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David Steven Friedman, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. David Steven Friedman, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Director, Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology

Professor of Ophthalmology


Languages: English, Chinese, Indonesian, Mandarin, Spanish

Expertise: Angle-closure Glaucoma, Cataracts, Comprehensive Medical and Surgical Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Glaucoma Surgery, Ophthalmology

Research Interests: Angle-closure glaucoma epidemiology and treatment; glaucoma therapy; intraocular pressure monitoring; health services research; pediatric refractive errors; glaucoma screening; ophthalmic epidemiology of eye disease; diabetic retinopathy screening in underserved communities more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital


600 N. Wolfe Street Wilmer Eye Institute Baltimore, MD 21287 map


David S. Friedman, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., is the Alfred Sommer Professor at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is also a professor in the departments of epidemiology and international health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is the director of the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology, a leader in global and domestic research on blindness prevention and the only World Health Organization collaborating center in the United States.

Dr. Friedman graduated summa cum laude from Yale College, received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and obtained a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins.  He completed his residency at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, and served as a glaucoma fellow with Dr. Harry Quigley at the Wilmer Eye Institute.

Dr. Friedman is world renowned for his contributions to the study of the mechanisms, epidemiology and prevention of angle-closure glaucoma. He has also made important contributions in the area of medication adherence and was the principal investigator in the first trial to show that an intervention can successfully improve patient use of eye medicines.  He is a highly valued glaucoma specialist and cataract surgeon, receiving referrals from the region and overseas.  His current research in angle-closure glaucoma is being conducted through clinical trials in south China, where it is very common.

In addition to his research, Dr. Friedman is listed on Best Doctors as a leading glaucoma specialist. As an innovative clinician, he performs one of the newest glaucoma operations, the Trabectome procedure. Dr. Friedman also runs the glaucoma fellowship training program and assists residents with their clinics and in the operating room.  His dedication to teaching extends to the medical school where he is a co-director of the scholarly concentration program.

Dr. Friedman is the recipient of various awards from the National Institutes of Health, Research to Prevent Blindness, the American Geriatric Society and the Alcon Research Institute. He has also obtained substantial funding to support research in patient adherence to glaucoma medications. He co-edited a definitive book on angle-closure glaucoma and has published nearly 150 articles.

He serves on the editorial boards of the Cochrane Collaboration and the Journal of Glaucoma, and was on the board of Ophthalmology for many years. He also plays a leadership role in the World Glaucoma Association and the American Glaucoma Society, and recently became the senior ophthalmologist for Helen Keller International, a large non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating blindness worldwide. He also serves on the advisory panel of the International Myopia Institute.

He has been invited as the Edmund B. Spaeth lecturer in Philadelphia, the Hong Leung Visiting Professor in Singapore, the Mohammed Aziz lecturer at Johns Hopkins and the Richard Ellis lectureship at Wills Eye Hospital.  

He is fluent in Mandarin, proficient in medical Spanish and speaks some Indonesian. more


  • Director, Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology
  • Professor of Ophthalmology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD, Harvard Medical School (1992)


  • Wills Eye Hospital / Ophthalmology (1996)


  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1997)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Ophthalmology / Ophthalmology (1997)

Research & Publications

Clinical Trials

Translating Research into Healthy Eye and Vision Loss Prevention. Centers for Disease Control. Role:PI. (2010-2015)

Helen Keller International. HKI implements innovative eyecare programs in countries around the world in blindness prevention efforts. Role: Senior technical advisor. (2009-2013)

Multi-Center Uveitis Steroid Treatment (MUST) Trial. National Eye Institute. Role: Co-Investigator/ Glaucoma Outcomes Specialist. (2009-2013)

Comparative Effectiveness & Medical Interventions for Primary Open Angle Glaucoma. National Eye Institute. Role: JHU PI. (2009-2011) 

National Vision Preservation Initiative. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Role: JHU PI. (2009-2011)

Baltimore Pediatric Eye Disease Survey.National Eye Institute (NEI). Role: Co-PI. (2009-2011) 

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Zhao D, Cho J, Kim MH, Friedman DS, Guallar E. Diabetes, fasting glucose, and the risk of glaucoma: a meta-analysis. Ophthalmology. 2015; 122(1):72-8. PubMed [journal] PMID: 25283061

Sengupta S, Nguyen AM, van Landingham SW, Solomon SD, Do DV, et al. Evaluation of real-world mobility in age-related macular degeneration. BMC ophthalmology. 2015; 15:9. PubMed [journal] PMID: 25636376, PMCID: PMC4328075

Owsley C, McGwin G Jr, Lee DJ, Lam BL, Friedman DS, et al. Diabetes eye screening in urban settings serving minority populations: detection of diabetic retinopathy and other ocular findings using telemedicine. JAMA ophthalmology. 2015; 133(2):174-81. NIHMSID: HHSPA700994 PubMed [journal] PMID: 25393129, PMCID: PMC4479273

Chen T, Jin L, Zhou Z, Huang Y, Yan X, et al. Factors influencing the output of rural cataract surgical facilities in China: the SHARP study. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 2015; 56(2):1283-91. PubMed [journal] PMID: 25650420

