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.


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.


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.



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.



2023 Session 2 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.

Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD, MMS

Byers Eye Institute at Stanford Palo Alto, CA

Mark S. Blumenkranz, M.D., MMS, is HJ Smead Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford University. He received his Undergraduate, Master’s degree in Biochemical Pharmacology, and MD at Brown, his ophthalmic residency at Stanford and a fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where he was appointed a member of the faculty in 1980. In 1985 he founded the Retinal Fellowship Training Program at the William Beaumont Eye Institute. He returned to Stanford in 1992 as head of the vitreoretinal service served as Department Chair from 1997 until 2015. He played a leading role in the planning, fundraising and construction of the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford and served as founding Director from its opening in September 2010 through June 2015.
He has served on the Editorial Boards of The American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, Ophthalmology, and Graefe’s Archives for Ophthalmology. He is a past President of the American University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), and a past President of the Retina Society and the Macula Society. He was a past member of the Steering Committee of the Audacious Goals Initiative of the NEI, and was a Trustee and Fellow of the Corporation of Brown University from 2002 until 2019 where he was the Chair of the Corporation Medical School Committee for eleven years. Dr. Blumenkranz was an early innovator in vitrectomy techniques to treat complex forms of retinal detachment, and helped to usher in the modern era of intravitreal and surgical adjuvant drug therapy with laboratory and clinical studies identifying 5- fluorouracil and low molecular weight heparin as potent agents to inhibit ocular scarring. He was a member of the group that first reported the herpetic etiology and successful acyclovir treatment of acute retinal necrosis, the use of bioerodible polymers to deliver intraocular steroids for macular edema and published the first human safety study of ranibizumab (lucentis) and gene therapy based anti-VEGF therapy for age related macular degeneration.
He has published more than one hundred and sixty papers in peer-reviewed journals and multiple book chapters, abstracts and patents in the field. Dr. Blumenkranz has a longstanding interest and expertise in university corporate technology transfer. He was a Director and principal trial designer at Oculex Pharmaceuticals who were acquired by Allergan in 2003. He served as a co-founder, Director and Chairman of the SAB of Macusight, an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company, acquired by Santen in 2010. He was a founder and director of Peak Surgical, an innovator in pulsed plasma mediated electro-surgery that was acquired by Medtronics in 2011. In 2004 he co-founded Optimedica Corporation for which he co-wrote the foundational IP for the PASCAL and Catalys lasers, and which was acquired by AMO. In 2006 he co-founded and served as Chairman of the Board of Adverum Biotechnologies (ADVM:NASDAQ) until October 2016. He was a co-founder and director of Oculeve, a dry eye company which was acquired by Allergan in August of 2015. He was a founder and served as a Director of Verana Health (formerly Digisight Technologies) a digital medicine and health analytics company from 2009 until 2020. He served as the founding Chairman of Kedalion Therapeutics an ophthalmic drug delivery company from 2015 until 2022, and CEO from 2019 until 2022, when it was acquired by Novartis AG. He served as the founding Chairman of Combangio Inc, a topical ophthalmic biopharmaceutical company prior to its acquisition by Kala Therapeutics. He is a scientific founder of Eudora an ophthalmic gene therapy company. He currently serves as a director BVI Visitec, an ophthalmic surgical company, One Medical (ONEM:NASDAQ), Iveric Bio (ISEE:NASDAQ) and Kala Therapeutics (KALA:NASDAQ) He is a co-founder and the president of the Collaborative Community on Ophthalmic Imaging.

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.

Wiley A. Chambers, MD

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration Silver Spring, MD

Wiley A. Chambers, MD, is a Supervisory Medical Officer in the Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After receiving an undergraduate degree from Colgate University, Dr. Chambers completed medical school and a residency in Ophthalmology at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. He is currently a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Computer Medicine at The George Washington University. He joined the FDA in 1987, as a primary reviewer for ophthalmic drug products and in 1990 became a Supervisory Medical Officer for Ophthalmologic Drug Products. In this capacity, Dr. Chambers has supervisory responsibility for the clinical review of ophthalmologic drug products and ophthalmic therapeutic biologic products submitted to the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Additionally, Dr. Chambers is the recipient of numerous Public Health Service, FDA and Center for Drug Evaluation and Research awards for his work with the FDA and he has served as the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Delegate to past United States Pharmacopeia Conventions.

Thomas A. Ciulla, MD, MBA

Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, IN

Thomas Ciulla MD MBA graduated from Harvard College and the University of California San Francisco UCSF Medical School, followed by internship and residency at Harvard Medical School, and then fellowship at Tufts Medical School. He earned an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, specializing in the business of medicine.

Dr. Ciulla was Co-Director of the Retina Service and Retina Angiogenesis Research Laboratory at Indiana University School of Medicine, and remains a volunteer Clinical Professor. He also serves on the board of directors of one of the largest multi-subspecialty ophthalmology institutes in the Midwest.

Dr. Ciulla was principal investigator, medical monitor, and member of scientific advisory, data safety monitoring or writing committees in over 100 national clinical trials, including The Comparisons of AMD Treatment Trials (CATT, an NIH/NEI supported trial) and registration trials for most FDA-approved retinal therapeutics. He serves on journal editorial boards, edited several textbooks, presented in over 200 conferences, and co-authored over 200 publications, including the first published US-based randomized clinical trial on any intravitreal therapy in neovascular AMD. He is an active member of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Macula Society, Retina Society, American Society of Retina Specialists, and American Academy of Ophthalmology, with senior honor and achievement awards from the latter two societies.

Dr. Ciulla is currently Chief Medical Officer, Clearside Biomedical. Prior to joining Clearside, Dr. Ciulla served a VP role, as Medical Strategy Lead-Ophthalmology at Spark Therapeutics, where he defined and led medical strategy to support development and commercialization of Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl), the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a genetic disease.

