Faculty

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Faculty Co-Directors

Durga S. Borkar, MD, MMCi

Duke Eye Center

Durga S. Borkar, MD, MMCi is a vitreoretinal surgeon at the Duke Eye Center and an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Duke University School of Medicine. A Chicago native, Dr. Borkar completed her undergraduate and medical school training at Northwestern University. After a general ophthalmology residency in Boston at Harvard Medical School-Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, she completed her vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at the prestigious Wills Eye Hospital, consistently recognized as one of the highest volume surgical training programs in the country. During her time on the faculty at Duke, she also completed a masters degree in clinical informatics.

She specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of retinal disease, and her surgical practice is primarily focused on complex retinal detachment repair. Dr. Borkar’s academic interests include clinical outcomes research utilizing EHR registry data. She has co-authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters early in her career. She is the recipient of several awards for her excellence in research and clinical care, including the Heed Foundation Fellowship, the Society of Heed Fellows Award, the ASRS Honor Award, and the AAO Achievement Award, and has presented her work at numerous national and international retina meetings.

Rishi P. Singh, MD

Cleveland Clinic Florida

Dr. Rishi P. Singh MD is a staff surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic Florida, Professor of Ophthalmology at the Lerner College of Medicine, and President of Cleveland Clinic Martin Hospitals in Stuart, FL. 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 200 peer reviewed publications, books, and book chapters and serves as the principal investigator of numerous national clinical trials advancing the treatment of retinal disease. He is the principal investigator at the Center for Ophthalmic Bioinformatics within the Cole Eye Institute at Cleveland Clinic evaluating real world disease data from electronic health records and registries to better understand disease pathogenesis, prognostic outcomes, and treatment efficacy and safety.

 

Dr. Singh is the former president on the Retina World Congress and is on the board of the American Society of Retina Specialists.  He is a frequent invited speaker at national and international meeting as well as continuing medical education seminars.  Dr. Singh maintains a strong relationship with drug development and commercial entities by serving on scientific advisory boards.

 

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

 

Brian L. VanderBeek, MD, MPH, MSCE

Scheie Eye Institute/University of Pennsylvania

Brian L. VanderBeek, MD, MPH, MSCE is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Scheie Eye Institute/University of Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s degree and a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan.  He earned his Medical Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati and completed his residency training in ophthalmology at the New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical College. This was followed by a two-year fellowship in vitreo-retinal surgery at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center.  Most recently, he completed his Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. VanderBeek’s clinical specialty is the medical and surgical treatment of retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, retinal detachments, and macular holes. His research focuses on developing and implementing methodologies to use real world data to analyze comparative effectiveness, health outcomes, health policy and resource utilization as they pertain to eye disease.  He has published over 75 peer-reviewed studies and has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international meetings. He is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Research Training and a Senior Fellow at Wharton’s Leonard Davis Institute.

2023 Faculty

Ferhina S. Ali, MD, MPH

New York Medical College New York City, New York

Anita Barikian, MD

East Florida Eye Institute Stuart, FL

Dr. Barikian is an ophthalmologist who specializes in medical retina. She was a former medical retina instructor at the US News #1 Ranked Eye Hospital Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. She completed two years of medical retina fellowships at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. She also completed an ocular oncology fellowship at University of Tennessee Health Sciences and St. Jude Hospital. She previously served in her residency as chief resident.

Dr. Barikian is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Retina Specialists. She is a reviewer of several ophthalmologic journals and has presented at numerous medical conferences. She has published over 30+ Manuscripts & Abstracts, and is an Investigator in Clinical Trials for the diagnosis and management of various ophthalmologic diseases. Dr. Barikian has extensive clinical and research experience in the areas of retinal diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal vascular diseases.