Gao J, Liang Y, Wang F, Shen R, Wong T, et al. Retinal vessels change in primary angle-closure glaucoma: the Handan Eye Study. Scientific reports. 2015; 5:9585. PubMed [journal] PMID: 25928115, PMCID: PMC4415423

Yu T, Li T, Lee KJ, Friedman DS, Dickersin K, et al. Setting priorities for comparative effectiveness research on management of primary angle closure: a survey of Asia-Pacific clinicians. Journal of glaucoma. 2015; 24(5):348-55. NIHMSID: NIHMS500922 PubMed [journal] PMID: 23835674, PMCID: PMC3883875

Weinreb RN and Friedman DS (eds). Angle Closure and Angle Closure Glaucoma. Kugler Publications, The Hague, The Netherlands, 2006.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Eye Disease: Epidemiology and Control (340.640.01)
    2002 - 2016
  • Introduction to the Biomedical Sciences
    2005 - 2016

Activities & Honors


  • Achievement Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2006 - 2006
  • Douglas Jahnigen Award, American Geriatrics Society, 2003 - 2005
  • Robert E. McCormick Award, Research to Prevent Blindness, 2000 - 2000
  • Alpha Omega Delta, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 1986 - 1986
  • Mentored Clinical Scientist Training Grant Recipient, National Institutes of Health, 1996 - 2001
  • Roy O. Scholz Award, Johns Hopkins University, 1992 - 1992
  • Paul Dudley White Scholarship, Harvard Medical School, 1990 - 1990
  • Study Abroad Scholarship Taiwan, Stanford University, 1987 - 1987
  • Fulbright Scholarship Finalist, Fulbright U.S. Student Program, 1987 - 1987
  • Honorary Professor, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Zhongshan Medical School, Guangzhou, China
  • Senior Ophthalmologist, Helen Keller International


  • World Glaucoma Association
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • American Glaucoma Society
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Glaucoma Research Society
  • Pennsylvania Ophthalmology Society

Professional Activities

  • Fellowship Director, Glaucoma Service: Wilmer Eye Institute, 2007
  • Co-Director, Scholarly Concentration Medical School Course, 2008
  • Co-Director, Public Health Ophthalmology Course, Dana Center, Wilmer Eye Institute
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Prevent Blindness America, 2010
  • Consultant, Allergan, 2010
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Glaucoma, 2006
  • Lecturer, Uniformed Services University of Healthy Services, 2001
  • Consultant, Zeiss-Meditec
  • Consultant, Alcon
  • Chairperson: Angle-Closure Consensus Panel, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • Co-Director, Johns Hopkins University-Sun Yatsen University Clinical Research Collaboration
  • Member: Glaucoma Preferred Practice Patterns Panel, American Academy of Ophthalmology:
  • Member, External Advisory Board, Singapore Epidemiology of Eye Disease (SEED)
  • Peer Reviewer, American Journal of Epidemiology
  • Peer Reviewer, American Journal of Ophthalmology
  • Peer Reviewer, Eye
  • Peer Reviewer, Archives of Ophthalmology
  • Peer Reviewer, Indian Journal of Ophthalmology
  • Peer Reviewer, British Journal of Ophthalmology
  • Member, Merck U.S. Advisory Board, 2011
  • Research Advisory Committee, Singapore Eye Research Institute International, 2008
  • Glaucoma Advisory Board, NicOx, 2008
  • Member, Pfizer U.S. Advisory Board, 2003
  • U.S. Advisory Board Member, Allergan, 2007

Videos & Media

International Research: Angle-Closure in Asia

Data Analysis on Glaucoma Treatment

Teaching Medical Students

Lectures and Presentations

  • Lecture, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (01/01/2013)
    King Khaled Eye Surgical Hospital
  • Grand Rounds, Madurai, India (01/01/2013)
    Aravind Eye Hospital
  • Visiting professor (01/01/2012)
    University of California
  • Alta Lecture
    Named Lecture (01/19/2012)
    University of California San Francisco
  • Mohammad Aziz Lecture International Ophthalmology
    Named Lecture, Baltimore, MD (01/01/2010)
    Wilmer Eye Institute
  • Richard Ellis Lecture
    Named Lecture, Philadelphia (01/19/2011)
    Wills Eye Hospital
  • Hong Leong Invited Professorship
    Named Lecture, Singapore (01/19/2010)
    National University of Singapore
  • “Eye Disease in Developing Countries"
    Lecture, Melbourne, Australia (01/01/2008)
    The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital: Centre for Eye Research Australia
  • “Patient Doctor Communications,” and “Angle Closure Glaucoma”
    Lectures, Ann Arbor, MI (01/01/2008)
    University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Institute
  • E.B. Spaeth Lecture
    Named Lecture, Philadelphia, PA (01/19/2008)
    Wills Eye Hospital
  • “Quality of Life Assessment in Glaucoma”
    Lecture, Glaucoma Faculty Conference, London, England (01/01/2007)
    Moorfields Eye Hospital-
  • “Understanding Angle Closure Glaucoma”
    Lecture, Stanford, CA (01/01/2006)
    Stanford University

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

The Ophthalmologist PowerList 2016: David Friedman

34 Ophthalmologists to Know: Becker's ASC Review

Dr. David Friedman Discusses Diabetic Retinopathy

Dr. David Friedman Named the Inaugural Recipient of the Alfred Sommer Professor of Ophthalmology


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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