Pravin U. Dugel, MD

Iveric Bio Phoenix, Arizona

Dr. Dugel was previously Managing Partner, Retinal Consultants of Arizona and the Retinal Research Institute; Clinical Professor, USC Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California; and Founding Member, Spectra Eye Institute in Sun City, Arizona.

Dr. Dugel has authored more than 200 papers, 35 book chapters, and has been invited to give prestigious named lectures at marquis medical meetings and to serve as a visiting professor at universities worldwide, including in Japan, India, Nepal, China, Malaysia, Egypt, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Canada, and Australia. He is on the editorial board of several major medical journals. Dr. Dugel is internationally recognized as a major clinical researcher and has been a principal investigator in over 100 multicenter clinical trials. His research and educational contributions earned him the prestigious Honor Award, Senior Honor Award and Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). He has been elected and previously served as the Retina Subspecialty Day Board Chairman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, as a member of the board of directors of the largest retina society in the United States, the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), and the largest retina society in Europe, EURETINA. Additionally, he has been elected to the Retina Society, Macula Society, and the Retina Hall of Fame.

Dr Dugel has served as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for major companies, including Novartis, Roche, Genentech, Allergan (Abbvie), Oxurion (Thrombogenics), Oculis, and Alcon. He has consulted for over 50 companies and has served on the Aerpio Therapeutics board of directors.

Dr. Dugel has been a member of the board of directors and Chair of Orbis International’s Medical Advisory Board and Medical Strategic Committee. Orbis International is a non-profit organization focused on ophthalmology training and education in the developing world. With Orbis, Dr. Dugel travels to developing countries to teach surgical techniques to local ophthalmologists and provide free surgery. In Arizona, Dr. Dugel founded an aviation company allowing him to travel to the Navajo, Hopi and Pima Indian Reservations to treat Native American patients suffering from preventable blindness.

Dr. Dugel was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, grew up in Vienna, Austria and attended Harrow School in London, England. He graduated Summa cum Laude from Columbia University in New York City and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He was also captain of the Columbia Squash team. He then attended UCLA School of Medicine, then residency in ophthalmology at the USC Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine. Thereafter, he completed his medical retina fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and his surgical retina fellowship at the USC Eye Institute, where he received both the Heed Foundation Fellowship award and Ronald G. Michels Foundation Fellowship award.

David Eichenbaum, MD

Retina Vitreous Associates of Florida St. Petersburg, FL

Dr. Eichenbaum serves as Director of Research for Retina Vitreous Associates and has been Principal Investigator in over 70 early- to late-stage clinical trials studying common retinal diseases such as dry and wet macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, and retinal vascular disease. Dr. Eichenbaum has published over 50 articles in professional journals and authored multiple textbook chapters and continues to passionately contribute to the current retinal literature. Dr. Eichenbaum presents data internationally and is a regular abstract presenter at the American Society of Retinal Specialists, American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association of Research and Vision in Ophthalmology, and at the prestigious invitational Retina Society meeting. He serves on numerous Clinical and Scientific Advisory Boards and National Steering Committees for clinical research. Under Dr. Eichenbaum’s direction, Retina Vitreous Associates of Florida has been recognized nationally as a cutting-edge research site for the advancement of the retinal specialty.

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.

Baruch D. Kuppermann, MD, PhD

UCI Health Irvine, CA

Baruch D. Kuppermann is board-certified UCI Health ophthalmologist who specializes in macular degeneration, eye inflammation and retina and vitreous surgery. He earned his medical degree at the University of Miami in Florida and PhD in neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology.

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.

Yannek Leiderman, MD, PhD

University of Illinois College of Medicine Chicago, IL

Dr. Leiderman is a surgeon, vitreoretinal specialist, and translational researcher at The Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary and University of Illinois at Chicago. His primary clinical interests include the surgical treatment of complex retinal detachment, diabetic eye disease, proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), macular surgery, and pathology requiring tactics of anterior and posterior segment surgery. He directs the Microsurgical Innovation and Novel Concepts Laboratory, a cross-disciplinary biomedical engineering team. Translational investigations are directed toward two principal areas: 1) Development of technology and techniques for the integration of surgical instrumentation and imaging, 2) design and high-fidelity modeling of novel surgical devices and experimental techniques in microsurgery. He has received research funding from the National Eye Institute as well as from a variety of partners in industry. Dr. Leiderman’s clinical research is primarily directed toward the effectiveness of ophthalmic surgical interventions in diseases of the retina and vitreous. He has served as the institutional principal investigator for a number of multi-center clinical trials assessing ophthalmic surgical techniques and devices, including first-in-human cell therapy and gene therapy trials.

Yannek joined UIC following a clinical fellowship in Vitreoretinal Surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School, where he also completed his residency training in ophthalmology, preceded by a transitional internship at Georgetown University. Prior to his graduate medical education he completed an M.D./Ph.D. combined degree program, earning his medical degree with distinction from the George Washington University School of Medicine, and receiving a prestigious Intramural Research Training Award to complete his doctoral work in bioengineering at The National Institutes of Health. Dr. Leiderman is committed to progress in surgical and medical retina via research and education, and is active in professional and academic societies including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Retina Society, the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology, the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology, and the Illinois Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Leiderman has been a member of the Retina Subcommittee of the Ophthalmology News and Education (ONE) Network of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), invited to contribute educational materials on surgical tactics and methodology for distribution to the AAO’s global audience. He serves as a reviewer for numerous journals including JAMA Ophthalmology, the American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, and Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, and is a member of the editorial panel of the American Society of Retina Specialists’ Innovative Retina Surgical Video Series. He very much enjoys collaborating with colleagues and contributing to educational seminars, CME programs, and society meetings at local, regional, national, and international venues. Dr. Leiderman is the author of numerous manuscripts, book chapters, reviews, and professional educational materials. He has a special interest in the use of surgical video in education and surgical training. Dr. Leiderman is a recipient of numerous awards including a Heed Ophthalmic Foundation fellowship, a Merck Fellowship, membership in The Retina Society, Alpha Omega Alpha, selection as a Ruth Weil Scholar, an Honor Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Paul Kayser Award of The Schepens Society, and the Achievement Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Leiderman is an invited lecturer at the Vail Vitrectomy Meeting, a gathering of the most prominent surgeons and surgical innovators from around the world. He has been named to the Best Doctors in America® each year since 2011, has received the award for Outstanding Service to Patients several times from the University of Illinois Hospital, and in 2016 was named by Ophthalmic Surgery News to the ‘OSN Retina 150’, an international compilation of the leading innovators in medical and surgical retina.

