Innovate Ocular Oncology


Innovate Ocular Oncology


Saturday, December 2, 2023
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Stanford Center for Academic Medicine
453 Quarry Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304

Program Description:
INNOVATE Ocular Oncology continues in the tradition of our INNOVATE series where scientific, clinical and industry leaders come together to educate and inform participants on the state-of-the-art and future trends in ocular oncology. This is a critical time in this field- even with the approval of new therapies, increased clinical trial options, and advanced diagnostics there are still unmet needs in terms of treatment burden, toxicities, and access to care. INNOVATE Ocular Oncology aims to address these issues head on with provocative lectures, cutting edge research presentations, and panel discussions with leaders in biopharma. The hallmark of this meeting rests with hard questions, lively discussion, and a collegial inter-disciplinary environment.

Topic Highlights:

    • Liquid biopsy: beyond just diagnosis.
    • Adjuvant therapeutics in uveal melanoma: promises for the future.
    • New FDA approvals in ocular oncology: unmet needs.
    • Tailoring therapy in complex disease: intraocular lymphoma.
    • Radiation toxicities: old problems, new strategies.
    • Black box warnings: drug toxicities and management strategies.
    • New directions in retinoblastoma therapies.

Target audience:
Ocular oncologists, ophthalmologists, medical oncologists, ocular pathologists, radiation oncologists, pediatric oncologists, anterior segment and retina specialists, biopharma representatives, translational scientists, patients and patient advocates.

Program Director:
Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, MD, MHS

Co Directors:
Diana V. Do, MD
Quan Dong Nguyen, MD, MSc
Stephen Smith, MD

Program Director 

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.


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.


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.




Thomas Aaberg, MD

Retina Specialists of Michigan Grand Rapids, MI

Dr. Thomas M. Aaberg, Jr. graduated from Dartmouth College and the Thayer School of Engineering. He went on to medical school at the University of Wisconsin and completed his residency training, vitreoretinal surgical fellowship, along with the prestigious chief residency position at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Following this he completed an ocular oncology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.

After completing his medical training, Dr. Aaberg became the Director of the Ocular Oncology Unit at Emory University, the Director of Ocular Photography and Ultrasonography, and the Atlanta Veterans Administration Hospital’s Retina Service Director. From 2001 to 2008, Dr. Aaberg practiced with Associated Retinal Consultants in Michigan.

He has been an investigator in twenty clinical trials, authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles and wrote seven textbook chapters. He completed the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Leadership Development Program in 2007 and received an Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2008.

Dr. Aaberg is board certified in ophthalmology and has extensive training in retinal diseases and ocular tumors. He is an active member in the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retinal Specialists, president of the Michigan Society of Eye Physicians, The Retina Society, and the American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologist and Pathologists.

He is passionate about teaching and research. As an adjunct clinical professor at Michigan State University, he trains medical students and residents. He is currently investigating therapies for ocular melanoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular disorders, as well advancing vitreoretinal surgery techniques.

Jesse Lee Berry, MD

Keck Hospital of USC Los Angeles, CA

urrently serves as the Vice Chair for Academic Affairs for the Department of Surgery and Director of Ocular Oncology at the Vision Center, CHLA. Dr. Berry actively treats patients with retinoblastoma, uveal melanoma, intraocular and ocular surface tumors. She is active academically within the broader field of ophthalmology and ocular oncology. She is the Vice President for the International Society of Ocular Oncology and was the conference chair for the biennial meeting in Los Angeles in 2019. She is an active advocate for mentorship and opportunities for young ophthalmologists. As such, she is a member of the Young Ophthalmologist committee through the American Academy of Ophthalmology and co-leads the committee for young ophthalmic oncologists and pathologists (YOOPs).  Dr. Berry is active within the Women in Ophthalmology organization and is the founder of WOO, Women in Ocular Oncology.

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Berry studies outcomes for retinoblastoma, melanoma and other tumors. Her main interest is the development of the aqueous humor as a liquid biopsy for retinoblastoma and other intraocular disease. She was awarded a K08 from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health in 2018 to further study this.

In 2019 she was promoted to Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Clinical Scholar, a special distinction provided by USC. In 2021 she was awarded the prestigious USC Faculty Mentoring Award. She currently holds the USC Berle & Lucy Adams Chair in Cancer Research.

Hakan Demerci, MD

Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. Hakan Demirci is an ophthalmologist in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is affiliated with University of Michigan Health-Ann Arbor. He received his medical degree from Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Dan S. Gombos, MD, FACS

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX

Dr. Gombos began his career in ocular oncology in 1993 with clinical research & training at the Robert Ellsworth Ophthalmic Oncology Center in New York. After graduation from Stanford Medical School, he completed an ophthalmology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, Scheie Eye institute, serving as co-chief resident in his final year. This was followed by two clinical fellowships in ocular oncology; the first as a Heed Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco and subsequently Moorfields Eye & St Bartholomew’s Hospitals, London, UK. In 2001, he joined the full time faculty at University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas and is currently Professor & Chief of the Section of Ophthalmology with joint appointments at the Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical Branch. He is founding member and serves at Clinical Co-Director of the Retinoblastoma Center of Houston. Dr. Gombos’ clinical, surgical, and research interests are in the areas of ocular oncology in particular: the management of retinoblastoma, uveal melanoma, intraocular and conjunctival malignancies.

