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Peter Louis Gehlbach, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Peter Louis Gehlbach, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology


Expertise: Central Serous Chorioretinopathy, Diabetic Macular Edema, Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration (Age-Related), Macular Disorders, Macular Holes, Macular Puckers, Medical Diseases of the Retina, Ocular Trauma, Ophthalmology, Retinal Detachment, Retinal Specialist, Retinal Surgery, Retinal Vein Occlusion, Retinal Vessel Occlusion, Surgical and Medical Diseases of the Retina, Surgical Diseases of the Retina, Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery Service more

Research Interests: Angiogenesis; Gene Therapy; Diabetic Retinopathy; Macular Degeneration; Microsurgical Instrument Development; Novel surgical tool development; Robotic Surgery; Gene Therapy more

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Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute
Appointment Phone: 410-955-3518

600 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287 map


Peter Gehlbach, M.D., Ph.D., has been a member of the Wilmer faculty since 2000 and holds a faculty appointment in the Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Institute. He was recruited by a national search to become the inaugural Maumenee Scholar at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Gehlbach is an expert in the medical and surgical care of vitreoretinal diseases. His clinical practice is composed of international, national and regional patient populations with the most complex retinal disease. An expert vitreoretinal surgeon, Dr. Gehlbach has been a leader in performing and teaching complex surgical cases that require coordination with multiple ophthalmological specialists. His research interests include cutting-edge approaches to patients with surgical disease and the development of novel surgical tools and approaches to retinal microsurgery.

Dr. Gehlbach's work has been supported by multiple NIH grants as well as prestigious foundations. His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and has been presented at ophthalmology conferences around the world. He holds a number of patents in both the U.S. and abroad. He is the founding director of the former Wilmer Gene Therapy Vector Center and now serves as the director of the Wilmer Echography Center. He holds a Governor's Appointment in the State of Maryland as a member of the Board of Trustees of Blind Industries and Services of Maryland.

Dr. Gehlbach received his M.D. degree from the University of Vermont and his Ph.D. in cell and integrative physiology from the University of Minnesota. He completed an internship and residency in general surgery at the University of Health Sciences, Chicago Medical School and his ophthalmology residency at Washington University, where he also completed a fellowship in protein chemistry. He completed a retina fellowship at the Casey Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon. more


  • Associate Professor of Ophthalmology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD, University of Vermont College of Medicine (1986)


  • Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science / Surgery (1989)
  • Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis / Ophthalmology (1998)


  • Regions Hospital / Ophthalmology (1994)
  • Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis / Ophthalmology (1995)
  • Casey Eye Institute/Oregon Health Sciences Univ / Retina (2000)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Ophthalmology / Ophthalmology (2000)

Research & Publications

Clinical Trial Keywords

Macular Degeneration, Diabetes


Selective Induction of Apoptosis to Treat Ocular Disease by Expression of PEDF
Patent # US7989426 B2 | 08/02/2011

The invention is directed to a method of prophylactically or therapeutically treating choroidal neovascularization, wherein the method comprises directly administering to the eye a therapeutic factor or a nucleic acid sequence that encodes a therapeutic factor, which he expressed to produce the therapeutic factor, to selectively induce apoptosis of endothelial cells associated with neovascularization of the choroid such that choroidal neovascularization is treated prophylactically or therapeutically. The invention also provides a method of prophylactically or therapeutically treating ocular neovascularization, wherein the method comprises directly administering to the eye a nucleic acid sequence encoding a therapeutic factor to promote apoptosis of endothelial cells associated with neovascularization, such that the nucleic acid is expressed thereby producing the therapeutic factor to treat ocular neovascularization prophylactically or therapeutically.

Surface Tracking and Motion Compensating Surgical Tool System
Patent # WO2012012540 A3 | 05/18/2012

A motion-compensating surgical tool system includes a surgical tool that includes a hand piece and a moveable component, a drive assembly connecting the moveable component to the hand piece such that the moveable component is movable in an axial direction relative to the hand piece by the drive assembly. The motion-compensating surgical tool system also includes an optical detection system that includes an optical fiber attached to the moveable component with an end at a fixed distance to a distal-most portion of the moveable component. The optical detection system is configured to output a signal for the determination of a distance of the distal-most portion of the moveable component to a target during surgery.

Use of Crystallin For The Modulation of Angiogenesis
Patent # US20100004168 A1 | 01/07/2010

The present invention features therapeutic and prophylactic compositions and methods for modulating a blood vessel by altering angiogenesis, vasculogenesis, blood vessel stabilization, regression, persistence, or remodeling.

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