Raja Narayanan, MD

LV Prasad Eye Institute Banjara Hills Hyderabad, India

Dr Raja Narayanan is the Network Director of Human Resources and Anant Bajaj Retina Institute and Director – Suven Clinical Research Centre. He is the Principal Investigator and Co-Founder of Indian Health Outcomes, Public Health and Economics (IHOPE) Research Centre, funded by DBT, Govt of India and Wellcome Trust, UK. It is a collaborative project of LVPEI, IIM-Ahmedabad, and Public Health Foundation of India. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Rochester, New York.

After completing his basic medical education from Delhi University, Dr Narayanan did his Master of Surgery in Ophthalmology from Guru Nanak Eye Center, New Delhi. He underwent a preceptorship in uveitis, ocular immunology and uveitis service at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston. He was a Fellow in Medical Retina, and Clinical and Research Fellow in Vitreo-Retinal Diseases, at the Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, USA. He has received the Sir Ratan Tata Fellowship in cataract surgery from Sankara Nethralaya, Medical Research Foundation, Chennai. Later, he also completed his Master’s in Business Administration.

Dr Narayanan is the recipient of the Senior Honour Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists and the International Ophthalmologist Education Award at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting, New Orleans. He is the Editor-in-Chief of IHOPE Journal of Ophthalmology, and serves on the Editorial Board of Seminars in Ophthalmology, Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, PLOS ONE and the International Journal of Retina and Vitreous. Dr Narayanan has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, written book chapters and is a reviewer for many reputed journals. He was also Visiting Faculty at the University of California and Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston.

Dr Narayanan is keen on learning Vedantic philosophy and applying it in organisational leadership.

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.

Judy E. Kim, MD, FASRS

Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI

Dr. Judy Kim was inducted into the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS) during the society’s 150th (2014) annual meeting in New York. The AOS is limited to 275 active members and has included most of the notable luminaries in ophthalmology over the years. Dr. Kim is the first Korean-American ophthalmologist to become an AOS member. Founded in 1864, during the Civil War, the AOS was the first specialty society in the country, and its membership has served to influence virtually every facet of American ophthalmology. Admission to membership starts with a nomination process based on leadership and research in ophthalmology and requires the writing and publication of a thesis within three years of nomination. Acceptance into the society continues to represent special

Theodore Leng, MD, FACS

Byers Eye Institute at Stanford Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Leng is considered to be one of the top 150 worldwide leading innovators in the field of medical and surgical retina and serves the Department of Ophthalmology as both the Director of Clinical and Translational Research and the Director of Ophthalmic Diagnostics.

As a board-certified ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained vitreoretinal surgeon, Dr. Leng uses the latest techniques and small-incisional sutureless technology to minimize patient discomfort and maximize functional outcomes. He is committed to bringing the highest level of patient-centered care for all types of retinal conditions.

Ravi Parikh, MD, MPH

Manhattan Retina and Eye Manhattan, NY

Dr. Parikh’s initial inspiration to subspecialize in retina and pursue ophthalmology surprisingly occurred while performing policy research on malaria in Nigeria as a student at Vanderbilt. One evening, a middle-aged woman with uncontrolled diabetes arrived in a diabetic coma. The physicians lamented that while they could offer her life-saving treatment, they could do nothing to treat her severe vision loss from diabetes. Nearly blind, she had lost her independence. Dr. Parikh’s clinical and research experiences in retina, coupled with my work and studies in public health and policy, helped him to discover my interest in retina, in which I can combine clinical practice, health policy, and research to improve vision, prevent blindness, and impact many patients’ lives.

As a medical student at Vanderbilt and during his masters at Harvard, Dr. Parikh saw patients and performed research while learning to examine patients with various retinal diseases. He earned an appreciation for the impact retina specialists can have on the quality of life of patients whose vision is threatened or has already deteriorated. One study he was primary author on was published in Retina (link) that provided useful prognostic information for diabetics when receiving their first laser surgery for proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Heand others often use this study and others to counsel patients. The numerous opportunities to create new knowledge to improve patient care further fueled Dr. Parikh’s interest in retina.

Dr. Parikh is an expert on the treatment of retinal diseases especially use of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor medications (anti-VEGF) for the treatment of age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusions, and all other retinal diseases. He has designed and organize the largest evaluation at the time of anti-VEGF drug use in the United States evaluating the first 10 years of use across all diagnoses (including off-label uses), including nearly 1 million intravitreal injections from both publicly and privately insured patients across the nation. In November 2016, he published his findings in the leading journal Ophthalmology (link). He has also published an influential study demonstrating how certain patients with Dry macular degeneration are at higher risk than previously thought for converting to “wet” macular degeneration and needing earlier treatment in the leading journal JAMA Ophthalmology (link). He is also focused on improving the delivery of care both in populations as well as individually and has published the largest ever study on the identification and prevention of surgical errors across all subspecialties (including eye injections, cataract surgery, retina surgery, surgical lasers etc) which will hopefully lead to improved patient safety in quality of care (link). Along with providing excellent clinical care, Dr. Parikh hopes to also improve the delivery of care to improve vision and prevent blindness as a whole.

The primary reason for Dr. Parikh’s interest in retina and ophthalmology as a whole brings me back to the unfortunate woman with diabetes he met in Nigeria. Retina is where his broader interests converge to impact individual lives. He enjoys working in clinic, counseling patients on their diabetes, performing surgical lasers to prevent severe vision loss, and injecting anti-VEGF agents to improve patients’ vision. His interests are focused on how we can best develop and deliver all this cutting edge care to the most patients.

