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Vision: The vision of the University of Cincinnati Department Of Ophthalmology is to be a center of excellence for the field of ophthalmology to develop a leading national program in ophthalmology.

Mission: The mission of the University of Cincinnati Department of Ophthalmology is to provide medical student and resident teaching, covering ophthalmic medical and surgical care at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, as well as supporting clinical and basic science research.

History: The Department of Ophthalmology at the University College of Medicine was established as an independent academic unit of the medical school in 1865.

The first department chairman was Elkanah Williams, MD, one of the first surgeons in the United States to limit his practice to ophthalmology and an early proponent of the ophthalmoscope for ocular examination.

The fourth department chairman was Derrick Vail Jr., MD, who achieved international prominence as Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Ophthalmology and Senior Ophthalmic Consultant for all American Armed Forces in the European Theater of Operations during World War II.

Unfortunately for Cincinnati, he relocated to Chicago following the war to become the ophthalmology chair at Northwestern University.

The sixth department chairman was Taylor Asbury, M.D., also known to many as “Tuck”. DR. Asbury was appointment to his position in 1966 and was the son of a prominent medical couple Dr. Eslie Asbury and Dr. Mary Knight Absury. Dr. Asbury’s mother was a distinguished ophthalmic pathologist who established an Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory at the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine.

Dr. Asbury served as chairman until 1977, returning from 1194 – 1995 and 1997 – 1999 to serve as Interim chairman during transitional times in the department. Dr. Asbury played a pivotal role in establishing the Cincinnati Eye Bank for Sight Restoration where he served as medical director for 50 years. Tuck has also served extensive roles in fund-raising for the department t which has resulted in establishment of the Mary Knight Asbury Chair of Ophthalmic Pathology in 1995 and founding Quest for Vision in 1995. Although Dr. Asbury is now retired from practice, he still plays an important role in the department serving on the Advisory Board for the Quest for Vision and recent involvement in establishing the Dr. Taylor Asbury Endowed Chair in Com¬prehensive Ophthalmology.

The first full-time department chairman was Joel Sacks, MD, who served from 1977 through 1994. Dr. Sacks recruited many of the current faculty members and established an ophthalmic research program in the department. During his time, Dr. Sacks’ initiated an annual lectureship in honor of Dr. Taylor Asbury as a combined function of the Department of Ophthalmoo.lgy and the Cincinnati Society of Ophthalmology. The first Asbury lecture was in 1997 and still continues to date.

The ninth department chairman was James Augsburger, M.D. He has been at UC since 1999 and served as chairman for 15 years. He is the department’s ocular oncologist and is internationally known. He is a member of the American Ophthalmological Society and a prior recipient of both the Honor Award and Senior Honor Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is author or coauthor of nearly 300 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and over 50 published book chapters. He has lectured widely in this country and abroad on many ocular oncology topics. During his tenure, Dr. Augsburger was instrumental in assisting the department in developing a further, deeper collaboration with Cincinnati Eye Institute. Although there has been a long standing relationship with CEI, a formalized Academic Services Agreement was signed in November 2014. This agreement will continue to strengthen the Department of Ophthalmology and CEI’s relationships enabling us to develop a leading national program in ophthalmology.

The current and tenth department chairman, Dr. Karl C. Golnik served as interim chairman in 2014 and was appointed the permanent, full-time position in 2015. Dr. Golnik received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and continued to Ophthalmology Residency at the University of Virginia. The department’s only neuro-ophthalmologist completed his Neuro-Ophthalmology fellowship at the Wilmer Institute as Johns Hopkins. Dr. Golnik is internationally renowned who was given invited lectures in more than 45 countries. He currently serves as the International Council of Ophthalmology’s Director for Education and chairs the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology’s Residency Education Committee. He has also been accepted to the American Ophthalmological Society. Dr. Golnik has been awarded with North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society Resident—Fellow Award, multiple awards for Teaching Excellence, The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Secretariat Award (twice), the Straatsma Award for best Ophthalmology Residency Program Director in the USA and the ACGME Parker Palmer Award as one of the best residency program directors in all fields in the United States.

The department currently consists over 60 faculty members, many internationally known, including full-time, research, part-time, volunteer, visiting and ancillary members.

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Medical Sciences Building Room 5110
231 Albert Sabin Way, 5th Floor
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0527