Justis P. Ehlers, MD, is a Staff physician on the vitreoretinal service of the Cole Eye Institute in the Department of Ophthalmology at Cleveland Clinic. He was appointed in 2010. Dr. Ehlers received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude at the University of Notre Dame. He completed his medical degree at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Following medical school, he did an internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and served as Chief Resident from 2004-2005. From the Wills Eye Institute, Dr. Ehlers then completed a vitreoretinal surgery and disease fellowship at the Duke Eye Institute in Durham, North Carolina.
Clinically, Dr. Ehlers specializes in the diagnosis and management of medical and surgical vitreoretinal diseases including: age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), retinal vascular occlusive disease, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, myopic degeneration, cystoid macular edema, ocular trauma, epiretinal membranes, vitreomacular traction syndrome, and macular holes.
Active in research, Dr. Ehlers has participated as a co-investigator on numerous clinical trials including studies on macular degeneration, vitreoretinal interface abnormalities, retinal venous occlusive disease, and ophthalmic imaging.
Dr. Ehlers has a particular interest in advanced vitreoretinal imaging, including intraoperative optical coherence tomography (OCT). OCT is a non-contact imaging modality that provides high resolution cross-sectional and three-dimensional information of tissue architecture and microstructure. While working with Dr. Cynthia Toth at Duke University, Dr. Ehlers tested and optimized a prototype operating microscope integrated OCT system allowing for real-time OCT-based visualization of intraocular maneuvers. Intraoperative OCT allows for direct feedback of the surgeon regarding the impact of surgical maneuvers and the need or lack of need for additional intervention. Complementing the use of intraoperative OCT, Dr. Ehlers is currently developing novel OCT-friendly surgical instrumentation.
Dr. Ehlers is a major contributor to the medical literature having authored more than 50 original reports, book chapters, electronic publications, and scientific abstracts. Additionally, Dr. Ehlers was the co-chief editor of the Wills Eye Manual, 5th Edition, one of the best-selling texts in ophthalmology. He currently serves as a scientific reviewer for numerous ophthalmic journals and has served as an associate editor of the journal, Retina. Dr. Ehlers serves on the American Academy of Ophthalmology COMPASS Retina Subspecialty committee and previously served as an American Academy of Ophthalmology congressional advocacy ambassador.