Esen K. Akpek, M.D., is an internationally renowned leader in the fields of corneal transplantation and surface reconstruction. She is an expert in all forms of cataract surgeries, as well as combined cataract and cornea surgery procedures. She currently sees patients in the Wilmer Eye Institute's locations at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
The Bendann Professor of Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Akpek has been on the surgical faculty of the Wilmer Eye Institute since 1999.
Dr. Akpek’s clinical and research expertise centers on the inflammatory diseases of the ocular surface. She currently serves as the director of the Ocular Surface Disease and Dry Eye Clinic at Wilmer and the associate director of the Jerome L. Greene Sjögren’s Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has been involved in major dry eye initiatives including TFOS DEWS II in 2017 and the International Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Workshop in 2011. She is a member of the Clinical Trials Consortium-Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation, OMERACT (Outcomes Measures in Rheumatology) initiative for Sjögren’s syndrome, member of the Medical & Scientific Advisory Board of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS). She has led many clinical trials funded by industry as well as the Department of Defense and the National Eye Institute evaluating advanced treatments and diagnostic options for patients with dry eye disease.
Dr. Akpek is the former director of the fellowship program in cornea and external disease and former co-director of Ophthalmology Clerkship at Wilmer and has trained numerous ophthalmologists who have become leaders in the field. She has lectured extensively nationally and abroad, is involved in the organization of multiple online and in-person educational activities including Sonoma Eye, International Ocular Inflammation Society, the Foster Ocular Inflammation Society, and Wilmer Dry Eye Meeting. She has published over 180 articles in peer-reviewed journals, many book chapters, editorials, and review articles. Currently, Dr. Akpek is the president of the Foster Ocular Immunology Society. She serves on the editorial board of 11 scientific journals.
Her previous appointments include serving as member of the Board of Directors for the Cornea Society, medical director of KeraLink International and CorneaGen. She currently serves on the Preferred Practice Patterns Committee for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, where she received its Senior Honor Award. She also received many other awards including the Cora Verhagen Immunology Prize, and a scholarship from the Research to Prevent Blindness.
Dr. Akpek received her medical degree from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. Following her internship and residency training in Ankara Numune Hospital, she completed a subspecialty training in Ocular Immunology and Uveitis at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard University Medical School. She then completed a second fellowship program in cornea, cataract and external diseases at the Wilmer Eye Institute.