Faculty

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Program Co-Directors

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.

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Jennifer Lim, MD

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

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.

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Rishi P. Singh, MD

Cleveland Clinic Florida, Martin Health Stuart, FL

Dr. Rishi P. Singh MD is a staff surgeon at the Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic and Professor of Ophthalmology at the Lerner College of Medicine in Cleveland Ohio. He also currently serves as the medical director of informatics at the Cleveland Clinic. He received his bachelors and medical degrees from Boston University and completed his residency at the Massachusetts Eye and Infirmary Harvard Combined Program in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Singh then completed a medical and surgical fellowship at the Cole Eye Institute in Cleveland, Ohio.

He specializes in the treatment of medical and surgical retinal disease such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, and age-related macular degeneration. Dr. Singh has authored more than 180 peer reviewed publications, books, and book chapters and serves as the principal investigator of numerous national clinical trials advancing the treatment of retinal disease. Dr. Singh is the former president on the Retina World Congress and is on the board of the American Society of Retina Specialists.

Dr. Singh has been honored with several research recognitions such as the Alpha Omega Alpha Research Award and American Society of Retina Specialists Senior Honor Award.

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2024 Faculty

Minhaj Nur Alam, PhD

University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC

J. Peter Campbell, MD, MPH

Oregon Health & Science University Portland, Oregon

Dr. Campbell obtained a bachelors degree in Physics from Davidson College, in Davidson, N.C., followed by medical school and residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Wilmer Eye Institute.  He also obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins. Following his vitreoretinal fellowship at the Casey Eye Institute, he returned to Wilmer to serve as the Stephen J. Ryan Assistant Chief of Service for 2014 – 2015.

Dr. Campbell’s current research interests focus on utilizing technology to improve the care of patients with retinal disease, domestically and overseas.  He is involved with ongoing research projects in retinopathy of prematurity, imaging in pediatric retinal disease and diabetic retinopathy, and is participating in numerous clinical trials with the Case

Pearse Keane, MD  

Moorfields Eye Hospital  London, UK 
Pearse A. Keane, MD, FRCOphth, is a consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London and an NIHR Clinician Scientist, based at the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London (UCL). Dr Keane specialises in applied ophthalmic research, with a particular interest in retinal imaging and new technologies. In April 2015, he was ranked no. 4 on a worldwide ranking of ophthalmologists under 40, published in “the Ophthalmologist” journal (https://theophthalmologist.com/the-power-list-2015/). In 2016, he initiated a formal collaboration between Moorfields Eye Hospital and Google DeepMind, with the aim of applying machine learning to automated diagnosis of optical coherence tomography (OCT) images. In August 2018, the first results of this collaboration were published in the journal, Nature Medicine.

Aaron Lee, MD, MSCI

University of Washington Seattle, WA

After finishing his residency, Dr. Lee completed two fellowships in vitreoretinal diseases. He completed a medical retina fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, UK and then a surgical retina fellowship at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Dr. Lee is an active clinician-scientist and is actively researching the application of Big Data computing techniques in the field of ophthalmology. He has been the first to apply novel visualizations from results from cloud and cluster-based computing environments.

He currently lives in the South Lake Union area with his wife Cecelia, who is also a retina specialist and enjoys hiking, photography, and cooking.

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.

Lejla Vajzovic, MD

Duke Eye Center Durham, NC

Dr. Vajzovic is a vitreoretinal surgeon and tenured Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Duke University School of Medicine with expertise in adult and pediatric retinal diseases and surgery.

Dr. Vajzovic 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 directs the Duke Center for Artificial and Regenerative Vision, where she performs gene-therapy delivery, and implantation of 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 Treasurer and a Chair of Clinical Trial Training Program.  In addition, she serves as a Retina Society AAO Council Representative.  She is 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.