Department of Ophthalmology

Joan O'Brien sitting at deskThis past year was filled with discovery and progress. Three faculty members received the Champalimaud Vision Award, which is a 1 million Euro recognition given to scientists with the greatest contribution to vision research worldwide. This achievement was the product of 25 years of rigorous research led by Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, Samuel Jacobson, MD, PhD, and Albert Maguire, MD. Today, children and adults blind from a specific mutation in the eye can have their vision restored through gene therapy.  We are incredibly hopeful that this knowledge will lead to similar therapies for other eye diseases in the future.  For example, in one of the articles featured below, we explore a new gene therapy for macular degeneration that has shown efficacy in a canine model.

This level of innovation can be seen throughout the entire Department. In 2018, our physicians conducted 117 clinical trials testing investigational therapies in patients with blinding eye diseases. You can read about one of these trials, the Dry Eye Assessment and Management (DREAM) study, in an article below. The DREAM study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and has been the subject of national media attention.  

Having a thriving research program ensures that we provide the most up-to-date treatments to our patients. In 2018, our physicians saw more than 125,000 patient visits in 17 sub-specialties. Below, we tell the story of two of these patients, who both received a life-changing corneal transplant. We also detail the impact of our vision loss support group, which provides valuable information and emotional support to dozens of patients each month. Finally, we shine a spotlight on our oculoplastic and elective services, describing unique options offered for patients.

Our physicians are also passionate about caring for underserved populations, traveling throughout Philadelphia and across the world to provide free eye care. Below, we highlight the outreach of Graham Quinn, MD, MSCE, who has traveled to numerous countries to care for babies with retinopathy of prematurity.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the colleagues, trainees, and patients who make the Scheie Eye Institute such an extraordinary place. I could not be more proud to lead and represent this outstanding team. I wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!

Sincerely,
Joan O’Brien, MD

  • Ryan Cochran

    Patient Testimonials: Corneal Transplants

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: Three-year-old Ryan Cochran and 71-year-old Lloyd Patton receive hope after corneal transplants.

  • Dr. Burge

    Vision Research in the Natural World

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: Dr. Johannes Burge’s research aims to understand how our visual system completes tasks in the "real" world.

  • Gene therapy researchers

    Correcting Macular Degeneration

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania achieve gene therapy success for treating macular degeneration in dogs.

  • Patient post-blepharoplasty

    Elective Services at Scheie: A Q&A with Dr. Mehta

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: Scheie’s Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service offers surgical and nonsurgical services to rejuvenate the mid-face and face.

  • Herbert and Karen Lotman

    A New Home for the Macula Vision Research Foundation

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: The Macula Vision Research Foundation finds a new home at the Scheie Eye Institute.

  • Sheri Grand Drossner and Dr. Ranjoo Prasad

    Scheie's Vision Loss Support Group

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: The Penn Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation's Vision Loss Support Group expands in size and impact.

  • Leaders of an ROP workshop

    Global Connections and Global Impact

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: Dr. Graham Quinn and colleagues create a retinopathy of prematurity workshop program to detect and treat this condition in other countries.

  • Omega-3 supplements

    Fish Oil and Dry Eye

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: A large clinical trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, evaluates fish oil as a treatment for dry eye disease.

  • Dr. Shindler

    Pre-clinical Studies for Optic Nerve

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: Dr. Kenneth Shindler’s research explores novel methods to prevent damage to the optic nerve.

  • Recipients of the 2018 Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award

    Champalimaud Vision Award

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: Three Penn ophthalmologists receive the António Champalimaud Vision Award for their work leading to the first gene therapy for an inherited disease.

  • Dr. Cesar Briceno and Madhura Tamhankar

    Scheie Launches Thyroid Eye Disease Program

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: The Scheie Eye Institute creates a program to treat patients with thyroid eye disease.

  • Scheie Building

    New Arrivals 2018

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2018: The Department of Ophthalmology welcomes its newest faculty members.

  • Plaque Presentation for Gene Therapy

    The Team Making Blind Kids See

    Scheie Vision Summer 2018: Scheie physicians receive FDA approval for Luxturna, the first gene therapy for an inherited disease in the United States.

  • Christian Guardino

    Patient Testimonial: Gene Therapy

    Scheie Vision Summer 2018: Four years after participating in the Phase III clinical trial for gene therapy, Christian Guardino performs on America's Got Talent.