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.

Yasir J. Sepah, MBBS

Byers Eye Institute at Stanford Palo Alto, CA

Yasir J Sepah is an Assistant Professor at the Byers Eye Institute with a decade of experience in drug repositioning, development of biomarkers and multicenter clinical trials. He completed his medical education at The Aga Khan Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan. He completed his postdoctoral studies in ophthalmic imaging and clinical trials at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and a BioDesign fellowship at the Stanford Center for Biodesign.

Yasir Sepah is internationally known for his innovative approaches to low-cost, investigator sponsored, first in-human clinical trials that has put several molecules on track for regulatory approval. He also develops biomarkers and methods to identify early disease and objectively assess response to therapy and has recently developed an imaging method (image guided microperimetery) that can potentially allow a paradigm shift in how we assess disease progression in age related macular degeneration, inherited retinal degenerations and diabetic macular ischemia .

Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, MD

Medical University of Vienna Vienna, Austria

Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth is Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University Eye Hospital, Vienna, Austria, one of the largest academic institutions in ophthalmology in Europe. She completed her medical training at the Ludwig Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany, and began a career as a research fellow at Harvard Medical School, Boston, where she pioneered in the development of photodynamic therapy, a breakthrough in retinal therapy. Professor Schmidt-Erfurth’s clinical activities include both surgical and medical retina. Her scientific research focuses on the development of novel diagnostic techniques, e.g., retinal imaging and novel treatment strategies such as intravitreal pharmacotherapy. She has founded the Vienna Study Center (VSC), which serves as the principal investigator site for multi-center clinical trials, and the Vienna Reading Center (VRC), an institution for digital retinal imaging performing image analysis for clinical trials connected with over 400 clinical centers worldwide. In 2013, she founded the OPTIMA project, an interdisciplinary laboratory including computer scientists, physicists and retina experts introducing artificial intelligence into ophthalmic image analysis. She is an inventor on several patents on retinal imaging and therapeutic methods. She is an adjunct professor of ophthalmology at Northwestern University, Chicago.

Professor Schmidt-Erfurth is a founding member of the Medical Imaging Cluster (MIC) and the speaker elect. She is a board member of EURETINA, the European Retina Specialists, and served as president of the society. She is a member of many professional organizations, including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Macula Society, Retina Society, Gonin Club, the European Academy of Ophthalmologists and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The author of over 360 original articles, Professor Schmidt-Erfurth serves on the editorial board of the British Journal of Ophthalmology (BJO), Investigative of Visual Sciences (IOVS), Acta Ophthalmologica and European Journal of Ophthalmology. Professor Schmidt-Erfurth has received numerous grants and awards, among others the Research Award by the German Ophthalmological Society, the Achievement Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Roger Johnson Award by the University of Washington, the Donald Gass Award of the Retina Society and the Donald Gass Medal of the Macula Society. She serves as a reviewer for the European commission, the Welcome Trust, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and other funding organizations. She is active in the board of the Austrian Research Foundation, OEFG, and Vicepresident of the European Forum Alpbach, an interdisciplinary platform for science, politics, business and culture, established in 1945, addressing the relevant socio-political questions of modern time.

Michael A. Singer, MD

Medical Center Ophthalmology Associates San Antonio, TX

Michael Singer M.D. is Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. He is also the Director of Clinical Research at Medical Center Ophthalmology. Dr. Singer is a member of the Retina Society, the Macula Society, Club Jules Gonin, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a Fellow of the American Society of Retina Specialists. Dr. Singer is the recipient of many awards, including the American Society of Retina Specialists Honor and Senior Honor award, the Achievement award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, The Gary Thomas Award, Faculty of the Year of the F1000 Foundation, OSN 150 Top Retina Specialists, and Two ASRS Rhet Buckler Awards. Dr. Singer has been involved in well over 150 clinical trials and has presented research and taught courses both nationally and internationally. He is written numerous journal articles on all the medicines approved for retinal indications. In 2018 he was inducted into the Retina Hall of fame.

Sunil K. Srivastava, MD

Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH

Dr. Sunil Srivastava is a uveitis and vireo-retinal specialist at the Cole Eye Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.  He is the current fellowship director of the vitreo-retinal fellowships.  He graduated summa cum laude both from Cornell University undergraduate and from SUNY at Buffalo Medical School.  He completed his ophthalmology residency at Emory University where he served as chief resident. He pursued and completed two fellowships, one a uveitis/medical retina fellowship at the NEI/NIH and a vitreo-retinal surgical fellowship at Duke University.  He previously was on faculty at Emory University prior to joining the Cole Eye Institute in 2010.  He has been awarded multiple teaching awards both at Emory and at Cole Eye.  He is both a Senior Achievement Award recipient from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a Senior Honor Award from American Society of Retinal Specialists.  He has received multiple Cleveland Clinic Innovations Awards for his work in novel imaging analysis.  He has co-authored over 140 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has delivered over 200 lectures at national and international conferences.  His current interest include the use of novel imaging in uveitis and retinal diseases,  the development imaging outcome measures in uveitis and intraoperative imaging in vireo-retinal surgery.

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.

Cynthia A. Toth, MD

Duke Eye Center Durham, NC

Dr. Cynthia Toth specializes in the evaluation and surgical treatment of vitreoretinal diseases in infants, children and adults, and in novel research resulting in the clinical application of optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging in surgery and at the bedside. Her clinical interests and skills include the surgical treatment of macular diseases (such as, macular hole, epiretinal membrane and vitreomacular traction), retinal detachment, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

Dr. Toth is a world expert in retinal imaging with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and pioneered both the first use of a research hand-held spectral domain OCT system for infant examination and the first intraoperative OCT-guided ophthalmic surgical system. For infants and children, Dr. Toth’s multidisciplinary team has demonstrated novel eye findings that are visible only with OCT imaging and that are often associated with brain disease or challenges of brain development. In surgery, Dr. Toth performed the world’s first intraoperative OCT imaging and the first swept-source OCT imaging with heads-up display during retinal surgery. With colleagues in the Duke Eye Center and in Biomedical Engineering, she perfecting such techniques. She has been repeatedly honored among the Best Doctors in America.

