Meet the Team


Albert Wu, MD, PhD, FACS

Dr. Albert Wu

Dr. Albert Y. Wu is a board-certified ophthalmologist and a fellow of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASOPRS) and the American College of Surgeons (FACS). Dr. Wu graduated from Yale University and completed his medical training at the University of Washington. As part of the Medical Scientist Training Program, he also obtained a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Dr. Wu then completed ophthalmology residency at the Moran Eye Center in Salt Lake City. Subsequently, he finished a two-year fellowship at the University of Toronto in oculofacial and orbital surgery accredited by ASOPRS. During this time, Dr. Wu developed broad expertise in ophthalmic plastic surgery as well as in facial rejuvenation techniques. Dr. Wu joined the faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and was a member of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute. While in New York City, he obtained funding from the National Eye Institute to develop stem cell therapies to treat corneal blindness and regenerate the ocular surface. Currently as Director of Oculoplastics Research, Dr. Wu leads the Ophthalmic Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at Stanford University and is developing cutting edge treatments for vision loss and eye disease.

Both Clinical Research & Translational Research Group

Reza Ashrafi
High School Student

Institution: Crystal Springs Uplands School  More Info

Project description: I conduct scRNA analysis to research Thyroid associated orbitopathy and identify differentially-expressed genes. I'm also part of a team researching Intimate Partner Violence in the field of ophthalmology. Less Info

Jacqueline Yao
Microbiology and Immunology Student; Research Assistant

Institution: McGill University  More Info

Project description: 
· Project 1: Assessing the demographics and genders of global health authors
· Project 2: Examining price transparency in ophthalmology procedures 

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Abbie Maemoto
Clinical Research Coordinator  

Institution: Stanford University More Info 

Project description: I am the clinical research coordinator for Dr. Wu's team as well as a member of the wet lab team at Stanford. I am leading the blastocyst complementation project alongside Aditi where I am currently working on designing guide RNAs to optimize knockouts in cellular models. Our ultimate goal is to express anophthalmic/microphthalmic phenotypes in mouse models via CRISPR knockouts in order to create mouse chimeras through blastocyst complementation.

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Anne Xuan-Lan Nguyen
Medical Student
 

Institution: McGill University More Info 

Project Description: Clinical Research Group and Wetlab Group; In the Wu Lab, my main research interests were at the intersection of ophthalmology and public health. Past studies include assessing the impact of cannabis on the eye, centralizing international COVID-19 guidelines in ophthalmology and analyzing patients’ sentiments using social media. I am currently leading various projects examining the different facets of gender and race/ethnicity in academia. Additionally, I have been contributing to projects in the wetlab group. Thanks to Dr. Wu’s mentorship, I received two Grants in Aid of Research from Sigma Xi (with designated funds from the National Academy of Sciences).

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Clinical Research Group

Uchenna Akanno
Undergraduate Research Student  

Institution: Stanford University  Read More 

Project Description: Currently working on my first research project, Ocular Injuries in Sports.

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Joab Camarena
Medical Student
 

Institution: Stanford University  Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· Undergraduate: BSH Biology, Stanford University

Project Description: Clinical Research group; Studying the impacts of SES on ophthalmology care 

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Kalla A. Gervasio, MD
PGY-4 & Co-Chief Resident, Ophthalmology

Institution: Wills Eye Residency Program  Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· Undergraduate: University of Pennsylvania, B.A. in Classical Studies, 2008-2012
· Research Year: Trenton Health Team Inc., Trenton, NJ, 2012-2013
· Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, 2013-2017
· Internship: Transitional Year, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, 2017-2018

Project Description: During my time with Dr. Wu’s lab, my research interests focused primarily on the epidemiology and outcomes of patients with ocular trauma in Elmhurst, NY. Additional projects have focused on ocular oncology as well as gender and racial/ethnic disparities in regard to eye trauma and oculoplastics. Additionally, Dr. Wu and I obtained a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 2014 to develop an online narrative medicine journal for ophthalmology titled the Journal of Narrative Visions (JNV), www.narrativevisions.org.

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Mishaal Malik 
Medical Student  

Institution: Central Michigan University   Read More

Project Description
· Ocular Injuries in Sports - This project aims to dissect and analyze the types of orbital injuries prevalent in major sports including soccer, basketball, football, MMA, and racquet sports.

