Chair's Message

Welcome to the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences website. I am very fortunate to lead a world class Department that exemplifies extraordinary collegiality and that offers a highly enabling environment for outstanding patient care, teaching, research and leadership development.

We have an amazing heritage and strive every day to carry forward the values established by our predecessors: courage and determination, serving patients including under-serviced areas regionally and globally, sharing knowledge freely and generating new knowledge that can be applied to improve the quality of life for every patient we see.

In 2015, we launched our new identity - the Eye Institute of Alberta (EIA). The Eye Institute serves a population of over 3 million people around Edmonton and in the North. Our hub is at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) with additional sites at the Stollery Children's Hospital, the Westview Health Center, the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital, and the Katz building (clinical and basic research). A core value is serving together with various colleagues and stakeholders in the best interest of our patients.

In the recent past our pediatric ophthalmology clinic has been rebuilt thanks to support from the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation, and currently we are in the midst of a transformative journey at the RAH eye clinic to improve patient, provider and learner experiences thanks to support from the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and AHS Improvement Way (AIW).

We have a vibrant teaching and learning environment with a strong commitment to undergraduate and postgraduate medical education (residency and fellowship programs), including support for global health and graduate student education. I am very appreciative of the high level of commitment that our excellent clinical faculty and team members provide in supporting our teaching and learning programs.

Research (both laboratory and clinical) takes place within a highly collaborative environment and builds on inter-departmental strengths in neurobiology, developmental biology, vascular biology, and molecular genetics of vision. Clinical research strengths include clinical trials, ocular genetics, electrophysiology and tele-ophthalmology.

We are recruiting highly talented individuals in order to continue strengthening our Faculty and are also looking ahead to expand our footprint for the Eye Institute of Alberta so that we can best meet the needs of an aging population with an ever increasing burden of serious eye diseases.

My gratitude, respect and admiration for all our team members and our valued supporters.

Karim F. Damji, MD, FRCSC, MBA
Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
University of Alberta
Clinical Section Head for Ophthalmology, Edmonton Zone
Alberta Health Services