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James V. Aquavella, M.D.


Clinical Interests

Cornea & External Disease

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 273-3937

Fax: (585) 276-0292

Office: (585) 273-3937

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentAccepting New Patients

Research Labs


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 (artifical 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 diagnosois and treatment of clinical dry eye -- is a collaborative effort between the Eye Institute and the departments of immunology, oral biology, optics, and dermatology.


Faculty Appointments


  • Ophthalmology - American Board of Ophthalmology


BA | Johns Hopkins University
Biological Science

MD | Italy-Fac Med U Naples

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

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

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

07/01/1961 - 06/30/1963
Fellowship in at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

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Journal Articles

Kammerdiener LL, Speiser JL, Aquavella JV, Harissi-Dagher M, Dohlman CH, Chodosh J, Ciolino JB. "Protective effect of soft contact lenses after Boston keratoprosthesis." The British journal of ophthalmology.. 2016 Apr 0; 100(4):549-52. Epub 2015 Aug 14.

Ahmad S, Mathews PM, Srikumaran D, Aldave AJ, Lenis T, Aquavella JV, Hannush SB, Belin M, Akpek EK. "Outcomes of Repeat Boston Type 1 Keratoprosthesis Implantation." American journal of ophthalmology.. 2016 Jan 0; 161:181-7.e1. Epub 2015 Oct 23.

Abreau K, Callan C, Kottaiyan R, Zhang A, Yoon G, Aquavella JV, Zavislan J, Hindman HB. "Temperatures of the Ocular Surface, Lid, and Periorbital Regions of Sjögren's, Evaporative, and Aqueous-Deficient Dry Eyes Relative to Normals." The ocular surface.. 2016 Jan 0; 14(1):64-73. Epub 2015 Oct 23.

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 Elsevier2008

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 Elsevier2008

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 Elsevier2008




Environmental Chamber to help with dry-eye research