Dr. Toth is also professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the Pratt School of Engineering. Her primary research interests are in translational research and early-application clinical trials with a focus on novel retinal imaging with spectral domain and swept source optical coherence tomography (SD and SSOCT). Dr. Toth’s Laboratory, the Duke Advanced Research in Spectral Domain/Swept Source OCT Imaging (DARSI) Laboratory centers on improving early diagnostic methods, imaging biomarkers and therapies for both age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and for retinal diseases in children. Sina Farsiu, PhD, has collaborated to provide advanced image processing for OCT with in the DARSI Laboratory. In collaboration with Joseph Izatt, PhD  in Biomedical Engineering, the DARSI team is currently applying OCT to the diagnosis and care of retinal diseases and especially in microsurgery in adults and in children in several studies including NIH funded investigations.

Dr. Toth was also co-founder and has been the Director of Grading for OCT for the Duke Reading Center and has designed and directed OCT analysis for numerous multicenter clinical trials including the Comparisons of AMD Treatment Trials (CATT). The Duke Reading Center provides support in training, data acquisition, and grading for multicenter clinical trials utilizing optical coherence tomography as an outcome measure.

Dr. Toth chaired the multicenter Age Related Eye Disease Study 2 Ancillary SDOCT (A2ASDOCT) Study and has participated as site PI in the AREDS2. She also led studies of macular translocation surgery (MT360) for patients with severe AMD, along with co-investigator Dr. Sharon Freedman. Macular translocation surgery was a salvage treatment for AMD patients who lost vision due to neovascular AMD, prior to the current era of anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor treatments. The surgery resulted in an auto-transplant of the retina, isolating the retina from the underlying choroidal and retinal pigment epithelial pathology. Imaging and retinal function data from those studies have contributed to teasing out events in the macula related to vision loss.

Daniel Ting, MBBS (Hons), M Med(Ophth), FAMS, PhD (UWA)

Singapore National Eye Centre Singapore

Dr Daniel Ting is the current Associate Professor in Ophthalmology with Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. Graduated as the SingHealth Residency Valedictorian in 2016 (across all specialties), he started his vitreo-fellowship training as an Associate Consultant in the Singapore National Eye Centre. In 2017, he was chosen to be the 2017 US-ASEAN Fulbright Scholar, representing Singapore to visit Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine and Applied Physics Laboratory to deepen his understanding on the use of artificial intelligence, big data analytics and telemedicine in the field of Ophthalmology.

In collaboration with several leading eye centres globally (USA, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore), Assoc Prof Daniel and team have developed and validated a novel and robust artificial intelligence (AI) system using deep learning to detect referable diabetic retinopathy (DR), referable glaucoma suspect (GS) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study findings were recently published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) (Ting et al, JAMA Dec 2017). Assoc Prof Daniel has also been awarded an approximately USD 1 Million Research Grant from the Singapore National Medical Research Council to help to build an AI-integrated system for the Singapore national DR screening program. Apart from DR screening, he is also actively researching on the utilization of AI and retinal imaging in predicting current and future micro- and macro-vascular complications for population with diabetes.

Academically, Assoc Prof Daniel has shown stellar performance in clinical, surgical, research and leadership during his Ophthalmology residency period with Singapore National Eye Centre and SingHealth Duke-NUS Medical School. Academically, he maintained the 1st ranking nationally in the US-based exam, Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program-International (OKAPI), for 3 consecutive years from 2012 to 2014. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious UK FRCOphth McCartney Prize, an award given to the world’s highest score in Ophthalmic Pathology. He is also the inaugural SNEC Richard Fan Gold Medal Award winner in 2014. Throughout his residency years, he has won a total of 9 SingHealth RISE Awards in SNEC, including the Outstanding Resident Award (2014 and 2015), Young Inspiring Resident Award (2014), ITE award (2012, 2013 and 2014), Young Educator Award (2013) and Residents’ Committee Award (2013, 2014). He has also been awarded the Young Innovator Grant (2017) and Singapore General Hospital Young Investigator Award (2017) for his work in Artificial Intelligence and Diabetes Eye Diseases. Leadership wise, he is the Chairman of the SingHealth Residents’ Committee, representing and leading >1000 residents in education, humanitarian, research and welfare initiatives. As part of the National Health Care Leadership College/ Ministry of Health initiatives to nurture the future health care leaders of Singapore, he was nominated as the inaugural SingHealth Ophthalmology Chief Resident to join the Singapore National Chief Residency Program in 2015, and was subsequently awarded the Outstanding Chief Resident Award in 2016.

He completed his PhD entitled ‘Novel Imaging Technology for Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)’ with the University of Western Australia. One of the scientific findings on ‘Retinal Video Recording: A Novel Method to Diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy’ has scored multiple media releases in Australia, United States and was ranked the top story of Medscape Ophthalmology in 2011. Moreover, he has evaluated several novel methods to capture and read retinal images, using portable retinal cameras and tablets. His study results have also contributed to the paradigm shift in DR screening, going from heavy, immobile and costly retinal cameras to the light, portable and economical ones, enabling many more patients with easier and earlier access to DR screening to prevent blindness. For retinal research, he has published extensively in high impact journals, including JAMA, Lancet, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, JAMA Ophthalmology and American Journal of Ophthalmology. He also serves as a reviewer in several high impact journals, including Diabetes Medicine, Diabetes Care, Hypertension, Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology, JAMA Ophthalmology, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Retina. He is also an external grant reviewer for the artificial intelligence grant in Ophthalmology.

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.  fff 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.

