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Semba, Richard David

Richard SembaW. Richard Green Professor of Ophthalmology
Green Spring Station

The Wilmer Eye Institute
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Richard D. Semba, M.D., M.A., M.P.H., is the inaugural W. Richard Green Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute and holds joint appointments in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and the Department of International Health. He is a board-certified ophthalmologist and practices adult general ophthalmology. Dr. Semba received his B.S. from Yale University, his M.A. and M.D. from Stanford University, and his M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the Wilmer Eye Institute. Dr. Semba has been a faculty member at Wilmer since 1987.

Dr. Semba’s laboratory applies recent advances in protein chemistry, mass spectrometry, and bioinformatics to characterize biological pathways that lead to age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and primary angle-closure glaucoma. He and his collaborators are also involved in the development of novel, high-throughput mass spectrometry-based quantitative assays for investigation of proteins that are related to aging-related conditions. Dr. Semba is currently co-chair of the Human Eye Proteome Project, an official initiative of the world Human Proteome Organization (HUPO). 

Dr. Semba has authored or co-authored over 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He is the author of “Handbook of Nutrition and Ophthalmology” (Humana Press, 2007), the first general text on nutrition and eye health. In his textbook, Dr. Semba demonstrates the importance of nutrition to eye health, covering the life span from visual development in infants to major causes of blindness and visual disability in older eyes, such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Dr. Semba is co-editor (with Martin Bloem) of the widely used textbook “Nutrition and Health in Developing Countries” (Humana Press, 2008). He is author of the book “The Vitamin A Story: Lifting the Shadow of Death” (Karger, 2012), which describes how vitamin A deficiency accounted for millions of cases of blindness and deaths throughout history. He explains in the book how it took nearly two centuries to characterize vitamin A and understand its importance to human well-being. Dr. Semba and co-author Kristine Smets have written, "A Perfect Vision: Catalogue of the William Holland Wilmer Rare Book Collection” (Johns Hopkins University, 2013), a description of the collection of over 400 rare books on optics, ophthalmology and medicine that Dr. Wilmer bequeathed to the Wilmer Eye Institute in 1936. Wilmer’s rare book collection is the most important specialty collection of its kind in the world.

Dr. Semba sees patients at the Wilmer Eye Institute's Green Spring Station location.

For appointments at Green Spring Station, call 410-583-2802

Academic office and research laboratory:

Smith Building, M015
400 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21287

Read Dr. Semba's CV



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