Ophthalmology Advances


Advances in Ophthalmology

Strength in Collaboration: Columbia and Weill Cornell Ophthalmology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Columbia and Weill Cornell ophthalmologists propelled the transformative growth of the Ophthalmology services at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where nationally and internationally recognized faculty from the Department of Ophthalmology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center combine talent and resources to provide programs of excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the eye. This energetic partnership — made possible by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s affiliation with two renowned medical schools, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medicine — enables our ophthalmologists to provide the most advanced treatment for the entire spectrum of eye diseases through programs that are among the largest and most comprehensive in the country, and unmatched research and educational opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow in ophthalmology and vision science.

Dr. Cioffi
Dr. Damico

George A. (Jack) Cioffi (left) and Donald J. D'Amico (right)

Led by George A. (Jack) Cioffi, the Edward S. Harkness Chairman and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Donald J. D'Amico, MD, the John Milton McLean Professor and Chairman of Ophthalmology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine, our NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital centers are destinations of choice for patients who seek out ophthalmology expertise and experience from the metropolitan area, across the country, and around the world. Our physicians and surgeons are innovators in the field, working collaboratively to develop and refine techniques that have restored vision for the most complex patients.

Through the active integration of our clinical, research and educational programs across NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia and Weill Cornell, we are passionately committed to the pursuit of progress in the labs and at the bedside to improve the lives of our patients and extend the boundaries of what is possible in diagnosis, management, and treatment of eye disease.

Measures of Distinction


  • 426 Total staff and faculty
  • 81 Full time faculty
  • 64 Part time teaching faculty
  • >500 Abstracts and publications written past year
  • Both Chairs and several faculty members serve as Editor-in-Chief of major Ophthalmology journals
  • 48 Best Doctors

Patient Care

  • 185,000 Outpatient visits annually
  • 8,695 Surgical procedures annually


  • 28 Major Donor-Funded Programs
  • $13M received from the NIH. Combined granting places us at the top 3 in the nation
  • 70 Ongoing clinical trials (NIH, corporate and investigator-initiated)


  • Over the last 5 years, between 6-10 medical school graduates have gone into Ophthalmology
  • 7 Residents per year
  • 20 Fellows per year
  • Integrated internships at both campuses
  • Robust fellowship matches for our trainees

Clinical Services

At the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, patients have access to a full gamut of ophthalmology services from two of the county’s top tier medical environments. Our combined programs strengthen and extend our ability to offer the most advanced technologies, newest therapies, and interdisciplinary approaches for the most challenging ophthalmologic disorders.

Our clinical services include:

  • Cataract Surgery
  • Comprehensive/General Ophthalmology
  • Corneal and Anterior Segment Disease Services, including advanced corneal transplantation procedures as well as permanent keratoprosthesis implantation
  • Eye Genetics and Electrodiagnostic Testing
  • Glaucoma Services
  • Laser Vision Correction Center
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • Ocular Oncology
  • Ophthalmic Plastic, Reconstructive & Orbital Surgery
  • Optometric Services
  • Orthoptic Services
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology
  • PROSE - Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem
  • Retina Services
  • Uveitis & Ocular Inflammation Services
  • Vitreoretinal & Macular Disease Services

Our services are available at many locations throughout the metropolitan area, including the highly efficient and appealing outpatient offices equipped with the latest technologies.

Cutting-edge ophthalmologic surgery is performed in our state-of-the-art eye ORs including three in the new outpatient NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center.