Demetrios Vavvas, MD, PhD

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Boston, MA

Demetrios G. Vavvas, MD, PhD, is the Solman and Libe Friedman Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of the Ocular Regenerative Medicine Institute. Dr. Vavvas also serves as Director of the Retina Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

A full-time clinician scientist, he received his ophthalmology training in the Harvard Medical School Residency Program. After serving as the Chief Resident and Director of the Eye Trauma service at Mass Eye and Ear, he completed a fellowship in Vitreoretinal Surgery there where he received the Fellow of the Year award for his resident teaching and served as the Chief Fellow.

He is an active member of the retina faculty seeing a variety of surgical and medical vitreoretinal diseases. Dr. Vavvas’ clinical work focuses on macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, trauma and oncology. He was the first to describe use of small gauge vitrectomy for complications of cataract surgery and trauma and has described a modified approach to an old surgical technique called scleral buckle in order to make it more predictable and easier to teach to trainees. Along with Drs. Dean Eliott and John B. Miller, he co-directs and organizes the Annual Fellows Course tailored for first-year vitreoretinal fellows from over 20 different programs in the nation.

2023 Session 1 Faculty

Aniruddha K Agarwal, MD

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Aniruddha Agarwal is currently working as an Associate Staff Physician (Medical and Surgical Retina, and Uveitis) at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Previously, he was a faculty (Assistant Professor) at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India. He has completed his Clinical Research Fellowship at the Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute, Omaha, Nebraska, USA (2014-2016) and Surgical Vitreoretina Fellowship at PGIMER, India (2016-2019). He has received the Kataria Memorial Gold Medal from Prime Minister of India in 2014. He has authored more than 256publications and 40 book chapters. His areas of interest include ocular imaging, retinal diseases and uveitis.

David RP Almeida MD, MBA, PhD

Erie Retinal Surgery Erie, PA

David RP Almeida MD MBA PhD

Surgery & Diseases of the Retina, Vitreous & Macula | Erie Retinal Surgery

Director of Clinical Research | Erie Retina Research

David RP Almeida, MD MBA PhD, is a Board-Certified Ophthalmologist and

Vitreoretinal Surgeon. He completed an Honors Bachelor of Science (University of

Toronto, Canada), PhD in Pharmaceutical Drug Research (University of Szeged,

Hungary), MBA in healthcare management (The George Washington University, USA),

medical school (Queen’s University, Canada), ophthalmology residency (Queen’s

University, Canada) and a vitreoretinal disease and surgery fellowship (University of

Iowa, USA). Dr. Almeida is part of Erie Retinal Surgery and Director of Clinical

Research at Erie Retina Research. Dr. Almeida has over 200 peer-reviewed

publications and over 150 national and international conference and keynote



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.

Yung Chyung, MD

Tourmaline Bio New York, New York

Yung Chyung, MD is Chief Medical Officer at Tourmaline Bio. Yung has over two decades of experience in health care, spanning clinical medicine, scientific research, and drug development involving therapeutic areas such as immunology, neurology, oncology, and rare diseases. Prior to Tourmaline, he served in leadership roles in R&D at Scholar Rock, Dyax, and Genzyme. Yung received his A.B. and M.D. from Harvard and completed his internal medicine residency training and allergy & immunology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Mark S. Dacey, MD

Colorado Retina Denver, CO

Dr. Mark Dacey has coordinated the uveitis service at Colorado Retina for the past decade, seeing patients with complex autoimmune and infectious ocular conditions. He is a full-time, fellowship-trained uveitis specialist, with areas of interest in scleritis, ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, retinal vasculitis, and orbital inflammation. The uveitis team at Colorado Retina is proud to be a tertiary referral center for patients in Colorado and eight surrounding states, from New Mexico in the south to North Dakota and Montana in the north.

Pouya N. Dayani, MD

Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Pouya N. Dayani is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in the medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the retina and vitreous, with a particular interest in the diagnosis and management of uveitis. Dr. Dayani received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physiological Science, Summa Cum Laude, at UCLA prior to his medical degree at Northwestern University Medical School. He completed his ophthalmology residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri. He went on to complete a prestigious two-year vitreoretinal surgical fellowship at Duke University Eye Center. He furthered his fellowship experience with emphasis in uveitis at the world-renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, England. Dr. Dayani has been actively involved in a number of research studies and multicenter clinical trials. He has authored multiple peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and has frequently presented at international scientific meetings. In recognition of his contribution, he has received a number of awards, including the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship and the Retina Fellows’ Forum Research Award.

In addition to uveitis, Dr. Dayani’s main areas of interest include macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, macular surgery, and retinal detachment. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Retina Specialists.

James P. Dunn, MD

Wills Eye Hospital Philadelphia, PA

James P. Dunn, MD –  Director of the Uveitis Unit at Wills Eye Hospital is a board-certified ophthalmologist on the Retina Service . His particular areas of interest include the diagnosis and medical management of infectious and non-infectious ocular inflammatory disease, cataract surgery in patients with uveitis, the ocular complications of AIDS and other forms of immunosuppression, and resident teaching.  He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Uveitis Society, and the American Medical Association.

Dr. Dunn received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College before graduating from The University of Medicine and Dentistry-New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ in 1984.  He then completed an internship in internal medicine at The North Carolina Baptist Hospital/Wake Forest University, followed by a residency in ophthalmology at New York University from 1985-88.  He subsequently undertook fellowships in Cornea and External Disease at the Jules Stein Eye Institute/UCLA School of Medicine and Cornea and Uveitis at the Francis I. Proctor Foundation/UC San Francisco where he was an Instructor in Ophthalmology from 1990-91.

In 1991, he joined the Division of Ocular Immunology at Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,, where he was Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology from 1991-96 and Associate Professor from 1996-2003.  He served for many years as the Johns Hopkins site principal investigator for several multi-center trials sponsored by the National Eye Institute, including the Studies of Ocular complications of AIDS and the Multi-center Uveitis Steroid Trial.

