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James V. Aquavella, M.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 273-3937

Office: (585) 273-3937

Fax: (585) 276-0292

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentAccepting New Patients

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments

Patient Care Setting



Dr. Aquavella was the first fellowship trained corneal surgeon in the United States when he established practice in Rochester in the mid-1960's as a specialist in cornea and external eye disease. He continues to be a leader in clinical practice, surgery, education and research.

He was a founder and past president of the Cornea Society, a Director of the Eye Bank Association of America, and served as a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration and Tissue Banks International. As past president of the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmology, he is well known for his work in the development of the therapeutic contact lens and the collagen shield.

While continuing to provide the best possible eye care, Dr. Aquavella is an internationally recognized lecturer, textbook author and researcher with over 350 publications. His current research interests include the ocular surface tear film, cornea wound healing and keratoprosthesis (artificial cornea transplantation).

Dr. Aquavella received his AB from Johns Hopkins University and his medical degree from the University of Naples. He has been a member of the health team at the Kings County Medical Center, Brooklyn Eye and Ear Hospital, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard University and the Schepens Institute in Boston.

A recipient of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Honor and Senior Honor Awards, Dr. Aquavella has been included for many years in Best Physicians in America and Best Physicians in the Northeast. He is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.


Dr. James Aquavella has organized a group of basic scientists including Geunyoung Yoon, Krystel Huxlin, and Jim Zavislan to evaluate human tear film dynamics and its relationship to clinical dry eye syndrome. Utilizing three new technologies developed at the Eye Institute, including wave front analysis, OCT, and ellipsometry, the team is measuring variations in tear film thickness and composition related to the normal blink reflex during altered environmental conditions. This multidisciplinary approach -- which may lead to a better diagnosis and treatment of clinical dry eye -- is a collaborative effort between the Eye Institute and the departments of immunology, oral biology, optics, and dermatology.



MD | Universita di Napoli (Italy)

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/01/1961 - 06/30/1963
Fellowship at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School

07/01/1959 - 06/30/1961
Residency in Ophthalmology at Brooklyn Hospital Center-Downtown Campus

07/01/1958 - 06/30/1959
Internship in Internal Medicine at Kings County Hospital Center-GME

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Journal Articles

Bawany MH, Kudla C, Khan FA, Chung MM, Aquavella JV. "Short-Term Outcomes of Pediatric Keratoprosthesis With the Near-Complete Conjunctival Flap." Cornea.. 2021 Jun 1; 40(6):679-684.

Asbell PA, Aquavella JV, Hamrah P, Pepose JS, Rose L, Ucakhan O. "ISOPT Hot Topic Panel Discussion on Cornea Anterior Segment Disease." Journal of ocular pharmacology and therapeutics : the official journal of the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics.. 2019 Oct; 35(8):447-456.

Dohlman CH, Cade F, Regatieri CV, Zhou C, Lei F, Crnej A, Harissi-Dagher M, Robert MC, Papaliodis GN, Chen D, Aquavella JV, Akpek EK, Aldave AJ, Sippel KC, D?Amico DJ, Dohlman JG, Fagerholm P, Wang L, Shen LQ, González-Andrades M, Chodosh J, Kenyon KR, Foster CS, Pineda R, Melki S, Colby KA, Ciolino JB, Vavvas DG, Kinoshita S, Dana R, Paschalis EI. "Chemical Burns of the Eye: The Role of Retinal Injury and New Therapeutic Possibilities." Cornea.. 2018 Feb; 37(2):248-251.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca and Sjogren's Syndrome
Book Title: Roy and Fraunfelder's Current Ocular Therapy
Author List: James V. Aquavella
Edited By: F. Hampton Roy, MD, Frederick W. Fraunfelder, MD, Frederick T. Fraunfelder, MD
Published By: Saunders Elsevier 2008

Chapter Title: Scleromalacia Perforans
Book Title: Roy and Fraunfelder's Current Ocular Therapy
Author List: James V. Aquavella, MD, Gregory J. McCormick, MD
Edited By: F. Hampton Roy, MD, Frederick W. Fraunfelder, MD, and Frederick T. Fraunfelder,
Published By: Saunders Elsevier 2008

Chapter Title: Lacrimal Hyposecretion
Book Title: Roy and Fraunfelder's Current Ocular Therapy
Author List: James V. Aquavella
Edited By: F. Hampton Roy, MD, Frederick W. Fraunfelder
Published By: Saunders Elsevier 2008




Environmental Chamber to help with dry-eye research


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