· Intimate Partner Violence and Orbital Fractures - This project sheds light on the incidence of orbital fractures in cases of intimate partner violence and domestic abuse.

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Dipti Venkatesh 
High School Student  

Institution: Evergreen Valley High School   Read More

Project Description: Gender Disparities in Awards of Ophthalmological Societies

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Maya Alik 
Medical Student  

Institution: McGill University  Read More 

Project Description: I am currently working on a few projects within Dr Wu’s lab. I am particularly interested on how the social determinants of health affect vision care and health equity in ophthalmology. Some of my interests and current project include the impact of socioeconomic disparities among patients with ocular injuries. As well as the prevalence of intimate partner violence related to eye injuries. Increasing eye health awareness to reach equal access to eye care for all is something I strive for and am passionate about.

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Ayden Case
Undergraduate Research Student 

Institution: Duke University  Read More 

Project Description: I am currently exploring racial and ethnic disparities in a number of oculoplastic procedures. I am also developing an animal model for symblepharon and limbal stem cell insufficiency to facilitate the Wu Lab's limbal stem cell transplantation work.

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Charbel Bou-Khalil
Medical Student
 

Institution: Stanford University  Read More

Prior Institutions: UCLA / BS in Biology, with a minor in biomedical research / 2019

Project Description: I am part of the clinical research group; Leveraging big data to perform retrospective analyses, assessing potential for quality improvement and reduction of medical futility in Ophthalmology surgeries

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Devan Patel
Undergraduate Research Student  
 

Institution: The University of Texas at Austin More Info 

Project Description: The recent increase in the severity of public health issues and the integration of advanced medical technology requires physicians to understand and to act on a strong ethical foundation. Ophthalmologists are in a unique position to identify and mitigate several public health issues, and my goal is to clarify what steps they can take to control such issues.

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Jiaying (Christina) Wang
Undergraduate Research Student  

Institution: University of California, Riverside   Read More

Project Description: I am a member of Dr. Wu's clinical research group. Recently, I am working as a member of the glaucoma online review team, and I am doing data collection.

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Ankita Biyani
High School Student
 

Institution: John C. Kimball High School  Read More 

Project Description: I am part of the clinical research group. Currently, I am working on examining gender disparity in the field of Ophthalmology.

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Alice Dalo 
Medical Student 

Institution: Northeast Ohio Medical University  Read More 

Project Description: I am currently working on analyzing nonclinical factors associated with disparities among patients undergoing Orbital Fracture and Blepharoptosis repair surgeries, separately.

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John (Joo Yeon) Kim
Undergraduate Research Student

Institution: Swarthmore College '22  Read More

Project Description: I'm currently working on a project investigating the optimization of patient feedback among glaucoma patients for Ophthalmologic physicians. We're actively using statistical analyses in R studio (linear regression, GLMM) to analyze factors such as age, photos, biography, and geography to determine what affects physician ratings.

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Nathaniel Stephenson 
Research Member
 

Institution: Currently unaffiliated  More Info 

Prior Institution: Graduated from UCLA 2021

Project Description: The most recent project I worked on was with Chris examining online reviews and their trends of physicians from HealthGrades, Vitals, and Yelp. 

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Dylan Whitney, BASc
Medical Student
 

Institution: University of Alberta More Info 

Prior Institutions:
· Undergraduate: University of British Columbia, BASc. Engineering Physics, 2019

Project Description: Clinical Research Group; I am currently conducting research into developing clinical guides regarding optical coherence tomography (OCT) hardware selection. This research is specific to OCT applications in identifying periocular malignancies. The aim of these studies is to increase clinical accuracy and early detection mechanisms that help to promote optimal treatment and increase overall patient health outcomes.

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Translational Research Group

BaoXiang Li, MD
Lab Manager

Institution: Stanford University  Read More 

Prior Institution:
· Medical School: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Department of Ophthalmology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, 2011—2013

Project Description: Wetlab group

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Ahmad Al-Moujahed, MD, PhD, MPH
 PGY-3 Ophthalmology Resident 

Institution: Stanford University   Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· Residency, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine
· Internship, Berkshire Medical Center, MA
· PhD, Boston University School of Medicine, MA
· MPH, Northeastern University, MA
· Research Fellowship (Retina), Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School
· MD, Damascus Medical School, Syria

Project Description: Wet lab group; I am working on scRNA sequencing of the retina. 

