NYU Langone Names New Chair of Ophthalmology

Source: NYU Langone Health

Kathryn A. Colby, MD, PhD, an internationally renowned physician–scientist, has been appointed chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at NYU Langone Health. She assumes her new post this fall.

Dr. Colby is currently the Louis Block Professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the University of Chicago. Before her tenure there, she spent more than 20 years at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Colby specializes in the treatment of complex diseases of the cornea and ocular surface, including ocular surface tumors, keratoprosthesis (artificial cornea replacement), and corneal infections. She pioneered a minimally invasive treatment for Fuchs dystrophy. The technique, called Descemet stripping only, removes a thin layer of dysfunctional tissue to allow for tissue regeneration. It presents an alternative to corneal transplant and local immunosuppression treatment for those with mild or moderate disease.

She also was involved in the pivotal clinical trial of the Implantable Miniature Telescope (VisionCare), the first FDA-approved device to restore vision for advanced age-related macular degeneration, and determined the optimal surgical technique for placement of the device.

“Dr. Colby has earned tremendous respect from colleagues both nationally and internationally, and her experience will continue to advance the goals of the Department of Ophthalmology,” says Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean and chief executive officer of NYU Langone Health.

“NYU Langone is the most dynamic organization I’ve ever had the opportunity to visit, and I am very eager to join this outstanding institution’s Department of Ophthalmology,” says Dr. Colby. “My vision for the department is to create a unified culture that helps advance each mission area,” she adds, “to bring about innovative, patient-centered clinical care, further research collaborations, and new opportunities to enhance medical student, residency, and faculty development opportunities.”

“We thank Dr. Joel S. Schuman for his stewardship of the department and its growth over the past 5 years,” Dr. Grossman says. Under Dr. Schuman’s leadership, the department experienced significant growth—having increased to 43 faculty including 6 full-time researchers. He will remain on faculty as the Elaine Langone Professor of Ophthalmology and professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology at NYU Langone, where he will continue his clinical and research work.

The NYU Langone Eye Center has simultaneously expanded, with multiple locations throughout the region, bringing comprehensive, personalized, and innovative eye care directly to patients in the communities where they live and work. NYU Langone’s team of specialists and subspecialists are leading experts in the early detection and treatment of eye disorders in adults and children.


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