This AUPO compliant fellowship combines the strengths of Cole Eye Institute’s refractive surgery and corneal disease faculty in a program that strives to offer the most comprehensive and advanced training in the subspecialty. This one-year program accepts 2 fellows each year. 

AUPO FCC Compliant

This combined program offers a premier training experience to candidates interested in becoming experts in treating patients with diseases of the anterior segment, performing refractive surgery and engaging in academic activities such as research and teaching.

Fellowship Program Director

Teaching Faculty

The fellowship experience encompasses the full spectrum of routine and complex cases that present to the Cole Eye Institute, one of the nation’s leading eye institutes and a major international referral center. Fellow experience as primary surgeon is among the top in the nation. These procedures include high-risk corneal transplantation, DMEK, DSAEK, DALK, keratoprosthesis, phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK), LASIK, PRK, SMILE, intracorneal ring segments, implantable collamer lens (ICL) surgery, ocular surface reconstruction with amniotic membrane grafting, cataract surgery, premium IOL implantation, and a variety of other anterior segment procedures. In 2021, fellows averaged 433 primary cases each, including 125-143 laser refractive surgeries, 97-129 corneal transplants and 120-140 cataract surgeries, all in the midst of a pandemic.

The program is designed to train the next generation of academic leaders in the fields of cornea and refractive surgery by providing a rich academic environment with multiple research opportunities and career mentorship support. However, our fellows are equally well-positioned to enter private practice with outstanding surgical and medical skills and a unique appreciation for the interfaces of cornea, cataract and refractive surgery. 

Fellows participate in resident education through didactic lectures, Cornea Grand Rounds presentations biannually, journal club at faculty homes, corneal surgery and refractive surgery wet labs, and regular interaction with residents rotating on service.  Fellows have access to the state-of-the-art, 600 square-foot Timken Microsurgical Education Laboratory at the Cole Eye Institute. Research opportunities abound by virtue of the clinical pathology encountered each day and access to several active research programs in anterior segment areas (see below).

Major activities on the cornea and refractive surgery service:

Refractive Surgery

  • Over 3,000 refractive procedures performed each year: LASIK, PRK, SMILE, PTK, phakic IOL, refractive lens exchange, and topography-guided ablation

Corneal and External Disease

  • Treatment of complex corneal and ocular surface diseases (infectious, immune, traumatic, optical, dystrophic)
  • High volume of PKP, DMEK, DSAEK, DALK and corneal crosslinking 

Corneal Research

  • Corneal biomechanics (computational modeling, OCT elasticity imaging, and Brillouin microscopy) (3 NEI R01 grants)
  • Corneal cell biology and wound healing (NEI R01 and DOD grants)
  • Corneal crosslinking (NEI R01 grant)
  • Ocular surface innervation basic science (NEI U01 and R21 grants)
  • Industry-sponsored ocular surface drug trials
  • NEI Zoster Eye Disease Study site
  • Fuchs dystrophy genetic and tissue sample studies
  • Intraoperative OCT center