Department of Ophthalmology | Visiting Professor Lecture Series

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We are pleased to announce the 2015-2016 Boston Children’s Hospital Visiting Professor Series in Pediatric Ophthalmology. The Department of Ophthalmology includes 15 full-time clinical pediatric ophthalmologists, 5 pediatric optometrists, 2 MEEI faculty affiliates and 9 independent, NIH-funded visual systems researchers with expertise in the development of the visual system, photoreceptors, amblyopia, and the retinal vasculature. This year, our Selection Committee has chosen five experts from around the world who are doing leading-edge work in their field.

The Children’s Hospital Ophthalmology Foundation sponsors this series, as well as the Robb-Petersen Lecture, for the benefit of clinicians and researchers in the field of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus. The goal is to raise awareness of the work of our visiting speakers and to facilitate productive interactions between the visitors and those who attend. We hope that you will consider joining us for one or all of these events.


David G. Hunter, MD, PhD
Ophthalmologist-in-Chief, Boston Children's Hospital
Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

Paul Sieving, MD, PhD (September 23, 2015)

Dr. Sieving Is Director of the National Eye Institute, NIH.  Previously he was the Paul R. Lichter Professor of Ophthalmic Genetics at the University of Michigan (1985-2001).     Dr. Sieving studied nuclear physics at Yale Graduate School (1970-73) and attended Yale Law School (1973-74).  He received his MD (1978) and PhD (bioengineering, 1981) degrees from the University of Illinois.  After ophthalmology residency at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary under Mort Goldberg (1982-85), he did post-doctoral study in retinal physiology with Roy H. Steinberg at the University of California San Francisco (1982-83) and a clinical fellowship in retinal degenerations with Eliot Berson at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (1984-85).  Dr. Sieving is known for clinical and basic studies of genetic retinal neurodegenerations, including retinitis pigmentosa, and rodent models of these conditions. His laboratory study of pharmacological approaches to slowing degeneration in retinal transgenic animal models led to the first human clinical trial of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) for retinitis pigmentosa, published in PNAS, 2006. He developed a mouse model of X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) and treated this successfully using gene therapy which restored retinal function. He initiated the human XLRS gene therapy trial at NIH in 2015.  Dr. Sieving was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006, and to the German National Academy of Science in 2013. 

Grant Liu, MD (November 4, 2015)

Dr. Liu received his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1988. He completed a neurology residency at the Harvard-Longwood Neurology Program in 1992, followed by a neuro-ophthalmology fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in 1993. Dr. Liu began practicing neuro-ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in 1993, where there are now more than 2,000 pediatric neuro-ophthalmic visits per year. Dr. Liu is a member of the University of Pennsylvania's Division of Neuro-ophthalmology in the Departments of Neurology and Ophthalmology and Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology at the University Pennsylvania. He is considered an international expert on pediatric neuro-ophthalmic topics such as pediatric pseudotumor cerebri, vision testing in children with neurofibromatosis and optic pathway gliomas, and pediatric optic nerve disorders. Dr. Liu co-authored the textbook, Neuro-ophthalmology: Diagnosis and Management, which has been described as, "probably the best-illustrated, most comprehensive single-volume textbook on neuro-ophthalmology available today.”

Robert Hess, PhD (April 13, 2016)

Professor Robert F. Hess is the Director of Research at the Department of Ophthalmology, McGill University, Canada, and Director of its Vision Research Unit, where he is an associate faculty member in the Departments of Psychology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery. Dr. Hess obtained his PhD in visual perception from the University of Melbourne, Australia and an MSc in neuropsychology from Aston University, U.K.. He qualified in Optometry from the Queensland Institute of Technology, Australia. He was a Wellcome Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Physiology in the U.K. and a Meres Senior Fellow for Medical Research at St. John’s College, Cambridge. His accolades include the Eldridge-Green Medal from the U.K.’s Royal College of Surgeons. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and edited two books, one on optic neuritis and one on night vision. He was the founder and editor-in-chief of Clinical Vision Sciences in the 1990s. His broad research interests in normal visual processing include spatial, temporal, stereo, and motion processing, and he utilizes various techniques such as psychophysics, computational modelling, single-cell neurophysiology, evoked potentials, functional magnetic resonance imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and voxel­based morphometry. Hess’ interests in basic science involve understanding normal brain function and his interests in clinical vision center on amblyopia, which he believes the study of may also throw new light on unknown aspects of normal visual development.

Christine Wildsoet, Professor of Optometry (June 1, 2016)

Professor Wildsoet is a Professor of Optometry/Vision Science at the University of California Berkeley where her main teaching responsibilities are Systemic and Ocular Pharmacology, and her administrative duties cover research training programs and activities related to her role as equity advisor and interests in the problems faced by under-represented minorities. She is a fellow of both the American Academy of Optometry and ARVO and a long-term member of the IOVS editorial board. She grew up in rural Australia and received her optometry training at the Queensland University of Technology and her pharmacology and PhD graduate research training at University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. She is a recipient of a University medal from the University of Queensland, the Glenn A. Fry Award from the American Academy of Optometry (for research), and a Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award from UC Berkeley. The focus of research in the Wildsoet lab is myopia, specifically the mechanisms underlying the development of myopia and the clinical management of the same. Current research includes assessing novel optical lens designs and drugs, as well as injectible biomimetic polymers for slowing myopia progression and/or rehabilitating the thinned and weakened sclera of highly myopic eyes.

Kenneth Wright, MD (Robb-Petersen lecture, October 17, 2015)

A caring physician, Dr. Kenneth W. Wright is devoted to the welfare of children and the health of their eyes. For over 20 years, he has enjoyed teaching pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus fellows, and has alumni throughout the world.  Dr. Wright started his career at USC Keck School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, serving for 10 years, then served as Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology at The Cleveland Clinic for 3 years before returning to Los Angeles. 

Dr. Wright has authored more than 100 scientific research papers and 7 textbooks on ophthalmology and eye surgery including all 3 editions of the renowned 1000+page books, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (Oxford University Press), the award-winning Atlas of Ophthalmology Surgery –Strabismus (Springer Publishing), and the top selling book Pediatric Ophthalmology for Primary Care (American Academy of Pediatrics).  Founding the Wright Foundation for Pediatric Ophthalmology, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Dr. Wright set its mission to reduce blindness and suffering from eye disorders in children through research, education, and clinical care by means of a special pediatric eye clinic to serve underprivileged children.  

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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