James Tahara Handa, M.D.

Headshot of James Tahara Handa
  • Chief, Retina Division
  • Professor of Ophthalmology


Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration, Ocular Melanoma, Ophthalmology, Retinal Detachment, Retinoblastoma, Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery Service ...read more

Research Interests

Mechanisms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration; Development of Robotic Surgical System ...read more

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Insurance Information

Main Phone

Outside of Maryland & Washington D.C.

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Appointment Phone: 410-955-3518
600 N. Wolfe Street
Wilmer Eye Institute
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Fax: 410-614-5471


James T. Handa, M.D., is Chief of the Retina Division and the Robert Bond Welch, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute. He specializes in medical and surgical management of complex vitreoretinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, retinopathy of prematurity and other pediatric retinal diseases. He also has expertise in intraocular oncology and manages patients with choroidal melanomas and metastatic tumors of the eye.

Not only is he a highly skilled surgeon and clinician, but he also devotes significant effort to research related to the early causes of age-related macular degeneration using molecular pathological approaches to understand how the eye transforms from normal aging to early disease.

He has been funded by the National Eye Institute for the last 19 years, and he currently holds two R01 awards for his work in AMD. He has also been funded by the Thome Foundation, Research to Prevent Blindness, Fight for Sight and the American Health Assistance Foundation. His other research focuses on surgical innovation using an integrated robotic surgical system. Dr. Handa is currently the Wilmer Eye Institute’s implanting surgeon for the Argus II retinal chip implant, which was recently approved by the FDA after Dr. Handa participated in the clinical trial leading to its approval.

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  • Chief, Retina Division
  • Robert Bond Welch Professor
  • Professor of Ophthalmology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (1986)


  • Ophthalmology; Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (1990)


  • Children's Hospital Los Angeles (1993)
  • Vitreoretinal Surgery; Duke University Eye Center (1992)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Ophthalmology (Ophthalmology) (1991)

Research & Publications

Clinical Trial Keywords

Age-Related Macular Degeneration; Diabetic Retinopathy; Retinal Chip Implants

Videos & Media

  • Play Video:

    Bionic Eye: Adolf's Story

  • Play Video:

    James Handa, M.D.: The Focus on Patient Care

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

WRA Day: Steeped in History, Rooted in Education, Wilmer Insider (May 2021)

Modern Miracles, Baltimore Style

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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