Kathryn A. Colby, MD, PhD, an internationally renowned physician–scientist, has been appointed chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at NYU Langone Health. She assumes her new post this fall.
Dr. Colby is currently the Louis Block Professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the University of Chicago. Before her tenure there, she spent more than 20 years at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Colby specializes in the treatment of complex diseases of the cornea and ocular surface, including ocular surface tumors, keratoprosthesis (artificial cornea replacement), and corneal infections. She pioneered a minimally invasive treatment for Fuchs dystrophy, a common corneal condition, mostly diagnosed in women, that starts with blurred vision and leads to loss of sight. The technique, called Descemet stripping only, removes a thin layer of dysfunctional tissue to allow for tissue regeneration. It presents an alternative to corneal transplant and local immunosuppression treatment for those with mild or moderate disease.
She also was involved in the pivotal clinical trial of the Implantable Miniature Telescope (VisionCare), the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved device to restore vision for advanced age-related macular degeneration, and determined the optimal surgical technique for placement of the device.
“Dr. Colby has earned tremendous respect from colleagues both nationally and internationally, and her experience will continue to advance the goals of the Department of Ophthalmology,” says Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean and chief executive officer of NYU Langone Health.
“NYU Langone is the most dynamic organization I’ve ever had the opportunity to visit, and I am very eager to join this outstanding institution’s Department of Ophthalmology,” says Dr. Colby. “My vision for the department is to create a unified culture that helps advance each mission area,” she adds, “to bring about innovative, patient-centered clinical care, further research collaborations, and new opportunities to enhance medical student, residency, and faculty development opportunities.”
“We thank Dr. Joel S. Schuman for his stewardship of the department and its growth over the past five years,” Dr. Grossman says. Under Dr. Schuman’s leadership, the department experienced significant growth—having increased to 43 faculty including 6 full-time researchers. He will remain on faculty as the Elaine Langone Professor of Ophthalmology and professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology at NYU Langone, where he will continue his clinical and research work.
The NYU Langone Eye Center has simultaneously expanded, with multiple locations throughout the region, bringing comprehensive, personalized, and innovative eye care directly to patients in the communities where they live and work. NYU Langone’s team of specialists and subspecialists are leading experts in the early detection and treatment of eye disorders in adults and children.
About Dr. Colby
An undergraduate alumna of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Colby earned a PhD in neurobiology from Brown University and her medical degree from the University of Maryland—graduating at the top of her class. She completed her clinical training at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
A prolific clinical investigator, Dr. Colby has presented on her work at numerous national and internal conferences, and through guest lectureships. She also has authored nearly 100 scientific studies, contributed 24 book chapters, and written 7 books. Additionally, she has held leadership roles in various national and international societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and currently serves as president of the Cornea Society.
Dr. Colby has also been involved in the multicenter Zoster Eye Disease Study since 2013, which is being led by NYU Langone.
Deborah “DJ” Haffeman