  • Dr. Jessica Morgan

    Next Step in Precision Medicine

    Scheie Vision Summer 2018: Dr. Jessica Morgan's research contributes to future treatments for a range of hereditary retinal diseases.

  • Medication

    Assessing the Risk of Intraocular Bleeding

    Scheie Vision Summer 2018: A new analysis led by Dr. Brian VanderBeek explores the ocular safety profile of novel antithrombotics.

  • Dry Eye Image

    Patient Testimonial: Treating Dry Eye at Scheie

    Scheie Vision Summer 2018: Deborah Pley shares her experience with Penn's Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Center.

  • World Map

    Bringing Eye Care Across the World

    Scheie Vision Summer 2018: Dr. Sonul Mehta travels around the world to provide medical care to under-served populations.

  • Lang Lourng Ung

    Spotlighting Ophthalmic Technician Lang Lourng Ung

    Scheie Vision Summer 2018: In ophthalmology clinics, technicians like Lang, play a crucial role in optimizing the quality and efficiency of care.

  • Alumni Event

    144 Years of the Ophthalmology Department

    Scheie Vision Summer 2018: The Department of Ophthalmology celebrates its 144th Anniversary at the Scheie Alumni Meeting this past April.

  • Gene_Therapy_Graphic

    Milestone for Gene Therapy

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2017: Drs. Jean Bennett and Al Maguire receive FDA approval for first gene therapy targeting inherited retinal disease.

  • Photo of mosquito on skin

    Retinal Damage from Zika

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2017: Dr. Tomas Aleman studies Zika's effect on retinal development in infants.

  • Stacy_Yougn_With_Al_Maguire

    Patient Testimonial: Finding Her Way Out of the Darkness

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2017: Stacy Young sees hope 17 years after fireworks injury.

  • Drs. Brainard and Aguirre

    Understanding Photophobia

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2017: Vision scientists investigate function of a third class of light-sensing cells.

  • JMO_Student_Illustration

    Art of Diagnosis

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2017: Penn Medicine takes a creative approach to teaching medical observation.

  • Drs. Vatinee Bunya and Mina Massaro

    The DREAM Study

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2017: Dr. Vatinee Bunya and colleagues investigate whether Omega-3 fatty acids alleviate symptoms of dry eye disease.

  • CATT_Teaser

    10 Years After the Beginning of CATT

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2017: Dr. Maureen Maguire describes the history and promise of anti-VEGF drugs for treating AMD.

  • Scheie Residents Group Photo

    Scheie Residency Expands

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2017: The Ophthalmology Residency has expanded surgical volume in the past few years.

  • Scheie_Building_New_Arrivals

    New Arrivals 2017

    Scheie Vision Annual Report 2017: The Department of Ophthalmology welcomes its newest members.

  • Binenbaum_Examining_Camera

    Caring for Eyes of All Sizes

    Scheie Vision Summer 2017: Dr. Gil Binenbaum creates algorithm to save tens of thousands of healthy infants from unnecessary retinal exams.

  • Kim_StillShot

    Retina Research: A Spirit of Collaboration

    Scheie Vision Summer 2017: Dr. Benjamin Kim engages in multiple innovative research programs.

  • Prasad_Support_Group

    Vision Loss Support Group

    Scheie Vision Summer 2017: Dr. Ranjoo Prasad leads support group for patients with vision loss.

  • Portnoy_WithPatient_Language_Cropped

    Medical Interpretation Services

    Scheie Vision Summer 2017: Penn expands translation services for non-English speaking patients.

  • Briceno_Colombia

    Eye Care in Colombia

    Scheie Vision Summer 2017: Dr. César Briceño provides exams and glasses in remote Amazonian region.

  • Retina_Iron

    Does Excess Iron Contribute to AMD?

    Scheie Vision Summer 2016: Dr. Josh Dunaief and colleagues investigate new therapies for slowing AMD progression.

  • Grunwald_Action

    Tracking Kidney Disease in the Retina

    Scheie Vision Summer 2016: Dr. Juan Grunwald and colleagues identify link between retinopathy and chronic kidney disease.

  • faculty_spotlight

    Faculty Spotlights

    Penn ophthalmologists are pioneers in research and in patient care. Learn about the diverse and winding paths that took them to where they are today.

  • Surgery

    Alumni Spotlights

    Graduates of the Penn Ophthalmology residency and fellowship programs become leaders in research, patient care, and teaching. Check out the latest news with these alumni.

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