Innovations at a Glance

  • Collaborating with the William Randolph Hearst Burn Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine to provide seamless, comprehensive care to patients with burns of the eye, including thermal burns, chemical burns, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Pioneers of amniotic membrane therapy, a standard of treatment for severe ocular surface disease in burn units around the nation.
  • At the forefront of innovation in ocular oncology, in which experts in cornea, retina, uveitis and neuro-ophthalmology collaborate with other specialty practices to provide unparalleled comprehensive and cutting edge treatment of ocular tumors including intraocular tumor resection, as well as laser, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments for the eye, eyelid, orbit and conjunctiva.
  • Offering permanent keratoprosthesis (KPro), an artificial corneal replacement technology. This technology has restored vision to many patients with otherwise hopeless vision loss due to severe corneal scarring, and requires choreographed simultaneous surgery by corneal and retinal surgical teams.
  • Serving as a regional referral center for orbital tumors, screening approximately 100 new cases annually to diagnose and treat cancers involving the orbit, brain, and paraorbital sinuses.
  • World-renowned for development of advanced techniques for retinal detachment repair from all causes ranging from spontaneous detachment to such complex situations as giant tear, diabetic traction detachment requiring vitrectomy, severe ocular trauma, retinopathy of prematurity, and recurrent detachment due to scar tissue. NYP retinal surgeons pioneered the use of gases and perfluorchemicals in these procedures, which are mainstays worldwide today.
  • Unlocking the genetic basis of myopia and retinal degenerations, and using these insights to develop novel therapies to prevent disease progression.
  • One of only 11 ophthalmology sites in the United States that offers PROSE (Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem) treatment to restore vision in patients with complex ocular surface disease including intractable dry eye.
  • Transforming the field with a revolutionary Precision Ophthalmology program that is taking genetic discoveries from the laboratory and moving them rapidly into clinical practice.
  • Serving as a leading center for Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty [DSAEK], a partial-thickness, suture-less approach to keratoplasty that has revolutionized corneal transplant surgery by eliminating all of the problems associated with full-thickness, sutured grafts.
  • Genotyping over 800 patients with retinitis pigmentosa and juvenile macular degeneration and currently awaiting FDA approval for gene therapy approaches to restore these patients’ sight and peace of mind.
  • One of a few centers in the U.S. to offer neuro-ophthalmology programs for patients with neurologic and systemic disorders that affect vision and eye movements, such as cerebrovascular disease, migraine, demyelination, thyroid disease, myasthenia, and other auto-immune diseases. In this regard, the unmatched imaging capabilities of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s radiology departments complement these clinicians and enables the highest level of accuracy in diagnosis and treatment.
  • Harnessing artificial intelligence and machine learning for the diagnosis and classification of patients with a variety of retinal disorders, particularly diabetic retinopathy. This is one of several efforts currently underway in association with Primary Care to expand Tele-Ophthalmology practice.
  • Spearheading research initiatives on ocular disease in the many underserved populations in the New York metropolitan area to bring a novel screening and follow-up programs directly to people in need.

Cutting-Edge Research

The Department of Ophthalmology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center are leading international centers for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye, with priority emphasis on the basic science and translational research necessary to uncover the cause of these diseases and develop new vision-saving treatments.

Our exceptional research faculty and their innovative research have resulted in landmark breakthroughs in virtually every area of ophthalmic science, as well as NIH funding, new clinical trials and increased private support. Combined, NYP/Columbia and NYP/Weill Cornell Medicine is among the 3 highest NIH-funded Departments of Ophthalmology in the country.

Some of our most notable research efforts in genetics, translational research and bioinformatics have yielded impressive diagnostic and treatment methods for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), complex retinal detachments, retinopathy of prematurity, glaucoma and disease of the cornea.

In aggregate, we have a vibrant protocol development team that provides patients with greater access to clinical trials and fosters the rapid translation of bench-to-bedside discoveries.

We participate in over 40 clinical trials involving new therapeutic and diagnostic methods for various diseases, including:

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) & Stargardt’s disease
  • Glaucoma treatments
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Corneal collagen cross-linking for Keratoconus and Post-LASIK Ectasia
  • Retinal ultrasound imaging
  • Ocular stem cell biology
  • Advanced uveal melanoma

Graduate Medical Education

NYP/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NYP/Weill Cornell Medicine have long histories of educating the next generation of ophthalmologists and vision science researchers who will provide excellent care and lead in their field. Broadened clinical volume, case complexity, surgical expertise, and innovative technology draw the brightest minds to our programs to train in new techniques and learn the skills of caring for each individual patient.

We are extremely proud of our residency and fellowship graduates for their outstanding clinical skills and personal qualities as physicians.

About NewYork-Presbyterian

NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation’s most comprehensive, integrated academic healthcare systems, encompassing 10 hospital campuses across the Greater New York area, more than 200 primary and specialty care clinics and medical groups, and an array of telemedicine services. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is the only academic medical center in the nation affiliated with two world-class medical schools, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. This collaboration means patients have access to the country’s leading physicians, the full range of medical specialties, latest innovations in care, and research that is developing cures and saving lives.


For more information

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia - Ophthalmology

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell - Ophthalmology


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