Cornea & External Disease Research

Beginning with the first corneal transplant in 1933 by Ramon Castroviejo, MD, the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at the Columbia University Department of Ophthalmology has held an esteemed position as a leading force in corneal surgery and research. In the 1980s, Stephen Trokel, MD pioneered the use of the excimer laser for vision correction and launched the LASIK revolution. Since that time, Columbia’s cornea specialists have become renowned for their surgical and treatment expertise in cornea disorders and laser vision correction.

In the laboratory, physicians and scientists are working together to understand and develop treatments for diseases of the cornea such as keratoconus, keratectasia and Fuchs’ dystrophy.

The department is also interested in improving surgical precision and technologies of refractive and corneal surgery. With patient safety and improved outcomes as primary goals, Institute faculty conduct rigorous patient screening and post-surgical evaluation, lead national clinical trials, certify other physicians in refractive surgery techniques and work with industry specialists in the application and development of new technologies. 

Our Faculty