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Varun Subramanian
Undergraduate Research Student
B.S.H Computational Biology Candidate

Institution: Stanford University  More Info 

Project Description: Wet Lab Group; Varun is an Undergraduate Senior who has been working in Dr. Wu’s lab since his first year. Varun has worked on multiple projects involving regeneration of eye tissue through stem-cell based strategies, including CRIPSR-editing and organoid development. Currently, he leads the bioinformatics analyses of single-cell RNA sequencing projects within the lab.

Varun enjoys reading Japanese literature, performing stand-up comedy, and is the coxswain for the Stanford’s Division I Men’s Rowing team. After graduation he will start medical school at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, to which he was accepted in 2019 through the Flexmed Program.     

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Andrea Naranjo Lozano, MD
Resident, currently PGY-1 General Surgery

Institution: Stanford University  Read More 

Prior Institution:
· Medical School: Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, 2010-2018
· Research fellowship: Cornea and Ocular Surface Research Fellow, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, 2018-2019
· Research fellowship: Ocular Pathology Research Fellow, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, 2019-2020

Project Description: Wetlab group; My research interest focuses on ocular surface disease and reconstruction. Chemical or thermal burns and diseases such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, can lead to limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD). LSCD causes corneal vascularization and conjunctivalization, affecting vision and leading to corneal blindness. Currently, there is no definite treatment for this disease and thus, our research is focused on finding regenerative treatment options through human induced pluripotent stem cells and perinatal fetal tissue for ocular surface reconstruction. Additionally, ocular squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common eyelid malignancy and due to the limited medical therapies, it has a mortality rate of up to 15%. We are currently investigating methods for intraoperative detection of SCC, as well as an animal model of SCC that would allow further understanding of eyelid and ocular surface SCC progression and find targeted pharmacotherapies. 

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Alana O’Mara
Medical Student - Entering Class 2019
 

Institution: Stanford University  Read More 

Prior Institutions:
Undergraduate: Bachelor of Science - Michigan State University - 2017

Project Description: Wetlab Group; Researching on corneal dystrophies and the potential to edit genetic version using CRISPR/Cas9. Specifically interested in Early Onset Fuch’s Corneal Dystrophy. 

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Aditi Swarup, PhD, MS
Postdoctoral Scholar
 

Institution: Stanford University, 2019-Present    Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· PhD, Thomas Jefferson University, 2014-2019
· MS, University of Delaware, 2008-2010 

Project Description: Wet lab group; I have been working on several exciting projects in the Wu Lab including creation of a mouse model for ocular adhesions and testing preventative therapeutics, generation of organoids from iPSCs to mimic corneal development, single cell analysis of ocular surface tissues and CRISPR-editing of mouse embryos to study congenital eye diseases. 

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Aabida Mohammed
Intern; Master’s student  

Institution: San Jose State University   Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· San Jose State University: BS in Microbiology with a Minor in Chemistry – Graduated May 2019 (From August 2015-May 2019)
· San Jose State University: MS in Molecular Biology and Microbiology – Expected Graduation August 2021 (From August 2019 – August 2021)

About: I have a B.S. in Microbiology with a Minor in Chemistry from San Jose State University. Currently I am a Master’s student doing an M.S. in Molecular Biology and Microbiology with a specialization in Stem Cell Biology at San Jose State University. I am part of the 2019 cohort in the Stem Cell Internship and Laboratory-Based Learning (SCILL) program, which is funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Bridges Award.

I am currently doing my one-year internship and Master’s thesis at Stanford University in Dr. Albert Wu’s Lab in the Ophthalmology Department.

Project Description: Wet lab group; Restoring the Ocular Surface Through Differentiation of Human iPSC into Corneal Limbal Stem Cells- Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency (LSCD) is a loss of limbal stem cells that are vital in repopulating and renewing the corneal epithelium. When the corneal epithelium cannot repair or renew itself, it results in the epithelial defects, corneal scarring, chronic inflammation, and corneal conjunctivalization, which can lead up to potential vision loss. We are interested in optimizing differentiation protocols for iPSCs into limbal stem cells via progenitor cells to understand the differentiation processes as well as analyzing how grafting these cells onto LSCD animal models will affect the repopulating and renewal of the damaged corneal epithelium.

