Department of Ophthalmology | Visiting Professor Lecture Series

We are pleased to announce the 2017-2018 Boston Children’s Hospital Visiting Professor Series in Pediatric Ophthalmology. The Department of Ophthalmology includes 16 full-time clinical pediatric ophthalmologists, 6 pediatric optometrists, 3 MEEI faculty affiliates and 8 independent, NIH-funded visual systems researchers with expertise in the development of the visual system, photoreceptors, amblyopia, and the retinal vasculature. Our Selection Committee has chosen four experts from around the world who are doing leading-edge work in their field.

The Children’s Hospital Ophthalmology Foundation sponsors this series 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

Yoshikazu Imanishi, PhD (September 27, 2017)

Dr. Yoshikazu Imanishi earned his PhD in 2000 from Osaka University in Japan. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. He has solved several critical questions regarding the mechanisms and processes of photoreceptor development and maintenance, elevating the understanding, treatment and diagnosis of eye disorders. He and his laboratory team developed the photoconversion technique that enables fluorescent labeling of newly synthesized proteins. His work has dramatically increased the understanding of the etiology of Usher syndrome for which he has discovered a potential cure. In pursing the goal of discovering new therapies for the disease, Dr. Imanishi has also invented a new method of drug screening, which is applicable to inherited disorders caused by protein-destabilizing gene mutations. Usher syndrome is one of the most complex neurological disorders causing combined deafness and blindness. It occurs in approximately 1 of every 25,000 births and is the leading cause of combined deafness and blindness in the world. Dr. Imanishi has been the first, senior or contributing author for 39 original research articles, six review articles and four book chapters. His manuscripts have been published in journals such as Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Cell Metabolism, Journal of Cell Biology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Journal of Neuroscience. He is the recipient of 2017 Pisart Award in Vision Science, which was established in 1981 to recognize leadership and outstanding research contributions of independent vision research scientists.

Gerald W. Zaidman, MD (November 1, 2017)

Dr. Gerald Zaidman is Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Director of the Cornea Service and Vice-Chairman and Director of the Department of Ophthalmology at the New York Medical College, Westchester Medical Center. As a graduate from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he completed his Ophthalmology residency at Lenox Hill Hospital and his Cornea Fellowship at the Eye & Ear Hospital, University of Pittsburgh under Dr. Stuart Brown and Dr. Bartly Mondino. Following his fellowship he lived in Richmond, Virginia, where he was Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Co-Director of the Cornea Service at the Medical College of Virginia affiliated hospitals. He also was Director of Ophthalmology at the McGuire VA Hospital.

Dr. Zaidman has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and has presented at numerous meetings as a named lecturer on issues pertaining to cornea/external diseases, keratorefractive surgery, and pediatric corneal diseases. He has received both an honor award and a senior honor award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has received 7 research grants. He has traveled to many regions of the United States, Europe, and Asia as an invited guest lecturer. He has extensive experience in laser vision correction and corneal transplant surgery and has lectured at and moderated many national eye meetings.

He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and is a reviewer for all the major journals in ophthalmology. Dr. Zaidman is the founder and president of the Pediatric Keratoplasty Association. Through this society, Dr. Zaidman has organized and promoted pediatric keratoplasty, an area of extreme difficulty and complexity.

Gil Binenbaum, MD, MSCE (April 18, 2018)

Gil Binenbaum, MD, MSCE is the Richard Shafritz Chair in Ophthalmology Research, Attending Surgeon, and Director of Research in the Division of Ophthalmology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and he is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He completed medical school, residency, fellowship, and graduate studies in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at these same institutions. One of his primary research interests is retinopathy of prematurity, for which he is Chair of an international, multicenter ROP research group funded by the National Institutes of Health; their goal is to use biomarkers to improve prediction of ROP risk and increase the efficiency of ROP screening. He is recognized as an international expert and researcher in the mechanisms and patterns of intraocular injury in pediatric head trauma; the goal of this work is improve the accuracy of the diagnosis of child abuse. Dr. Binenbaum is a research mentor for students, at all levels of training, from college and medical school to residency and fellowship.

Vallabh Das, PhD (June 6, 2018)

Dr. Vallabh Das received his undergraduate degree from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India majoring in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering. He then moved to the United States for graduate studies and received a MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. His work, carried out under the mentorship of Dr. John Leigh, primarily examined the interactions between visual-oculomotor and vestibular systems. He did post-doctoral work at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University with Dr. Michael Mustari and during this time became interested in examining visual-oculomotor mechanisms in the strabismic non-human primate. He was appointed to the faculty at Emory University in 2002 and received an independent investigator award from the National Institutes of Health in 2004 to study neural circuits mediating binocular coordination of eye movements in the strabismic monkey. He has since maintained continued NIH funding. In 2009, he joined the faculty of the College of Optometry, University of Houston as Associate Professor and was subsequently promoted to Professor. In 2016, he was appointed as the Benedict-Pitts Professor and is currently also serving as the Chair of the Department of Vision Sciences at the College of Optometry. The goal of research in his laboratory is to uncover the disruption of neural processing in various visual and oculomotor brain areas in the strabismic monkeys. A better understanding of neural mechanisms that are affected in the different forms of strabismus will help develop rationally based therapy.