Zhongdi Chu, PhD, MSc

Verana Health Mountain View, California

Zhongdi Chu, PhD, MSc leads Ophthalmic Imaging on the Verana Health Quantitative Sciences team. Dr. Chu has published more than 60 peer-reviewed publications in top medical journals and given more than a dozen presentations at scientific conferences primarily focused in ophthalmic imaging analytics with computer vision and artificial intelligence. Dr. Chu holds several patents in extracting ocular diseases insights from ophthalmic images. Her research has received more than 2,800 citations to date worldwide in the field of Ophthalmology and optical imaging. Dr. Chu has been listed in the 2022 Stanford University Elsevier World’s Top 2% Scientists in the field of Clinical Medicine, specifically Ophthalmology and Optometry, and Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging. Dr. Chu earned her PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Washington and today, beyond her work at Verana Health, she serves as a reviewer for over a dozen top journals in the field of Ophthalmology.

Email: zhongdi.chu@veranahealth.com

Thomas A. Ciulla, MD, MBA

Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, IN

Dr. Thomas Ciulla graduated from Harvard College, with high honors, and from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Medical Honor Society.

He completed a residency in Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and then a fellowship in Vitreo-Retinal Diseases and Surgery at Tufts Medical School, Boston, where he was awarded a prestigious Heed Fellowship.

A board-certified ophthalmologist and retina specialist, Dr. Ciulla co-directed the Retina Service and Ocular Angiogenesis Research Lab at Indiana University School of Medicine, one of the largest U.S. medical schools, prior to entering private practice.  He remains a Volunteer Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology.

He has been awarded Professor of the Year in the Department of Ophthalmology, and has been named on “The Best Doctors List” by Indianapolis Monthly Magazine.  He is a journal reviewer for many of the major ophthalmology clinical and research journals, and serves on the Editorial Board of several ophthalmology journals. He is an active member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Macula and Retina Societies, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the American Society of Retina Specialists, with an Achievement Award and Senior Honor Award from the latter two societies.

Dr. Ciulla has performed extensive research in macular and retinal diseases, serving as principal investigator, medical monitor, and member of scientific advisory, data safety monitoring, or writing committees in over 100 national clinical trials, including CATT and registration trials for nearly all FDA-approved retinal therapeutics. He served on numerous advisory and journal editorial boards, edited several textbooks, presented in over 200 conferences, and co-authored over 130 Medline-indexed papers, including the first published US-based randomized clinical trial on any intravitreal therapy in neovascular AMD.

Jorge Fortun, MD

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Beach Gardens, FL

Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology Medical Director of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at Palm Beach Gardens

Dan Gong, MD

Harvard Medical University Boston, MA

Dr. Dan Gong is a member of the Retina Service who specializes in the medical and surgical management of vitreoretinal diseases, including retinal detachment, macular holes, epiretinal membranes, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular occlusions, among others. He sees patients at Mass Eye and Ear in Boston, Plainville, and Providence.

Dr. Gong is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and earned his MD with honors from Yale School of Medicine, where he was awarded the Peter F. Curran Prize for Outstanding MD Thesis. He completed his ophthalmology residency at Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he served as Chief Resident. He then completed a two-year Vitreoretinal fellowship at Mass Eye and Ear and was awarded a Heed Fellowship and the Robert Brockhurst Academic Development Award.

Jason Hsu, MD

Wills Eye Physicians-Mid Atlantic Retina Philadelphia, PA

Michael S. Ip, MD

Doheny Eye Center UCLA Pasadena Pasadena, CA

Blanche Kuo, MD

University Hospitals Cleveland Cleveland, OH

Aaron Y. Lee, MD

UW Medicine Seattle, Washington

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.

 

Michael Mbagwu, MD

Verana Health Mountain View, California

Michael Mbagwu, MD, Senior Medical Director, leads Verana Health’s Medical Team and oversees projects within the American Academy of Ophthalmology IRISⓇ Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight). Dr. Mbagwu attended The Ohio State University where he completed a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Dr. Mbagwu subsequently attended Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he received a Doctor of Medicine and graduated Cum Laude in Scientia Experimentalis. Dr. Mbagwu also completed a Transitional/Medical internship year at Presence Resurrection Medical Center before returning to Northwestern to complete his residency training in Ophthalmology, where he served as Chief Resident. He went on to complete an Ophthalmic Innovation Fellowship at the Byers Eye Institute/Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Mbagwu currently holds the academic rank of Adjunct Clinical Instructor of Ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine and is an attending physician with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto Health Care System.

