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Cornea Fellowship

Dr. James Aquavella initiated the Cornea Fellowship Program in 1974. Dr. Aquavella, past president of the Corneal Society, has lead the fellowship for over 40 years. In 2014 Dr. Scott MacRae joined Dr. Aquavella as co-director of the fellowship.  Since its inception, 75 clinical fellows and 30 research fellows have been trained. Graduates are located throughout the United States, as well as South America, Japan, China, Egypt, England, Israel, South Africa, Korea, Germany and India.

The Flaum Eye Institute offers both a clinical AUPO certified program and research (see below) fellowship programs. We seek committed candidates who intend to pursue academic or advanced anterior segment surgical careers. Programs can be structured to accommodate specific research interests or projects. Clinical Fellowships are of one year duration, unless extended by mutual agreement. A generous stipend is available. All candidates must have a New York State license to be eligible.

Clinical faculty includes:

Cornea Research at the University of Rochester Flaum Eye Institute, the Center for Visual Science and the Institute of Optics collaborate closely and as such, constitute one of the foremost centers for eye research.The University of Rochester Institute of Optics is one of the premier Optics groups in the world and has been instrumental in contributing to the development of many optical instruments and lasers used in ophthalmology.  

Our Cornea Service constitutes an anterior segment, cornea, complicated cataract/IOL and external disease referral center for Western New York, Northern Pennsylvania and Southern Ontario (Canada). Over 150 keratoplasty and 1,200 refractive procedures annually. The Flaum Eye Institute is a center of excellence for the evaluation of keratoprosthesis and deep lamellar keratoplasty. Fellows and faculty routinely employ tissue adhesives, amniotic membranes, collagen shields, bandage lenses, PTK and a variety of standard and new techniques. Clinical fellows typically perform more than 45 keratoplasties during their rotation.   Procedures performed in our modern and well equipped operating rooms include PK, DSAEK, DMEK, DALK and Keratoprosthesis, advanced cataract and IOL exchange techniques, anterior and pars plana vitrectomy. In addition the fellow is trained and performs laser refractive surgeries such as PRK, LASIK and PTK and UV crosslinking at our state of the art refractive surgery center with Dr. MacRae, recipient of the Barraquer Award, the highest award in the world of refractive surgery.

Clinical fellows are members of the faculty, function as instructors in the Residency Program, and are intimately involved in educational activities of the Institute. Prior to initiating their fellowship year, the fellow can select a defined research project, initiate discussions with the involved mentors and formulate a plan which will lead to completion of the project and potential publication. There are a number of areas of interest include dry eye research, advanced lamellar and endothelial transplantation techniques, ocular microbiology as well as advanced wavefront  and IOL optics, new laser development and advanced techniques in refractive surgery. Fellows are also encouraged to participate on ongoing research projects of the department and are sponsored to attend any meeting in which a presentation has been accepted.

We maintain an affiliation with the LV Presad Institute of Hyderabad, India, where clinical fellows are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to spend a one month rotation at the completion of their formal fellowship year.

Research Fellowships:

Research fellowships in cornea, anterior segment and external disease can be structured for periods of several months to 3 years. Non-U.S. citizens must have the appropriate visa and immigration clearances. A medical license is not required for research fellowships. Depending on the availability of funding, a stipend may be provided. Sponsorship is frequently provided by the applicant’s medical school, ophthalmology department or hospital. Fellows in this program work directly under supervision of a senior faculty member and are assigned to a specific research project. As time allows, they are invited to participate as observers in all clinical activities including surgery and have free access to all research and clinical meetings and educational functions. They too are sponsored to attend any meeting in which their work has been accepted for presentation. On occasion individuals may be accepted as observers for limited periods of time.

To apply to the Program: please visit the San Francisco Match web site.

Questions about our program can be directed to:
Kim Catalino
601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 659
Rochester, NY 14642