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Lama A. Al-Aswad, MD, MPH

Ophthalmology (Board Certified, Primary Specialty)
Cataract Surgery
Languages: Arabic
One of America's Top Doctors


Dr. Lama A. Al-Aswad is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at CUMC. In addition to her clinical work, she currently serves as the Institute’s glaucoma fellowship director, and is responsible for training both national and international glaucoma fellows.

She received her medical degree from Damascus University, Syria, and completed a research fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School. She went on to finish her ophthalmology residency at State University of New York, Downstate at Brooklyn where, in her last year of residency, she served as Chief Resident. She completed her Glaucoma Fellowship at University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. 

In 2015, Dr. Al-Aswad was also conferred the degree Master of Public Health from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health for her work in healthcare policy and management.

Dr. Al-Aswad served on the Medical Advisory Board for the USA ANIRIDIA NETWORK from 2004 to 2009. In addition to being a POC and Self-Assessment Panel Member (Comprehensive Ophthalmology and Pediatric Ophthalmology/Strabismus) American Academy of Ophthalmology from 2004 to 2006, she also served on the Provision Development committee of the AAO from 2005 to 2006. Dr. Al-Aswad has been the director of the glaucoma screening program at Columbia University and served on the Columbia BSCS committee since 2006. She has served on a multitude of other committees as well, including the Columbia University Implementation of the Academic Tracks committee, Woman in Ophthalmology committee and Glaucoma 360 Program committee.

Dr. Al-Aswad has received multiple awards, the most recent of which is Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2012 and the Visionary Award for Hospital Based Screening Programs from the Friends of the Congressional Caucus Foundation in 2011.

In addition, Dr. Al-Aswad is involved in multiple clinical trials as a principle investigator or co-investigator, and has published in major peer-reviewed journals. She has published book chapters and teaching surgical videos in glaucoma as well.

Area of Expertise

Please contact the doctor's office to verify that your insurance is accepted.

Aetna [EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, NY Signature, NYP Employee Plan, POS, PPO, Signature Administrators, Student Health]

Amida Care [Special Needs Plan]

Cigna [EPO, Great West, HMO, POS, PPO]

Emblem/GHI [Medicare Managed Care, PPO]

Emblem/HIP [ConnectiCare, EPO, Essential Plan, HMO, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO, Select Care (Exchange), Vytra]

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield [Blue Access (Exchange), EPO, Gatekeeper (Exchange), HMO, Medicare Managed Care, Pathway (Exchange), POS, PPO]

MagnaCare [MagnaCare]

Medicare [Traditional Medicare (NY)]

Multiplan [Multiplan]

Oxford Health Plans [Freedom, Liberty, Medicare Managed Care]


UnitedHealthcare [Columbia University Employee Plan, Compass (Exchange), Essential Plan, HMO, Medicaid (Community Plan), Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO]

VNSNY CHOICE [Medicare Managed Care]

WellCare [Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care]


Damascus University School of Medicine, Syria

MPH, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Internship: Boston Medical Center

Residency: State University of New York - Downstate Medical Center

Fellowship: University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center



Lama A. Al-Aswad, MD, Daniel S. Casper, MD, PhD:  Clinical Atlas of Procedures in Ophthalmic and Oculofacial Surgery; chapter in Laser Trabeculoplasty.  Daniel M. Albert MD, MS, FACS & Mark J. Lucarelli, MD, FACS editors.  Oxford University Press 2011; 308-312

Lama A. Al-Aswad, MD, Chandler and Grants Glaucoma; chapter in 24 hr IOP Monitoring and Medical Control of Glaucoma.  Slack Incorporated, Publication in Process.

Newark  E, Al-Aswad, LA, Bidwell, AE, Choplin, NT, Duffner, LR, Ehrenhaus, MP, Engelstein, JM, Friedman, NJ, Goldberg DF, Goldman DA, Horn EP, Mitchell KB, Moshfeghi AA, Orengo-Nania SD, Russell SR, Shamis DJ, Shields SM, Stern GA, Wallshein, JS authors.  Certified Ophthalmic Assistant Exam- Study Guide, American Academy of Ophthalmology, The Eye M.D. Association.

Al-Aswad LA, Riansuwan A, Otis JJ. Aniridia, WAGR Syndrome and Associated Conditions, Aniridia and WAGR Syndrome, Oxford University Press, 2010; 3-13

Al-Aswad LA, Netland PA. Laser treatment in glaucoma.  In Higginbotham EJ, Lee DA editors.  Clinical guide to glaucoma management 1nd ed. Woburn MA: Butterworth and Heinemann , 2004; 391-411

Al-Aswad L:  cardiology, Gastrointestinal, Urology, Neurology chapters in Fundamentals and Diagnostics of Radiology. ( Arabic) M.B. Sawaf (Eds), Nadar Printing 1993.


