Up Close and Personal with 2012 Award Winners
I have been practicing adult and pediatric vitreoretinal diseases at Retina and Vitreous of Texas in Houston and head all the clinical trials for our group. It is a great joy and privilege to continue to care for both the very young and very old and I enjoy all the complexities that goes along with it. Since my fellowship training at ARC/Beaumont, I am ever more appreciative of the advice and tools that has been taught to me and the friendship with my mentors and retina colleagues through the years.
Much of the research I have been involved in are collaborations with local engineering departments on new devices as well as at collaborations with Baylor College of Medicine Dept. of Ophthalmology. My specific focus has been on surgical instrumentation and techniques, nanophotoreceptor technology and nano-hydrocarbon free radical scavenging clusters for variety of ocular diseases, as well as optical polarimetry for glucose detection. I have been trying to leverage my PhD background in optics and nanotechnology to provide meaningful advice clinically in device development discussions since time constraints has made it difficult to do direct bench work myself.
I enjoy being able to travel with my family and spend time with my two children.
I am an assistant professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Cancer Biology, and Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Director of Ocular Oncology at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute.
In addition to general medical and surgical retina, my practice focuses on the treatment of ocular tumors in adults and children. My research focuses on drug discovery for retinoblastoma using a rabbit model we developed for endovascular, direct intra-ophthalmic artery and intravitreal drug delivery. In addition, I am working to develop non-invasive, optical methods of intraocular tumor diagnosis and molecular prognostication, as well as new, vision-sparing treatments for melanoma. My research is currently supported by 7 active NEI and foundation grants, and I was named an "Emerging Vision Scientist" by the Association for Eye and Vision Research.
My wife and I are expecting our second child in October 2017.
Our team at Southeastern Retina Associates (SERA) in Chattanooga, Tennessee continues our steady growth. Our clinical trials program continues to encompass a breadth of retinal pathologies. We are fortunate to participate in multiple trials for a variety of retinal diseases from industry sponsored studies to NEI generated protocols. We continue to hold ourselves to high standards and humbly deliver the best care possible given the worldwide pandemic. I am excited to contribute further from Chattanooga and challenge myself to maintain the high standards for integrity, excellence in patient care, and commitment to advancing the field already demonstrated by the SERA physicians over the last three decades.
Though I am lucky enough to have work that I enjoy, I truly cherish spending time with friends and a growing family. In particular, I am enjoying creative children's and outdoors activities.
I am now an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Southern California Roski Eye Institute. I continue to see and treat patients with retinal diseases and do clinical translational research. I am happy to say that I received my first R01 award in 2019! This award is aimed at developing and implementing novel OCTA metrics in subjects with diabetes so that we can detect retinopathy before clinical manifestations are evident. My research group is continuing work on the use of OCT Angiography in quantifying retinal vascular changes in a variety of other diseases as well. For example, in 2020 I received an award from the NINDS and BrightFocus Foundation to look at retinal capillary change in subjects at risk for vascular cognitive impairment and dementia.
On the home front, the kids are growing fast and the pandemic has us busier than ever trying to figure out what to do with them!
It has been another exciting year for me in our great field of vitreoretinal disease. In May of 2018, I relocated to the Tri-cities, TN area and joined Southeastern Retina Associates after nearly 12 years at the University of Kentucky (almost 5 as a faculty member). The move was coupled with another amazing option to continue my basic science research program at East Tennessee State University where I am now Professor of Surgery and a member of the Center for Excellence in Inflammation Research. In the next few years, I will be building up my practice and research program while looking to bring clinical trials to the area for next generation therapeutics for AMD and DR.
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