Message from the Chair

im_4034_4x.jpg

Welcome to the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences’ website. We are a fully integrated Department across the Edmonton Zone of Alberta Health Services that has a mission to provide education, research and clinical care. Our hub is the Royal Alexandra Hospital site with the Eye Institute of Alberta and spokes at the University campus for research, Stollery Children’s Hospital for Pediatric Ophthalmology and various linked private offices and secondary surgical facilities. I have the privilege of leading the University Department as Interim-Chair and the AHS Zone as Interim-Chief while we search for a permanent head, after the departure of Dr. Damji who capably led our Department for 6 years.  

The Department has a strong tradition of excellence spanning over 80 years and continues to evolve and respond to external forces. The University initiatives to transition its administrative structure with cost containment has been reflected in changes to our operations which are continually evolving. Our clinical operations remain strongly focused on undergraduate and postgraduate medical education (residents and fellows) and will likely see some surgical training occurring in contract surgical facilities in the near future. Department members are linked to Alberta Vision Net, the Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute and the Faculty’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute enabling a supportive environment for vision research. 

We are  pleased to announce this spring that we are joined by Dr. Victor Penner, originally from Manitoba, and this summer by Dr. Mat Palakkamanil, after his fellowship training in Halifax at Dalhousie University. Both are specialists in Glaucoma and will have appointments as clinical academic colleagues. In mid-summer, Dr. Matt Benson will start his academic career with us as a clinician scientist with a focus on heritable ocular traits after training at the National Eye Institute of the NIH. Dr. Brittany Carr has been appointed as an Assistant Professor after postdoctoral training at the University of British Columbia. She will be establishing a basic vision science laboratory in the Katz Group Centre for Pharmacy and Health Research on the University campus.

Two major Department initiatives for the upcoming year will be the search for two Professorships: the Bayer Professorship in Translational Research in Ophthalmology Chair and the Aman Builders Inc. Global Professorship in Ophthalmology. These important developments will boost our initiatives in research and education. We look forward to any comments or questions you may have.

Ian M MacDonald MD CM
Acting Chair, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of Alberta
Interim-Chief, Edmonton Zone Section, Ophthalmology