Lieberman RA, Maris PJ Jr., Monroe H, Al-Aswad LA, Bansal R, Lopez R, Florakis GJ.Corneal Graft Survival and Intraocular Pressure  Control in Coexisting Penetrating Keratoplasty and Pars Plana   Ahmed Glaucoma Valves. Cornea 2012 Apr; 31(4):350-8. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31823cbd29

Maris PJ Jr., Tsai JC, Khatib N, Bansal R, Al-Aswad LA. Clinical Outcomes of Ahmed Glaucoma Valve in Posterior Segment versus Anterior Chamber. J Glaucoma. 2012 Aug 20.  PMID:22914424

Wen-Jen (Melissa) Yao, M.D., Scott Walsman, M.D., Sara T. Ali, M.D., Lama A.  Al-Aswad, M.D. Ahmed Valve Implant versus Non-Filtering Management of Neovacular.  World Glaucoma Congress 201

Visual Outcomes in Treating Neovascular Glaucoma with Ahmed Valves. Lama A. Al-Aswad, MD.¹, Scott M. Walsman, M.D.¹ ARVO 2010

Tari, Samir R. MD; Greenstein, Vivienne C. PhD; Tsang, Stephen MD;  Lama Al-Aswad, MD, Electroretinography and microperimetry as noninvasive    diagnostic tools for cilioretinal artery occlusion. Retinal Cases and Brief Reports 2(2):158-159, 2008

Zemon V, Tsai JC, Forbes M, Al-Aswad LA, Chen CM, Gordon J, Greenstein VC, Hu G,Strugstad EC, Dhrami-Gavazi E, Jindra LF.  Novel electrophysiological instrument for rapid and objective assessment of magnocellular deficits associated with glaucoma.  Doc Ophthalmology May 16, 2008

Lama Al-Aswad, MD. Lucian Del Priore, MD. PhD. Michael J. Weiss MD. PhD. Max Forbes, MD. Gaetano R. Barile, MD.  Treatment of Neovascular Glaucoma with Intravitreal Bevacizumab.  IX Congress of MEACO 2007.  Middle East Journal of Ophthalmology

Lama Al-Aswad, MD; Peter Netland, MD, PhD; A. Robert Bellows, MD;  MD; Richard Hill, MD. Initial Clinical Experience with the Double-Plate Ahmed Glaucoma Valve. IX Congress of MEACO 2007.  Middle East Journal of Ophthalmology

Daniel J Salchow, MD; Yuri S Oleynikov, MD, Ph D; Michael F Chiang, MD; Shana E Kennedy-Salchow, MS; Kevin Langton, CRA; James C Tsai, MD; Lama A Al-Aswad, MD. Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in Normal Children Measured with Optical Coherence Tomography.   Ophthalmology  2006 113(5): 786-791

Lama A. Al-Aswad, M.D. Peter A. Netland, M.D., PhD, Richard Hill, M.D., Robert Bellows, M.D, Taly Ajdelsztajn, M.D., Reshman A. Wadhawani, M.D. and Ghada Ataher, M.D. Clinical Experience With The Double-Plate Ahmed Glaucoma Valve, Am J Ophthalmol. 2006 Feb;141(2):390-391

Lama A. Al-Aswad, Haiyan Gong, David Lee, Martha E. O’Donnell, James D. Brandt, William J. Ryan, Alison Schroeder, and Kristine A. Erickson:  Effects of NA-K-2Cl cotransport regulators on outflow facility in calf and human eyes in vitro.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Vol 40: 1695-1701 July 1999.

L.A. Al-Aswad, M. Huang, and P.A. Netland:  Inhibition of tenon’s fibroblast proliferation and enhancement of filtration surgery in rabbits with cytosine arabinoside.  Journal of Ocular Pharmacology: Vol 15: 41-49 1999.

Invited Articles:

Al-Aswad, LA: Treating Neovacular Glaucoma. Contemporary Ophthalmology 7:5, March 15, 2008

Al-Aswad, LA: Using Anti-VEGF to Treat Neovascular Glaucoma. Review of Ophthalmology 13: 06, April 2007

Al-Aswad, LA:  Another Role for Avastin in Neovascular glaucoma. Review of Ophthalmology 13: 06, June 2006

Al-Aswad, LA:  Management of overhanging blebs. Glaucoma Today June 2006

Al-Aswad, L:  Treating neovascular glaucoma. Review of Ophthalmology 12:08, August 2005

Tsai, JC., Al-Aswad, L:  Meeting the challenge of inflammatory glaucoma.  Review of Ophthalmology 11: 06, 52-56  June 2004

Al-Aswad, L., Tsai, JC:  Managing the narrow-angle patient.  Review of Ophthalmology 11: 06, 45-48 June 2004 (cover story)


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Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at CUMC

2012 Achievement Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology

2011 Visionary Award for Hospital Based Screening Programs, Friends of the Congressional Caucus Foundation 10th Anniversary Celebration

2011 New York Super Doctors, New York Times Magazine                      

2010 New York Super Doctors, New York Times Magazine

2010 Certificate of Appreciation for Exemplary Service as an Editor, Eye Wiki/American Academy of Ophthalmology

2009 New York Super Doctors, New York Times Magazine

2009 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Glaucoma Screenings in New York City, Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation

2008 New York Super Doctors, New York Times Magazine

2008 Certificate of Appreciation, Invaluable Contribution to the success of Phase I of the Noor Dubai Initiative

2004 Rookie Teaching Award










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Starting Jan. 5, 2019, 1 trains will bypass the 168th Street subway station at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center until early 2020.