Nitish Mehta, MD

NYU Langone Eye Center Huntington Station, NY

My journey to medicine began during childhood. I come from a family of three generations of doctors, and these early exposures to medicine instilled in me a strong commitment to service and to science.

My decision to specialize in ophthalmology, specifically vitreoretinal surgery, stemmed from my interest in the combination of personalized medicine, technology, and surgery that is required to provide high-quality eye care. Vision is a fundamental feature of the human experience, and having the responsibility of protecting vision is an honor I treat with the utmost humility and respect.

As a vitreoretinal surgeon at the NYU Langone Eye Center, I provide treatment for people who have diseases that affect the posterior chamber of the eye, which sits between the lens and the back of the eye and includes the vitreous, retina, and choroid. The vitreous and choroid both support the retina, which converts light into electrical impulses that your brain uses to create visual images. I use surgical techniques to repair the retina and restore or improve sight after illness or injury.

In addition, I manage retinal problems due to diabetes, macular degeneration, and intraocular inflammation. I also perform secondary intraocular lens implantation for people who need advanced cataract surgery. This is often done to rescue dislocated intraocular lenses or to place lenses for patients who are unable to undergo standard cataract surgery for a variety of reasons.

The entire NYU Langone team is committed to providing the best eye care. We use advanced imaging techniques to provide our patients with the most accurate diagnosis and prognosis. Using guidance from clinical trials and other research, we provide individualized care that addresses each patient’s concerns.

In addition to caring for patients, I am involved in research related to retinal imaging analysis and teleophthalmology. I have published numerous papers and presented my work at local, national, and international meetings. I also contribute to resident and fellow education.

Andrew A. Moshfeghi, MD, MBA

Keck School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA

Andrew A. Moshfeghi, MD, MBA, earned his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1999. Following completion of his residency in ophthalmology, Dr. Moshfeghi attended the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute for his fellowship training in medial retina and vitreoretinal surgery and diseases. He also graduated from the University of Miami Graduate School of Business Administration with an MBA specializing in Health Sector Policy and Management.

Dr. Andrew A. Moshfeghi serves as an associate professor of clinical ophthalmology, director of Clinical Trials, and director of the Medical Retina and Surgical Retina Fellowship Programs at USC. He is a recognized expert in diseases of the vitreous, retina, and macula. He formerly served as associate professor of Ophthalmology and medical director at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami. Dr. Moshfeghi is a noted vitreoretinal surgeon.

Dr. Moshfeghi’s research concentrates on evaluation of intraocular pharmacotherapeutics, application of novel ophthalmic imaging techniques, and assessing health care utilization trends.

Aleksandra Rachitskaya, MD

Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH

Aleksandra V. Rachitskaya is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University’s Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and a member of the vitreoretinal faculty at Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute. She specializes in the diagnosis and management of medical and surgical retinal diseases. Prior to her appointment at the Cleveland Clinic in 2014, Dr. Rachitskaya served on faculty of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida, as the Chief Resident and Director of Ocular Trauma. An active researcher, Dr. Rachitskaya is involved in numerous clinical trials, including studies on diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. In June of 2015, Dr. Rachitskaya and her colleagues at the Cole Eye Institute completed the first successful Argus II implant in the state of Ohio. Dr. Rachitskaya regularly publishes on her research and she has given numerous national and international presentations on her work. She is an active member of American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Retina Society, and the VBS Society. She is a recipient of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award and the American Society of Retina Specialists Senior Honor Award. Dr. Rachitskaya completed an internship in internal medicine at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and earned her medical degree at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. During medical school, she spent a year at the National Eye Institute as a National Institutes of Health-Howard Hughes Institute Research Fellow and earned an induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. In 2016 Dr. Rachitskaya was the recipient of the prestigious Case Western Reserve University Young Alumni Award.