While at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Dunn was very active in resident education and was the Residency Program Director from 1998-2012.  In that role, he served on numerous committees for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO), for whom he also serves as an examiner for the oral board examination.  He received the Bradley R. Straatsma Award for excellence in residency education in 2006.  He received numerous teaching awards at Hopkins and was named a “Top Doc” in Baltimore and Maryland.

Dr. Dunn has authored over 130 journal articles and 25 book chapters and was co-editor of a textbook of ophthalmic surgery sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).  He is a frequent reviewer for ophthalmology journals.  He has lectured extensively in the mid-Atlantic region as well as nationally and internationally, and regularly teaches courses at the annual meeting of the AAO.

Dilraj Grewal, MD

Duke Eye Center Durham, NC

I am a Duke vitreoretinal surgeon and Moorfields uveitis trained ophthalmologist, specializing in patients with complex medical and surgical problems of the back of the eye, known as the retina, as well as patients with inflammation in the eye or uveitis. I use the latest diagnostic and therapeutic methods along with a collaborative team effort with colleagues across Duke Eye Center and the Duke Rheumatology and Immunology division to develop the optimum treatment plans for patients with uveitis. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with the family, traveling, watching sports, and landscape photography.

Professor Jarmila Heissigerova, MD, PhD, MBA

Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague Czech Republic

Professor Heissigerova received her MD from Charles University, First Medical Faculty,
in Czech Republic in 1998. Her PhD thesis Mechanisms of Rejection of Corneal
Transplantation in Mice has been undertaken under the leadership of Professor Martin
Filipec (Czech Republic) and Professor John V. Forrester (Scotland, U.K.) in 1998-2002.
Between 2002-2004 she worked in Scotland at University of Aberdeen as Clinical
Research Fellow to Professor Forrester in the field of Uveitis and Retinal diseases. In
2010 she was named Associate Professor at Charles University and 2017 Full Professor
in the field of Ophthalmology. At 2016 she was appointed to her current post, Head of
the Department of Ophthalmology, Charles University and General University Hospital in
Prague, Czech Republic. Her main area of research is Uveitis and Retinal diseases, Ocular
Immunology, Intraocular lymphoma and Microbiome. She is member of the
International Uveitis Study Group, of the Scientific Board of the Czech Ophthalmological
Society and of the Specialization Board for Ophthalmology.

Piergiorgio Neri, BMedSc, MD(Hons), PhD, FEBOphth

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi-UAE Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Piergiorgio Neri, BMedSc, MD(Hons), Ph.D. graduated at the University of Ancona medical school in 2000. He obtained a specialist diploma in ophthalmology at the University of Ancona in 2004 and his Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2007. In addition, Dr. Neri was an Honorary Research Fellow in Uveitis at the Eye Department, University of Aberdeen, and Visiting Professor at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

He has been the head of the Ocular Immunology Service at the Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona since 2007.

He was named Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Polytechnic University of Marche-Ancona in 2010, and he left in 2018 to join the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, where he is currently working.

At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, he is a medical retina and uveitis consultant. In addition, he is the Director of the Uveitis Service and Medical Director of Patient Experience for Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Neri has been appointed Clinical Full Professor of Ophthalmology, and board member of the Clinical Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CCAP), at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Dr. Neri is the author and co-author of more than 140 national and international publications. He is a member of: “The International Ocular Inflammation Society-IOIS” (2004), “EURETINA, the European Society of Retina Specialists” (2007), and “International Uveitis Study Group-IUSG” (2012). He is also the Secretary General of the “SOIE-Society for Ophthalmo-Immunoinfectiology in Europe” since 2008 and former Vice President of EVER (2022). In 2014, Piergiorgio Neri achieved the title of Fellow of the European Board of Ophthalmology (FEBOphth). Dr. Neri is Editor in Chief of International Ophthalmology and Reviewing Editor of Ocular Immunology & Inflammation. He is also a reviewer of: International Ophthalmology, Ocular Immunology and Inflammation, Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers, and Imaging, British Journal of Ophthalmology, Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Middle East and Asian Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina.

Area of specialization: ocular inflammation, auto-immunity, immunosuppression, ocular infections, retinal diseases.


Uwe Pleyer, FEBO

Charité Berlin

Uwe Pleyer is currently Professor of Ophthalmology at the Charité, Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. Previously, he worked as Assistant Professor at the University Eye Hospital Ophthalmology, Tübingen, Germany. He completed his medical and doctorate education at the Rheinisch-Westfählische Technische Hochschule in Aachen, Germany, at the Cornell University, New York, NY, USA and at the University Eye Hospital in Tübingen. Dr Pleyer has worked as a resident at the Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen, Germany and as postdoctoral fellow at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA, where he specialised in immune-mediated eye diseases. He concluded further clinical and research fellowships at ophthalmology centres in India and USA.

Dr Pleyer has served as Principal Investigator for both national and international trials in ophthalmology. He is member of several scientific societies. He was president of EVER (2007), is a task force member for ESCRS, and a founding member of the International Ocular Inflammation Society (IOIS).

He is involved in both research and clinical treatment of infectious and immune mediated ocular diseases. Dr Pleyer has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles, is (co-)editor of 17 books and editor-in-chief of Ophthalmic Research (2002-2014). In addition, he is on the editorial boards of a number of journals. Dr Pleyer has received several honours and awards including the esteemed International Chibret Award, B. Straatsma Award and Lecture (UCLA), Max Rubner Preis and Meibom-Mooren Award (2022).

