University of Rochester names new chair of Ophthalmology

Internationally acclaimed clinician, researcher, inventor to lead new eye institute

October 26, 2001

Steven E. Feldon, M.D., M.B.A., an internationally acclaimed clinical and basic scientist with a specialty in orbital disease and neuro-ophthalmology, an inventor of ophthalmic instruments, and an entrepreneur and business executive, has been named chair of the University of Rochester Department of Ophthalmology.

Feldon has a special interest in the management of patients with thyroid-associated eye disease. His clinical expertise has been recognized in "Best Doctors in America."

Among his career accomplishments, he has invented ophthalmic instruments and created a company to manufacture and market them. He also created a company to market an electronic medical record-keeping system, which he invented.

Through his research, Feldon developed a predictive technique for determining which Graves' disease patients are at risk for visual loss, and his current research involves investigating the biological origin of Graves' disease. He also leads the visual field and photographic center for a national trial in the treatment of anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.

He was recruited from the No. 7 ranked Doheny Eye Institute in Los Angeles, where he served as associate chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Southern California and vice president of business development, marketing and finance of the Doheny Eye Medical Group Inc.

As chair of the department, Feldon will leverage the vision-related clinical and research components that exist at the University of Rochester, and will build on that foundation.

"Ten years from today, the eye institute will be perceived as one of the top 10 centers for the study and care of the eye," Feldon says. "We have an unparalleled opportunity here in Rochester to advance eye care regionally, nationally and worldwide."

"The University of Rochester already has experts in various centers of excellence that focus on visual science, including the Center for Visual Science, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Computer Science, Optics, Ophthalmology, Neurobiology, Anatomy and Neurology," he adds. "Our opportunity is to bring them all together to advance the science of ophthalmology in a very significant way, and further complement that knowledge base by recruiting additional specialists and scientists."

Among existing resources related to vision health that Rochester has in place:

· The world-renowned University of Rochester Center for Visual Science

· Nationally recognized academic programs at both the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology in optics, biomedical engineering, cognitive science and other vision-related fields

· The Alliance for Vision Excellence, a collaboration of the University of Rochester Department of Ophthalmology, the Center for Visual Science and Bausch & Lomb Inc. that will create advanced vision technology and treatment

· A history of support for substantial technological innovation from companies such as Bausch & Lomb Inc., Welch Allyn Inc., Eastman Kodak Co., Xerox Corp. and Corning Inc.

Feldon's vision for the eye institute includes a unique model that brings together

existing as well as new clinicians and researchers. They will work together closely to enhance patient care, to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic devices and techniques, and to advance basic research in ophthalmology. Facilitating these goals will be a physical layout that will foster interaction and collaboration among the faculty. Such an environment consists of clinical exam rooms, conference rooms and research labs in immediately adjacent areas. The result will be state-of-the-art care and the most innovative research.

In addition to his charge as head of the new eye institute, Feldon will oversee a collaborative relationship between the University of Rochester and Bausch & Lomb. Both have made a substantial financial commitment to advance scientific knowledge in the field of ophthalmology.

"This is consistent with our goal to make Rochester the healthiest community in the United States by the year 2020," says Jay H. Stein, M.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center and Strong Health. "Our first step was to recruit Dr. Feldon, a prominent clinician, scientist, educator and entrepreneur, to lead our efforts. His direction, together with the additional resources made available by B&L in the form of cash, equipment and personnel, will allow us to develop the most advanced ophthalmic technologies in the world."

Feldon earned his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Harvard University, along with three fellowships: a research fellowship in neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, a clinical fellowship in ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and a clinical fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco.

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Karin Christensen
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