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Bronwyn Scott
MD Candidate
MedScholars Student

Institution: Stanford University  Read More 

Prior Institutions:
Undergraduate: BSA Biochemistry and BA Plan II (University of Texas at Austin, 2013-2017)

Project Description: Wet Lab Group; As part of the wet lab group, I have had the opportunity to work on multiple projects focused on the human orbit. These include single cell analyses to elucidate important genes regulating orbital function, evaluations of clinical therapeutics used in anatomical regions near the eye,  and studies of how various eye cells communicate with each other. Many of these studies are being performed in collaboration with institutions and industry, including the Chan Zuckerberg Institute. In addition, I am mentoring undergraduate students investigating ethics topics in ophthalmology.

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Gun Min (Chris) Youn
Medical Student 
 

Institution: Stanford University    Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· BA, Swarthmore College, 2016-2020

Project Description: I am working on assessing the use of frailty scores in glaucoma patients along well several projects on online perceptions of ophthalmologists. 

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Alumni

Deborah Chen
Student Intern
 

Institution: East Bay Ophthalmology   Read More 

Bio: I completed my Bachelors of Science in Molecular Environmental Biology from University of California, Berkeley from Jan 2017- Aug, 2020. I'm currently working as a Medical Assistant Fellow at East Bay Ophthalmology, Dr. Scott E. Lee's clinic in Pinole, CA. 

Project Description: I researched inflammatory markers and their connections to limbal stem cells that were cultured from human donors' eyes as a student intern at Dr. Wu's lab under Dr. Shravani Mukherjee and Dr. BaoXiang Li in summer 2019.

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Anna Li
BSc Undergraduate Student, Major in Neuroscience and Minor in Computer Science

Institution: McGill University  Read More 

Prior Institution:
Health Science at Marianopolis College (class of 2019 graduates)

Project Description: I am part of the clinical research group. My research/study project is "Gender Gap in Academic Literature." While the contribution of women in various medical fields has increased over the past few decades, female representation seen in academic literature has not caught up. More specifically, studying the gender gap present in authorship of journals in diverse fields is crucial to promote advancements and diversity in scientific research. Given that publishing in peer-reviewed journals is an important step for all stages of academic career advancements, our study aims to evaluate the current and past trends of female authorship in hopes of mitigating the disparity.

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Bonnie Sklar, MD 
Alumni
Resident at Wills Eye Residency at Jefferson 

Institution: Wills Eye Residency at Jefferson  Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University, BA in Neuroscience, 2014
· Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2019

Project Description: My research projects with Dr. Wu have spanned a wide range of topics within Oculoplastics, some of which also intersected with general medicine, oncology, and neurology. Our main studies analyzed chalazia and blepharitis associated with proteasome inhibitor therapy for multiple myeloma, orbital metastases from urothelial carcinomas, the use of EMG in facial nerve palsy, and gender disparities within the oculoplastics literature. 
 

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Lucille Xiang
BSc in Rehabilitation Sciences (Physical Therapy) - expected 2021

Institution: McGill University  Read More
McGill University (BSc Rehab Sciences (Physical Therapy) ‘21), Brown University (MPH ‘23)

Project Description: Clinical research group - exploring the interface between ophthalmology and physical therapy, and working on a project related to global health authorship and academia

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Nitin Chopra, MD, MBA
PGY2 (first-year ophthalmology resident)
 

Institution: New York Eye and Ear Infirmary  Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· Undergraduate: BS Computer Science, Stanford University
· MBA: Wharton School of Business
· Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Project Description: Alumni, Clinical Research Group; Under Dr. Wu’s mentorship, I explored a variety of oculoplastics research that was of interest to me, including ocular trauma management across demographic and socioeconomic strata. Our most in-depth work looked at ophthalmic outcomes after gun trauma, whose findings we published in Eye.

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Shravani Mukherjee, PhD
Postdoc Alumni
 

Prior Institutions:  Read More 
· Postdoc Alumni, Stanford University 2016-2020
· PhD, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India, 2011-2016

Project Description: During my tenure in Wu Lab, I had the wonderful opportunity to work in multiple collaborative projects on single cell biology of eye and regenerative strategies to repair and rejuvenate ocular tissues in disease and aging. 

