Alfredo A. Sadun, MD, PhD
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Alfredo A. Sadun, MD, PhD

  • Neuro-Ophthalmology
Doheny Eye Center UCLA Pasadena | 625 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 280, Pasadena, CA 91105


Alfredo A. Sadun, MD, PhD holds the Flora L. Thornton Endowed Chair at Doheny Eye Centers-UCLA and is Vice- Chair of Ophthalmology at UCLA. Dr. Sadun graduated from MIT (1972), completed his Ph.D. and M.D., and then a residency in Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School followed by a fellowship in Neuro-Ophthalmology. He joined the full-time faculty at Harvard, Department of Ophthalmology in 1983. He helped lead Doheny in its transition to UCLA in 2014.

Dr. Sadun actively pursues and has received the greatest distinction in all three of the classical academic missions. His research in vision was honored by the lifetime achievement award given by Lighthouse International, with the Pisart Award, His contributions to residency teaching in ophthalmology were honored by the AAO and AUPO with their highest award for education, the Straatsma Prize., Dr. Sadun received the Hoyt Award, the highest prize offered in clinical neuro-ophthalmology by the AAO. Dr. Sadun has been recognized as an international authority in neuroophthalmology and especially diseases of the optic nerve. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles, 80 book chapters and co-authored or edited 5 books (H-index 77). He received funding from the NIH for over 25 years and holds 5 patents.




Medical Board Certification

Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology, 1983


Neuro-Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 1983


Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 1982


Internal Medicine, Huntington Memorial Hospital, 1979


MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Yeshiva University, 1978
PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Yeshiva University, 1976



Hospital Affiliations

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

Medical Services



Dr. Sadun’s research has centered on the clinical, psychophysical and laboratory studies of diseases of the optic nerve. In the 1980’s Dr. Sadun was the first to describe the nine anatomical pathways between the eye and the brain in humans including the retinal projection to the hypothalamus for the visual entrainment of the circadian rhythm. Dr. Sadun was the first to identify an optic neuropathy associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Sadun was also the leader of the international team that determined the cause of an epidemic of optic neuropathy in Cuba. He currently is the world’s leading expert on mitochondrial dysfunction that producing blindness through a variety of hereditary diseases that affect vision such as Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy and Dominant Optic Atrophy.

In the News

  • Dr. Sadun has received international attention from the media and press for several advances that he has made. In particular, in 1986 he was recognized as the first to link Alzheimer’s Disease to the eye. He showed that this brain disease could be detected in the optic nerve. In 1993, Dr. Sadun was recognized for having been selected and sponsored by the United Nations to lead an investigative team to determine the cause of an epidemic of optic neuropathy in Cuba. They were successful in identifying the cause of blindness affecting 50,000 patients and finding a means to stop the epidemic.
  • Cuba's blindness epidemic (source: BBC News)


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  • Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2024
  • Super Doctors® Southern California, 2024
  • Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Dr. Sadun has received about 20 national and international awards for his outstanding contributions to science and medicine. He has won 6 particularly prestigious national and international awards given to one individual each year: 1999 Pisart Award, Lighthouse International’s highest award for vision science. 2002 Straatsma Award given as the highest national award for contributions to residency education. 2012 Hoyt Award, as the highest international distinction in clinical neuro-ophthalmology. 2014 Heed Award as the top national recognition of contributions to academic ophthalmology. 2016 Purpura Award given by Albert Einstein College of Medicine as its highest recognition for contributions to American Science and Medicine. In 2017, Dr. Sadun received the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Life Achievement Award.  In 2020, he received the ARVO Gold Medal Fellow designation.