Five Questions for Michael Sulewski
Michael Sulewski joined Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine as an assistant professor of ophthalmology in July 2020. Dr. Sulewski specializes in cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, keratoprosthesis, refractive surgery, and other medical and surgical treatments for diseases of the cornea and anterior segment of the eye. He is a resident supervisor at the Wilmer Eye Institute Patient Access Center for the Eye at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. In addition, he sees patients at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and the Wilmer–White Marsh location.
What attracted you to the field of ophthalmology?
Having explored many interventional fields, I settled on ophthalmology because of the high value we place on sight. I also enjoy the precise nature of the clinical exams, procedures and patient outcomes, as well as the rapidly advancing technology that makes our work possible. A particularly formative moment that helped me choose this field occurred when I first looked through an operating microscope as a medical student and watched surgeons perform very fine work, as the eye in all its detail took up my whole field of view.
What do you like about being part of the faculty at Wilmer?
I was drawn to the excellence that Wilmer engenders through its constant pursuit of evidence-based medicine. This drive among the faculty to always determine a better way has produced many discoveries that propelled Wilmer to be a leader in the field.
Can you describe your research interests?
I am hoping to embark on a project under the mentorship and guidance of Esen Akpek and Albert Jun to find additional surgical treatments for corneal blindness. Alternative cornea tissue types and novel artificial corneas may bring cures to millions of patients worldwide who lack access to traditional cornea transplants that require fresh tissue and a very developed institutional infrastructure.
Where do you see opportunities for advancement in your specialty?
Although surgical treatments for eye disease are at a zenith, future interventions may increasingly become more preventive, minimally invasive and disease-arresting, so that advanced pathology becomes exceedingly rare. For example, corneal cross-linking for keratoconus will prevent the need for many transplants, and diseases such as Fuchs’ dystrophy may soon be treated with cell-based therapies or even gene replacement rather than grafting full structures.
What are you most looking forward to at Wilmer?
I’m most looking forward to working and collaborating with the many great minds and giants in the field at Wilmer.