Ehsan Rahimy, MD

Byers Eye Institute at Stanford Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Ehsan Rahimy specializes in the medical and surgical management of diseases affecting the retina, with a clinical expertise in macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, macular hole, macular pucker/epiretinal membranes, and uveitis.

Dr. Rahimy has authored well over 100 peer-reviewed publications, numerous book chapters, as well as other non-peer reviewed literature. He presents regularly at national and international ophthalmic meetings, having contributed over 200 conference abstracts.

He is passionate about the interplay between technology and medicine, and how ongoing advancements will transform healthcare delivery in the near future. Dr. Rahimy is frequently consulted for collaborative research endeavors and advises on numerous early stage companies involved in ophthalmology, telemedicine, A.I., and other medtech innovation.

Dr. Rahimy graduated with highest distinction from the University of Michigan, followed by receiving his medical degree, with high honors, at Baylor College of Medicine. During this time, he was one of a select few junior inductees into the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Society. He went on to complete his ophthalmology residency at the world-renowned Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, recognized as one of the premier residency programs in the country, where he received the Pepose-Saltzman Young Investigator Research Award, Henry & Lilian Nesburn Research Award, and the Devgan Outstanding Surgical Resident Award. Afterwards, he pursued subspecialty training in vitreoretinal surgery at Wills Eye Hospital, considered the preeminent retinal fellowship program in the country, under the guidance and mentorship of many of the field’s leaders. While there, he was awarded a Heed Fellowship, the Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Award, and the William B. Tasman Outstanding Fellow Award.

Veeral Sheth, MD, MBA, FASRS, FACS

University Retina & Macula Associates, PC Lemont, IL

Dr. Veeral Sheth, is a native Chicagoan that specializes in diseases of the retina and vitreous. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Sheth completed his ophthalmology residency at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary where he served as Chief Resident. After residency, Dr. Sheth completed his MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Dr. Sheth is a Partner at University Retina and Macula Associates. He is Director of Clinical Trials at one of the busiest clinical trial sites in the country. He has been principal investigator for over the 60 clinical trials and has research interests in macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, vein occlusion, as well as surgical pathology. He is involved in clinical trials developing new drugs, delivery devices, and gene therapy.
Dr. Sheth is an active member of the American Society of Retina Specialists, Retina Society, American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the European Society of Retina Specialists. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors for Meals on Wheels Chicago. Dr. Sheth is fluent in English, Spanish, and Gujarati.

Joshua D. Stein, MD, MS

University of Michigan Medicine Ann Arbor, MI

Cathy Sun, MD

UCSF Department of Ophthalmology San Francisco, CA

Dr. Sun is a glaucoma specialist whose research focuses on big data and pragmatic clinical trials to enhance the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and other ocular conditions. Her interests involve utilizing electronic health records and natural language processing to study clinical outcomes, building and implementing clinical decision support software, and prediction modeling of ocular diseases. She has previously worked with the Proctor Foundation on the Mycotic Ulcer Treatment Trial. In fellowship, she received a Heed Foundation award to pursue her research interests in glaucoma clinical trials.

Michael A. Singer, MD

Medical Center Ophthalmology Associates 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.

Sophia Ying Wang, MD, MS

Stanford Byers Eye Institute Palo Alto, California

Dr. Wang graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Biochemical Sciences. She went on to spend a year in Japan on a Fulbright Scholarship. She then attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, during which she also completed a research year in ophthalmology and a yearlong Advanced Training in Clinical Research Certificate Program offered by the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. After a PGY-1 intern year at Kaiser Permanente Northern California Oakland, she went on to complete ophthalmology residency training at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. She pursued additional training in glaucoma through a fellowship at the Stanford Byers Eye Institute, after which she continued on as faculty in the Department of Ophthalmology.
Dr Wang specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of all different forms of glaucoma, as well as cataract surgery. Her research interests lie in “big data” for ophthalmology. Her research to develop artificial intelligence algorithms to predict glaucoma patients’ outcomes using natural language processing for electronic health records data is supported by a Research to Prevent Blindness Career Development Award and a K23 Career Development Award from the National Eye Institute.