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Jasmine Tatum, MD
Resident Physician, Psychiatry 
 

Institution: Stanford University SOM  Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· Princeton University, AB, 2011-2015
· Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2015-2019

Project Description: Alumni, 2015-2019; During my time in The Wu Lab, I worked on various research projects including examining the accuracy of diagnosing malignant eyelid lesions via teleophthalmology, evaluating the quality of life of those diagnosed with thyroid eye diseases, finding associations between sleep and ophthalmic disease, and assessing the training and comfort of emergency physicians in diagnosing emergent ophthalmic diseases. Most of my research was focused on understanding the psychosocial factors that affected and were influenced by ocular diseases and discovering new ways to increase access to care. Given the shortage of ophthalmologists, most notably in rural areas, I was especially interested in how teleophthalmology and the training of non-ophthalmic clinicians on ocular emergencies, could help deliver care to those most in need
 

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Cindi K. Yim, MD
PGY3 (second year ophthalmology resident)
 

Institution: USC Roski Eye Institute  Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· Princeton University, AB, 2008-2012
· Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, MD, 2013-2018 

Project Description: Alumni; I worked with the Wu team on a variety of clinical research projects from the epidemiology of orbital fractures in Taiwan to the effect of obstructive sleep apnea and CPAP therapy on intraocular pressure. Our most in depth analysis focused on the relationship between floppy eyelid syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea which led to a publication in JAMA Ophthalmology. 
 

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Giancarlo Garcia, MD
PGY-4 & Resident, Ophthalmology
 

Institution: Stanford University  Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· Undergraduate: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
· Medical School: University of California, Irvine, CA, 2012-2017
· Research Year: Doheny Eye Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 2015-2016
· Internship: Transitional Year, University of California, Irvine, CA, 2017-2018

Project Description: Google Scholar Publications; My research interests as part of the Wu lab include characterizing the neuroanatomy of the lacrimal gland in humans, mice, and pigs to better understand structural changes that occur in pathologic states. I additionally am studying medical and surgical futility in end-of-eye/end-of-sight care to understand practice patterns used by ophthalmologists who manage patients with poor visual or ocular prognoses.

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Sanyam Ratan
Undergraduate Research Student  

Institution: Pennsylvania State University   Read More

Project Description: Investigating disparities in awards given by international ophthalmology societies.

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Joshua H. Uhr, MD
Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellow
 

Institution: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute  Read More 

Prior Institutions:
· Undergraduate: Cornell University, 2008-2012
· Research Year: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2012-2016 
· Medical School: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 2016-2017
· Residency: Wills Eye Hospital, 2017-2020

Project Description: Alumni, 2014-2020; During my time in the Wu lab, I worked on various clinical research projects with Dr. Wu. The first project, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, assessed public awareness and knowledge of emergency ophthalmic diseases - retinal detachment, acute angle-closure glaucoma, giant cell arteritis, and central retinal artery occlusion. These conditions can lead to permanent visual impairment or blindness if not promptly addressed. Awareness and knowledge of these emergencies may be important for early medical presentation and, in some cases, maximization of visual prognosis. We found that awareness and knowledge of all of these conditions was low, indicating a public health need to educate the public about these diseases to ensure early presentation, which in turn may improve visual outcomes and quality of life for patients. 

While early patient presentation is important to maximize visual prognosis, it is also critical that patients receive timely and appropriate care once they do present. Since many patients with eye emergencies first present to emergency departments, as a follow up study, which we published in Eye, we surveyed emergency medicine  physicians to better understand their comfort working up, diagnosing, and managing patients with ophthalmic emergencies. We found that many do not feel comfortable using ophthalmic equipment, performing an eye exam, making vision or potentially life-saving diagnoses, or performing vision-saving procedures. These findings underscore the need to increase ophthalmic training in emergency medicine training programs. Increasing educational collaboration between ophthalmology and emergency medicine departments may be one approach to accomplishing this. 

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Lilian Yoffe
B.Sc. Undergraduate Student, Major in Physiology and Minor in Neuroscience

Institution: McGill University  Read More 

Project Description: Alumni; I am looking at the gender disparity in clinical trial leadership in ophthalmology, specifically trials involving cataract and refractive errors. 
 

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