Chi Mong Christopher Or, MD

Byers Eye Institute Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Chi Mong C Or is an Ophthalmology Specialist in Stanford, California. He graduated with honors in 2015. Having more than 8 years of diverse experiences, especially in OPHTHALMOLOGY, Dr. Chi Mong C Or affiliates with Stanford Health Care, cooperates with many other doctors and specialists in many medical groups including University Healthcare Alliance, Stanford Health Care

Marc de Smet MDCM, PhD, FRCSC

MIcroInvasive Ocular Surgery Clinic (MIOS) Lausanne, Switzerland

Dr. de Smet was born in Canada. He completed his medical training at McGill University and University of British Columba. He then worked for 8 years at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, MD in the immunology service alongside Robert Nussenblatt, completing his term as Chief of the Clinical Immunology Service. He subsequently completed a 1-year Fellowship in Vitreo-retinal Surgery at the Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, MD, before moving to The Netherlands, where, for the next 10 years, he served as Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Amsterdam. Here he initiated a clinical research unit and forged collaborations with outside departments, including the biomedical engineering department of the Technical University in Eindhoven (TU/e), The Netherlands. Dr. de Smet has since moved to a private group practice focused on retina and inflammatory disorders in Lausanne, Switzerland. His research interests include retinal imaging (with Dr. Richard Rosen he pioneered transverse scanning), pharmacology as applied to retinal diseases leading to, for example, the clinical development of Jetrea (ocriplasmin), the use of methotrexate in eyes for the treatment of ocular lymphoma, and the use of steroids for various ocular indications. For the past 10 years, he has worked on the development of a robotic surgical platform for eye surgery along with the bio-engineering group at TU/e leading to Preceyes B.V., a start-up company dedicated to the development of high-precision assistive eye surgery. He is the current Chief Medical Officer of the company. The robotic arm was used for the first time in humans in August 2016 in Oxford, England. The next stage of development will be the incorporation of intelligent instruments to enhance safety, ease of use, and to facilitate the development of new applications. Dr. de Smet has authored or co-authored more than 175 papers, 25 books or book chapters, and given numerous lectures and named lectures. He is Treasurer of the International Uveitis Study Group, a member of the Club Jules Gonin and The Macula Society, and heads a division of the EViCR.net – a European clinical

Ashish Sharma, MD

Lotus Eye Hospital and Institute Coimbatore, TN, India

Michele Stone, PhD, PMP

Kriya Therapeutics Apex, North Carolina

Dr. Stone serves as the Chief Scientific Officer at Kriya Therapeutics, where she has led Research and Development operations since June 2020. She is currently leading Kriya’s Ophthalmology therapeutic area propelling the development of novel gene therapies for both rare and broad ocular indications. Prior to Kriya, Dr. Stone held a pivotal role as VP of Research and Development at Axovant (now Sio Gene Therapies), contributing significantly to the progress of three clinical stage gene therapy projects.

With over two decades of experience, Dr. Stone has been instrumental in guiding multiple programs from concept to clinical development across different prophylactic and therapeutic areas. In addition to gene therapies, Dr. Stone led R&D teams at Liquidia Technologies and Aeras focused on vaccine and biologics development. At Liquidia, she also led development of ophthalmology and pain management products via a sustained release modality. Dr. Stone spent several years at Canon US Life Sciences developing devices and molecular diagnostics enabling personalized medicines.

Her academic credentials include a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland Baltimore, complemented by postdoctoral work in physiology and neuroscience, with a focus on gene therapies for muscular dystrophy. Dr. Stone’s diverse experience and genuine passion for improving patient health have fortified her standing as a stalwart in the gene therapy field.

Sumit Sharma, MD

Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH

Dr. Sumit Sharma is an ophthalmologist in Cleveland, Ohio and is affiliated with Cleveland Clinic. He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and has been in practice between 11-20 years.

Paul Yang, MD, PhD

Casey Eye Institute, OHSU Portland, Oregon

Dr. Paul Yang is a physician scientist with doctorates in medicine and neurophysiology from Dartmouth Medical School. He completed a residency in ophthalmology (Moran Eye Center, Salt Lake City, UT), and fellowship training in ocular immunology and uveitis (Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution, Cambridge, MA) and ophthalmic genetics and inherited retinal degenerations (Casey Eye Institute at OHSU, Portland, OR). Over his career, he has received training awards from NIH (MD/PhD pre-doctoral award & K08) and Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB fellowship award & career development award), and received the 2015 ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award. Dr. Yang is currently an associate professor of ophthalmic genetics and immunology at the Casey Eye Institute where he specializes in inherited retinal degenerations, autoimmune retinopathy, and gene therapy associated uveitis. He is principal investigator on numerous gene therapy and neuroprotection clinical trials for inherited retinal degenerations. He is currently a co-investigator on an NIH R01 to improve the detection and elucidate the mechanisms of melanoma-associated retinopathy, and principal investigator on an FFB TRAP1 Award to validate a new class of small molecule neuroprotection for inherited retinal degenerations.

Erik Vahtola, MD, PhD, MSc

Active Biotech Lund, Sweden

Erik Vahtola, MD, PhD, MSc, Chief Medical Officer at Active Biotech Ab, Lund, Sweden. Erik is a Medical Doctor (MD) and holds a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Helsinki, Finland and an MSc in cell biology from Åbo Akademi University, Finland. Experience from pharma R&D within clinical development and medical affairs. Prior to joining Active Biotech, Erik worked at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Orion Corporation and Roche Pharma, Finland. Responsibility of the clinical development of ophthalmic and oncology projects at the company.


Steven Yeh, MD

University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE

Growing up in Houston, Texas, I’ve had the opportunity to train at clinical programs on the Gulf Coast, East Coast, the Mid-Atlantic and the Pacific Northwest. Prior to coming to the Midwest, my family and I spent just over 10 years in the Southeast United States in practice at Emory University in Uveitis and Vitreoretinal Surgery. During this time, I’ve had the privilege of providing medical and surgical care, while training over 60 Fellows, Residents, and Medical Students who have gone on to successful academic and private practice careers. My experiences in teaching, research and clinical care of patients have been greatly enriched by our team’s global health programs in countries in Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kenya, and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as in Honduras, Central America previously. Clinically, I care for a range of adult and pediatric patients with uveitis, ocular inflammatory diseases, and retinal disease conditions (macular degeneration, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy).

In my spare time, I enjoy running, playing basketball and traveling. I also love learning about and trying out different international cuisines with my family – Susan and three sons Caleb, Nathan, and Micah.