Ivana K. Kim, MD

Harvard Medical School Boston, MA

As a member of Mass Eye and Ear’s Retina Service, Dr. Ivana Kim specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of patients with vitreoretinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and uveal melanoma. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Kim is Co-Director of the Harvard Ophthalmology Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Center of Excellence-a multidisciplinary collaboration among clinicians and scientists who are pooling their knowledge and resources with the goal of advancing breakthroughs in treatment for patients with AMD.

Dr. Kim received her medical training at Harvard Medical School. She deepened her knowledge of the eye as a resident in the Harvard Ophthalmology Residency Training Program, and subsequently, as a retina fellow at Mass Eye and Ear.

As a clinician scientist, Dr. Kim investigates genetic risk factors associated with AMD as a means to understand the mechanisms that cause the disease and further refine and advance therapies. In addition, she works to improve visual outcomes in patients with ocular melanoma-investigating strategies to reduce radiation complications-and hopes to help improve survival in these patients by studying frequently occurring mutations in this tumor type.

Dr. Kim is Director of the Ocular Oncology Fellowship at Mass Eye and Ear. Her teaching activities involve the medical and surgical training of retina fellows, as well as ophthalmology residents. She also mentors medical students and research fellows in the laboratory setting. She is frequently invited to participate in regional and national continuing education courses, such as the annual Macula course, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology Retina Subspecialty Day.

Jose Lutzky, MD

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Miami Beach, FL

Jose Lutzky, M.D., is a triple board-certified hematologist and oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. At Sylvester, Dr. Lutzky works as part of a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts and researchers. He earned his medical degree from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Dr. Lutzky is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and his career highlights include:

  • Recognized for his expertise in melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and Merkel cell carcinoma.
  • Triple board certified in hematology, oncology and internal medicine
  • Completed his residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida
  • Fellowship in hematology/oncology at Columbia University’s New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Extensive clinical research experience and interests
  • Authored numerous articles and abstracts
  • Fellow of the American College of Physicians

Vinit B. Mahajan, MD, PhD

Byers Eye Institute Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Mahajan is a Professor and vitreoretinal surgeon and scientist in the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford University. He directs the NIH-funded Molecular Surgery and Omics Laboratory that uses high-throughput methods in genomics, proteomics, and phenomics to identify molecules involved in vitreoretinal disease.

His research team discovered the first gene to cause non syndromic uveitis and is now using protein crystallography to design therapeutic inhibitors for calpain-5. Mahajan and his team performed the first CRISPR gene editing therapy for eye disease in human stem cells. They have also created in vivo models for diabetic retinopathy and uveitis.

Using translational proteomics, Mahajan’s multidisciplinary team is developing new precision health approaches using molecular biomarkers to diagnose retinal disease, select personalized therapies, and decode the anatomic structures of the human eye.

Dr. Mahajan has trained numerous surgical fellows that now operate around the world. He has developed enhanced surgeries for complex cases of retinal detachment, macular hole, macular edema, diabetes, macular degeneration, proliferative vitreoretinopathy, optic maculopathy, uveitis, and others. He has identified safer approaches for vitreoretinal surgery in children and adults, and provides second opinions for complex cases. Dr. Mahajan is among only a handful of surgeons to perform human gene therapy for retinal disease. He has published new surgical biomarker studies that are the first to use personalized proteomics to precisely diagnose and treat otherwise problematic retinal diseases.

Dr. Mahajan earned his bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He then entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of California, Irvine. Upon completion, he joined the residency program at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA he completed post doctoral laboratory research as an EyeSTAR Fellow. He next specialized in vitreoretinal diseases and surgery at the University of Iowa’s Retina Fellowship Program and joined as faculty in 2008. He joined Stanford University in 2017.

Brian Peter Marr, MD

Columbia University, New York Presbyterian Hospital New York City, NY

Brian Marr, MD heads the Ophthalmic Oncology Service at the Harkness Eye Institute. He has comprehensive experience in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of ocular tumors including intraocular tumor resection, laser, radiation, and chemotherapy procedures. He has helped devise thousands of complex treatments for tumors of the eye, eyelid, orbit, and conjunctiva for his adult, children, and infant patients. Currently, Dr. Marr is a collaborator on a Columbia University clinical trial for a first-of-its-kind, new class of drug treatment for uveal melanoma.


Dr. Marr is a board-certified ophthalmologist whose work has centered around ophthalmic oncology since 2000. One of the very few ocular oncologists trained in all aspects of eye cancer, Dr. Marr’s clinical experience in treating these diseases is among the most extensive in the United States. His interest and experience in ophthalmic oncology began during an eight-year tenure in the Ocular Oncology Service at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.


