Associate Professor of Ophthalmology & Oncology
Dr. Merbs is a fellowship-trained surgeon in the Division of Oculoplastic Surgery. She has been on the faculty since 1997, and has been an associate professor of both Ophthalmology and Oncology since 2005. Dr. Merbs treats diseases of the tissues surrounding the eyes, including the eyelids and eye socket. This includes diseases such as congenital defects, benign and cancerous growths, tear duct problems, and the ocular effects of thyroid disease, as well as traumatic injuries to the eyelids, tear drainage system and bones of the eye socket.
Members of the Division of Oculoplastic Surgery are actively engaged in research to improve the quality of life of patients requiring removal of an eye. When a severely injured or disfigured eye must be removed, Dr. Merbs implants a temporary catheter into the back of the orbit, which allows a family member to deliver pain medication directly to the operative site. With this catheter developed at Wilmer, patients are able to leave the hospital the day of surgery and recover in a supportive and familiar environment free from pain, without the side effects of pain pills.
Dr. Merbs also leads an active research program in the field of ocular oncology. She is studying the molecular genetic changes that lead to uveal melanoma, the most common malignant tumor that occurs in the eyes of adults. The eye is the second most common site of origin for malignant melanoma. Knowledge of the genetic changes that lead to cancer formation can improve diagnosis, facilitate detection of cancer spread, and further the development of new treatments.
To schedule a private consultation, please call: 410-955-1112
- University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, B.S., Chemistry, 1982-1986
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, M.D., Ph.D., Molecular Biology, 1986 - 1993
- Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Towson, Maryland, Internal Medicine Internship, 1993 - 1994
- Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, Ophthalmology Residency, 1994 - 1997
- Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, Oculoplastics Fellowship with Dr. Nicholas Iliff, 1997 - 1998
Awards and Certifications:
- Graduation with Honors, University of Arizona, 1986
- Nugent Award, Outstanding Senior, University of Arizona, 1986
- Phi Beta Kappa Top Senior, University of Arizona, 1986
- Medical Scientist Training Program, 1986 - 1993
- Shanoff Award, Young Investigators Day, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1993
- Ronald Michels Research Award, Wilmer Eye Institute, 1996
- Heed Fellowship, Heed Ophthalmic Foundation, 1997
- Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Fellowship for Physicians - Declined, 1997
- Mentored Clinical Scientist Award (K08) - National Eye Institute, "Molecular Genetics of Primary Uveal Melanoma," 1997 - 2002
- The Niuta and Roy Titus Faculty Development Award, Wilmer Eye Institute, 1998 - 2000
- American Board of Ophthalmology Certification, 1999