Four Stein Eye Institute physicians appointed to multiple ophthalmology industry leadership roles
Feb. 6, 2019
From the office of Bartly J. Mondino, M.D.
Director, UCLA Stein Eye Institute
On behalf of the UCLA Stein Eye Institute, it is with great pleasure to announce that Anne L. Coleman, M.D., Ph.D. has been nominated president-elect of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and is set to begin her term as President in the year 2020. Dr. Coleman has also been approved for the honor of ARVO Gold Fellow for her exemplary contributions and dedication to ARVO.
It is also with great pleasure to announce that Lynn K. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D. has been appointed Chairman of the AAO Council. In this role, Dr. Gordon encourages, facilitates, and coordinates communications and strategies among the Academy, state societies, and ophthalmic organizations.
I am equally pleased to share that the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology has now among its leadership ranks two faculty members from Stein Eye: JoAnn A. Giaconi, M.D. was appointed President of Medical Student Educators Council and Stacy L. Pineles, M.D. was appointed Member-at-Large of the Program Directors Council.
Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD
Dr. Coleman holds The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation Chair in Ophthalmology, and is a Professor of Ophthalmology and Epidemiology. She is the Director of the Stein Eye Institute Centers for Community Outreach and Policy, Eye Epidemiology, and the UCLA Mobile Eye Clinic. In addition she is the Vice Chairman of Academic Affairs for the UCLA Department of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Coleman’s research is directed toward the diagnosis, treatment, and societal impact of glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration, including the study of lifestyle limitations imposed on patients with these kinds of eye diseases. Clinical projects include studies that analyze the prevention of visual impairment and blindness in school-age children, comparative effectiveness research, and glaucomatous visual field and optic nerve progression.
Lynn K. Gordon, MD, PhD
Dr. Gordon holds the Vernon O. Underwood Family Chair in Ophthalmology and is a Professor of Ophthalmology. She is also the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Diversity and the Chair of the College of Applied Anatomy for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Dr. Gordon’s laboratory is involved in two primary areas of research. One project investigates the role for epithelial membrane protein 2 (EMP2) in controlling ocular pathologic responses. Dr. Gordon and her colleagues identified that EMP2 plays an important role in an in-vitro model of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) and have evidence that EMP2 is highly expressed in human retinal diseases. In addition, they recently identified that EMP2 controls VEGF production in epithelial cells and in specific tumors. The laboratory, in collaboration with others at UCLA, has recently developed a designer antibody fragment that has demonstrated efficacy in in-vitro studies in the PVR model and in other animal models in vivo. This antibody has successfully controlled pathologic neovascularization in a corneal burn model, achieving proof of principle for using this antibody to control disease.
The second area of interest of Dr. Gordon’s group is the role of programmed death 1 (PD-1), a molecule that is known to play an important role in immune regulation in the eye. PD-1 has a major function as a negative regulator in the immune system. Although previous studies identified PD-1 expression in the lymphoid system, Dr. Gordon and her colleagues identified its expression in neuronal cells of the retina. Additionally her laboratory has identified that blockade of the PD-1 pathway may be protective in uveitis. Studies are ongoing to identify the mechanisms of that protection.
JoAnn A. Giaconi, MD
Dr. Giaconi is the Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, and Chief of the Ophthalmology Section at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System. She is also the Co-Director of Medical Student Education at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA.
Dr. Giaconi’s research focuses on the treatment of glaucoma. She is interested in glaucoma surgery outcomes and side effects. She is currently working on various projects in the Veteran population, including examination of the overtreatment or undertreatment of glaucoma. She is enrolling patients in two clinical studies at the Stein Eye Institute. One study is examining the effect of various glaucoma surgeries on the corneal endothelium, which is the layer of cells that keeps the cornea clear, and the other study is investigating a new surgical device.
Stacy L. Pineles, MD
Dr. Pineles holds the Jerome and Joan Snyder Chair in Ophthalmology and is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute.
Her research interests include evaluating the surgical outcomes of strabismus surgery and studying pediatric optic nerve diseases. With her dual training in pediatric ophthalmology and neuro-ophthalmology, she has a special interest in pediatric neuro-ophthalmic diseases, as well as adult patients with amblyopia and neurologic causes of strabismus.