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Cornea and External Disease Fellowship

Thank you for your interest in our anterior segment fellowship program at the Wilmer Eye Institute.  The program provides broad exposure to both medical and surgical conditions of the anterior segment.  Common surgical procedures include corneal transplantation, small incision cataract surgery, management of intraocular lens complications, anterior segment reconstructive surgery, keratoprostheses, stem cell transplants, dry eye, ocular surface reconstructive surgery, and refractive corneal surgery.  Fellows will work extensively with Drs. John Gottsch, Oliver Schein, Esen Akpek,  Albert Jun, Kraig Bower and Yassine Daoud.

The program includes approximately 90% clinical work, with an emphasis on academic productivity. For those interested in basic science, you will have ample opportunity to participate directly in our Division laboratory research programs. Projects include, but are not limited to, investigations of the epidemiology of corneal disease, the genetics of corneal dystrophies, techniques for endothelial transplantation, ex vivo characterization, isolation, expansion and grafting of epithelial stem cells, various other lamellar grafting issues, artificial corneas, laser applications, corneal wound healing and angiogenesis, and therapeutic repair of dry eye in animal models. Of note is that our Division's research is geared towards pre-clinical laboratory trials, and includes significant interaction with both the National Institutes of Health and industry. The experience gained in the research portion of our fellowship could contribute significantly to your development along the clinician-scientist pathway if you so wish. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to participate in our various clinical trials. The clinical fellowship program is one year. However, applicants with a serious commitment to research will be considered for two-year appointments

The tentative salary for the year is approximately $45,048 plus health insurance.  Incoming fellows will also be assisted in obtaining salary support from appropriate agencies and programs.

All applicants should make sure that they are eligible to obtain a medical license in the state of Maryland. Please check the official website at A Maryland medical license is a requirement for the fellowship.

Please visit to complete your application and for directions on how to apply for our fellowship program. Also, please include a small photo with your application.

Those applicants invited to interview must be available August through October. Accepted fellows will be appointed at Advanced Specialty Training Program positions, which are also considered junior faculty appointments at The Wilmer Institute.

If you match to our program, you will receive credentialing forms in the mail. These must be returned within 30 days of receipt. In addition, proof of Maryland State licensure, Controlled Dangerous Substance Certification and Drug Enforcement Certification are to be provided by June 1 to the Wilmer Credentialing Office. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the fellowship coordinator, Sondra Hicks, at 410-955-5214 ( or Esen Akpek, MD (

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