society, Macula Society and Club Jules Gonin Society.  Dr. Vajzovic has been awarded the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award, American Society of Retina Specialists Senior Honor Award, Women in Ophthalmology Emerging Leader Award and Emerging Leader Award by Duke University School of Medicine and Duke Medical Alumni Association.