By Rebecca Salowe
Scheie Vision Summer 2018
Dr. Jonathan Prenner may live in the heart of Princeton’s campus, but he is a Penn Quaker at heart.
Originally from New York, Dr. Prenner received his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. After completing an internship at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in 1999, he moved back to Philadelphia for his residency at the Scheie Eye Institute.
Dr. Prenner distinctly remembers one of the reasons why he chose to pursue ophthalmology. “One of my fraternity brothers, Rick Kaiser, was a resident at Scheie when I was choosing a field,” he said. “He loved ophthalmology. I figured that if he liked it, then I would as well. Not a great method of decision making, but it luckily worked out.”
Dr. Prenner described his time as a Scheie resident as a “homecoming” for him. “It was a warm and nurturing environment that fostered intellectual curiosity and academic achievement in concert with clinical excellence,” he said. When looking back, he most remembers building strong relationships with friends and mentors at Scheie, and still cherishes these "rare relationships."
In particular, the mentorship of several faculty members (Drs. Jeff Berger, Al Maguire, and Sandy Brucker) helped Dr. Prenner choose a career as a retina specialist. “The camaraderie and fulfillment that went along with caring for people with severe diseases was inspiring,” he explained. “It was an outstanding era, when retina was really the specialty of the house.”
After completing his vitreoretinal fellowship with the Associated Retinal Consultants at William Beaumont Hospital, Dr. Prenner joined NJ Retina, a 20-doctor private practice specializing in retina. Two other Scheie graduates, Drs. Paul Hahn and Leonard Feiner, now serve as his partners. Though a high-volume clinical practice, NJ Retina also focuses on independent research and clinical trials. Dr. Prenner particularly enjoys researching and publishing on novel surgical techniques regarding complex intraocular lens surgery.
In 2017, Dr. Prenner was named the Chairman of the Ophthalmology Department at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. In this role, he hopes to continue to strengthen the mentoring program for medical students interested in ophthalmology. He is thrilled that the vitreoretinal surgery fellowship program has become one of the highest volume surgical programs in the nation.
Today, Dr. Prenner lives in Princeton with his wife, Becky, and two children, Sofia (13) and Max (8). They love living in a college town and close to family in New York.
“Scheie really gives residents the foundation required to have a superb career,” Dr. Prenner concluded. “I am exceptionally grateful to have benefitted so extensively from both Scheie and the University.”