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Featured Speakers

Snell Memorial Lecturer, Daniel F. Martin, M.D.

Daniel  Martin, MD, is Chair of the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute, the Barbara and A. Malachi Mixon III Institute Chair in Ophthalmology, and Professor of Ophthalmology in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University.  Dr. Martin’s primary research interest is in clinical trials and the evaluation of new treatments for retinal diseases.  Dr. Martin serves as the Study Chair for the Comparison of AMD Treatments Trials (CATT) and also serves as the Network Chair for the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR). He has previously served as principal investigator for many AMD, diabetes, and uveitis trials including AREDS, SOCA, and MUST, and has served on numerous Data and Safety Monitoring Boards and Steering Committees. 

Dr. Martin completed medical school at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine followed by residency and chief residency in ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine.  He completed a fellowship in Vitreoretinal Surgery and Diseases at Duke University Eye Center followed by a two-year fellowship in Uveitis and Ocular Immunology at the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health.  He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed articles, delivered 28 named lectures, and delivered more than 320 invited lectures.  Dr. Martin has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 74th Edward Jackson Memorial Lecture at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO); the Senior Honor Award and Secretariat Award from the AAO; the Pyron Award and the Crystal Apple Award and Senior Honor Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS).

Frederick Dushay, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professor, David J. Wilson, M.D.

Dr. David J. Wilson, MD, is Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, Director of the Casey Eye Institute, and Thiele-Petti Chair in Ophthalmology in the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. He has also served as director of the Department of Ophthalmology residency program and the retina fellowship program. and is director of the Christensen Eye Pathology Laboratory at Casey Eye Institute. Dr. Wilson's primary areas of interest include eye pathology, clinicopathologic correlation of ocular disease, macular degeneration and surgery, and ocular oncology. As chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Wilson limits his practice to ocular oncology.

Dr. Wilson received his bachelor's degree in chemistry at Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa) and his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine (Alpha Omega Alpha). He completed his residency in ophthalmology at OHSU, a research and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Ophthalmic Consultants in Boston. He is a trustee of the Society of Heed Fellow and has given numerous named lectures throughout the world. He has authored or co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters


Ramesh Ayyala, M.B.B.S.

Ramesh Ayyala, M.B.B.S, F.R.C.S. is an internationally renowned glaucoma surgeon and researcher and is the James & Heather Gills Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology  at University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. Prior to coming to USF, he re-built the ophthalmology program at Tulane University after Hurricane Katrina. His clinical expertise includes surgical management of corneas and cataracts as well as glaucoma. Dr. Ayyala’ s research focuses on improving glaucoma drainage devices and developing next generation drug delivery systems for controlled release of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents or other medications.  His work led to the creation of a new drug-coated drainage device to decrease scar tissue formation and enhance patient outcomes following glaucoma surgery.

Originally from Hyderabad, India, Dr. Ayyala graduated from Gandhi Medical College, Osmania University in Hyderabad and completed residency training in ophthalmology at Mersey Region Hospitals, United Kingdom (UK), and at USF, Tampa, FL.  He also served a fellowship in glaucoma surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and another in cornea and external diseases at Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA.


Suzanne Freitag, M.D.

Suzanne, Freitag, M.D., is the Director of the Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery Service and Co-Director of the Center for Thyroid Eye Disease and Orbital Surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. She specializes in disorders of the eyelid, orbit and lacrimal system and also performs cosmetic eyelid surgery and injects facial fillers and Botox. She completed her medical degree at Jefferson Medical College and her residency training in ophthalmology at Wills Eye Hospital. She then completed fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology and orbital surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a fellowship in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery in Boston at Tufts, Mass. Eye and Ear and Brown.

Dr. Freitag's research interests include skin cancer, eyelid reconstruction, surgery to elevate droopy eyelids, cosmetic eyelid surgery, tumors and diseases of the eye socket, thyroid-related eye disease, trauma of the eye socket, blocked tear drains/lacrimal system, cosmetic facial fillers and Botox, blepharospasm, pediatric eyelid and tear drainage disorders. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and posters and has delivered numerous lectures throughout the world. 

Janet Rucker, M.D.

Janet Rucker, M.D., is the Bernard A. and Charlotte Marden Professor of Neurology, Professor of Ophthalmology and Division Chiefe of Neuro-ophthalmology at New York University Langone Health. Her clinical interests include double vision, optic neuropathy, optic neuritis, eye movement disorder, nystagmus and ptosis. Her research interests encompass optic nerve diseases, brain concussion, ocular motilitty disorders and magnetic resonance imaging.

She received her medical degree from St Louis University and went on to complete a residency in Neurology at Emory University where she also completed a fellowship in Neuro-ophthalmology. She has contributed to more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in journals of ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology and neurology and has delivered hundreds of lectures. She is a Board Member of the North American Society of Neuro-ophthalmologists


John Vukich, M.D.

John Vukich, M.D., is Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School and Surgical Director of the Davis Duehr Dean Centre for Refractive Surgery in Madison, Wisconsin. He has gained international attention for his work in developing the Implantable Contact Lens and serves as U,S, Medical Monitor of the core FDA studies for this device. He has been Principal Investigator in six clinical trials evaluating various intraocular lenses as well as non-invasive diagnostic imaging devices.

Dr. Vukich has presented over 100 original research papers and invited lectures on refractive surgery on six continents. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Refractive Surgery, and has served on the executive committee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Refractive Surgery section and on the education committee of the AAO. He graduated with from Emory University and completed his Ophthalmology training at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.