There, he gained extensive experience treating intraocular tumors, and tumors of the eyelid, orbit, and conjunctiva in children and adults. It was there that Dr. Marr developed and improved many surgical procedures used to cure cancers of the eye, successfully treated thousands of patients, and helped their families though their battle with eye cancer. Next, Dr. Marr moved on to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he remain for nine years, starting in 2008.


Dr. Marr has some of the greatest experience with intra-arterial chemotherapy for treating retinoblastoma in the country, if not the world, as well as all other forms of retinoblastoma treatment. He has been a key member of many multidisciplinary surgical teams, treating advanced skull base tumors and complex facial skin lesions. He has developed a strong belief and treatment philosophy that the best research be used to help his patients, rather than his best patients be used to help his research. The field of ophthalmic oncology encompasses many rare conditions and his experience helps his patients get the best care and results as quickly as possible.


Dr. Marr lectures and consults across the US and abroad, and has authored numerous research articles in the field of ocular oncology. He is the principal investigator in a first-in-class drug study for treating primary uveal melanoma, in an international, multi-center trial. He also volunteers his medical expertise in underserviced parts of the world, such as Nigeria and Indonesia, and has helped train physicians in more than 20 countries. Dr. Marr’s efforts as a contributor to ongoing education in ocular oncology have been recognized by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, where he now serves as chief editor of the Academy’s Oncology and Pathology’s One network.

Miguel A. Materin, MD

Duke Eye Center Durham, NC

I specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with ocular tumors, including benign and malignant tumors of the eye. I have been working in this field for more than 20 years. Cancer of the eye is a rare disease, but once the tumor is found we begin the treatment process; the key is to be diagnosed and treated timely and correctly. My goal is to improve the prognosis of these rare eye diseases in terms of life, conservation of the eye and sight. There is a large team dedicated to ocular oncology at Duke Health. I work very closely with colleagues across Duke Eye Center and from Duke Cancer Center, specialists in children and adults, to develop the best diagnosis and treatment plans for patients suffering from cancer of the eye with the mission of providing optimal prognosis for life, eye and vision preservation.

Sunil Arani Reddy, MD

Byers Eye Institute Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Sunil Reddy, a medical oncologist at the Stanford Cancer Center, treats lymphoma, melanoma, skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, and more.

Carol Shields, MD

Wills Eye Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Carol L. Shields, MD is Chief of the Ocular Oncology Service at Wills Eye Hospital and Professor of Ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She completed her ophthalmology training at Wills Eye in 1987 and subsequently did fellowship training in ocular oncology, oculoplastic surgery, and ophthalmic pathology.

Alison Skalet, MD, PhD

Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR

Dr. Skalet specializes in treating adult and pediatric patients with ocular tumors. She enjoys working with an outstanding team of professionals dedicated to the care of patients with cancers of the eye. She provides medical and surgical care for patients with a wide variety of benign and malignant eye tumors, including retinoblastoma, uveal and conjunctival melanoma, metastatic lesions, intraocular lymphoma, and vascular tumors. Her goal is to provide care that is both cutting-edge and compassionate.

Dr. Skalet combines her busy clinical practice with clinical and translational research. Her current research interests include the evaluation of circulating tumor cells as a biomarker in uveal melanoma, collaborative clinical research investigating trends in clinical care and outcomes, investigation of novel ophthalmic imaging modalities including optical coherence tomography angiography, and clinical trials in ocular oncology.

Dr. Skalet has enjoyed serving on multiple national and international subspecialty committees for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology, American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists, and the International Society of Ocular Oncology.

In her free time, Dr. Skalet loves to spend time with her family exploring all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. She enjoys hiking, skiing, reading and singing.

Andrew Stacey, MD

UW Medicine Seattle, WA

Dr. Andrew Stacey grew up in Northeast Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Statistics at Brigham Young University, where he was also a linebacker on the football team. During college, he took two years off school and athletics to volunteer for his church in Northern Italy. He completed his medical degree at The Ohio State University and completed his ophthalmology training at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. He completed a fellowship in ocular oncology at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, U.K.

Dr. Stacey is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of Medical Student Education for Research in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Washington. He specializes in ocular oncology and cataract surgery. He sees patients with general eye problems, including diabetes and cataracts. His subspecialty focus is intraocular and ocular surface tumors in adults and children. He has spent time at a number of large ocular oncology referral centers across the world, including the international retinoblastoma referral center in Siena, Italy, and the renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital ocular oncology unit in London, England. He sees patients with conjunctival tumors, iris tumors, choroidal tumors, metastatic lesions, and retinoblastoma. He has authored many publications and book chapters related to ocular tumors and maintains numerous national and international research collaborations in the field. Dr. Stacey currently lives in Seattle with his wife and four children. In his free time, he enjoys running, mountain biking, fly fishing, volunteering at his church and being in the mountains with his family.