Our People

Ophthalmology People MontageOur people are the heart of our program. From the reception desk to the exam room, from laboratory to diagnostic suite, from the auditorium to the library, from administration office to faculty office you will find our people eager to help you become the best ophthalmologist you can be.

At Iowa, you will be exposed to some of the best clinicians, researchers and teachers in our profession. We provide high-powered opportunities for you to learn career-long lessons from these dedicated professionals.

Our Faculty

Faculty members in the Retina Service include

Michael D. Abramoff

Michael D. Abramoff, M.D.
Ph.D., Professor
Robert C. Watzke, MD, Professorship in Retina Research

Elaine M. Binkley, portrait

Elaine M. Binkley, MD

H. Culver Boldt, M.D.

H. Culver Boldt, M.D.
Marion and Frederick Fuerste, M.D. Professor of Ophthalmology

James C. Folk, M.D.

James C. Folk, M.D.
Judith (Gardner) and Donald H. Beisner, M.D., Professor of Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery

Karen M. Gehrs, M.D.

Karen M. Gehrs, M.D.

Ian Han, MD

Ian C. Han, M.D.

Steve Russell

Stephen R. Russell, M.D.
Dina J Schrage Professor of Macular Degeneration Research

Elliott Sohn

Elliott H. Sohn, M.D.
Associate Professor and Fellowship Director

Edwin M. Stone, M.D., Ph.D.

Edwin M. Stone, M.D., Ph.D.
Seamans-Hauser Chair in Molecular Ophthalmology

All faculty members in the department are full-time members of the Department of Ophthalmology. The care of patients by the fellows is completely under the supervision of these staff members. No diagnosis is made or a surgical procedure planned or performed without their knowledge and direct supervision.

Our Current Fellows

Medical Retina

Laith M. Kadasi, MD

Laith M. Kadasi, portrait


  • Ophthalmology Residency, Brown University, Warren Alpert Medical School, Providence, R.I.
  • Internship, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
  • MD, Tufts University, Middlesex County, Mass.
  • BS, Brown University, Providence, R.I.

Surgical Retina

Sam Abbassi, MD

Sam Abbassi


  • Ophthalmology Residency, University of California Medical Center, Davis, Calif.
  • MD, Rush University, Rush Medical College, Chicago
  • MS, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Rush University, Chicago
  • BS, Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles

Daniel L. Feiler, MD

Daniel Feiler


  • Ophthalmology Residency, Cleveland Clinic, Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland
  • MD, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, N.Y.
  • BS, Psychobiology, State University of New York, Binghamton, N.Y.

Alec L. Amram, MD

Alec L. Amram, portrait


  • Ophthalmology Residency, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas
  • Internship, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, Del.
  • MD, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore.
  • BA, Occidental College, Los Angeles

Benjamin A. King, MD

Benjamin A. King, portrait


  • Ophthalmology Residency, Hamilton Eye Institute, Memphis, Tenn. (2014-2017) and St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. (2017-2018) 
  • Internship, University of Tennessee, College of Medicine, Memphis, Tenn.
  • MD, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • BA, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Medical Retina Alumni

(sorted by date of fellowship)

Michael A. Grassi, Chicago — Medical Retina & Molecular Ophthalmology (2003-2006)

Lucas J. A. Wendel, Iowa City, Iowa — Medical Retina (2010-2011)

Benjamin Bakall, Scottsdale, Ariz. — Medical Retina & Retinal Research (2011-2013)

Lorna W. Grant, Utica, N.Y. — Medical Retina (2013-2014)

Rachel M. Huckfeldt, Boston — Medical Retina (2014-2015)

Christine Clavell, MD — Medical Retina (2016-2017)

Christy M. Cunningham, Kansas City, Mo. — Medical Retina (2017-2018)


Medical retina

"My training at Iowa provided an excellent foundation for my current clinical practice and research activities in medical retina and retinal degenerations.  The retina faculty have an unwavering commitment to teaching, and I continue to value the relationships that I made over the year."

Rachel Huckfeldt, MD, PhD,  F’15 | Harvard/Mass Eye & Ear Infirmary


"The Iowa medical retina fellowship is deeply committed to education with daily after clinic rounds. In addition to diagnosis and management of AMD, DME, and vein occlusions; there is also weekly focus on oncology, hereditary retinal disease, and uveitis with leaders in the fields."

- Drew Carey, MD, F’16 | Johns Hopkins/Wilmer Eye Institute

Surgical retina

"My time at Iowa put me on the map.  The Iowa fellowship focused me on surgical advances and clinical research. Iowa fellowship committed me to a lifetime of fighting blindness."

David Brown, MD, R’93, F’95 | Retina Consultants Houston


"I will always feel privileged to have completed my vitreoretinal surgery training at the University of Iowa. Incredible mentors in a welcoming community provided me with the necessary skills to excel in the challenging landscape of retinal disease. The willingness of diverse attending staff to include learners in complicated cases and research opportunities is crucial for the development of both clinical and academic excellence."

- David Almeida, MD, MBA, PhD, F’15 | VitreoRetinal Surgery, PA (Minnesota)


1) "Amazing teaching environment. The faculty are truly devoted to teaching.  Not just in retina, but the entire department has morning rounds every day. There are excellent didactic sessions including fluorescein conference, inherited retinal disease rounds, and invited guest lecture series. The infrastructure of the department is geared towards teaching. There's a dedicated ophthalmology library with a full-time librarian who is a wizard with literature searches and pulling articles. The ophthalmic photography department has all of the latest technology and the photographers are excellent, so the photo files have beautiful photographs and even retinal drawings, going back to the 50's."

2) "Living in Iowa City. Coming from NY and LA I had some trepidation about moving to a small town, but it turned out to be an ideal environment for training. There's lots of outdoorsy stuff to do and I grew to appreciate the sense of community that comes from being a part of a small town. The patients are genuine down-to-earth people and, as a physician in training it is really nice not to have to worry about some of the challenges that come with a more urban/ inner city environment. The ophthalmology department is a tight knit community and the friends I made there are people I still keep in touch with to this day."

3) "Surgical training.  The faculty have a good variety of backgrounds and case loads so the fellows get an exposure to a range of schools of thought about surgical approaches, including scleral buckling, pediatrics and tumors.  The "hands on" experience, and more important, the thought process behind the surgical decision making, is excellent so you are prepared for anything by the time you graduate.

(I should know because I went to Los Angeles County Hospital/Children's Hospital LA after I graduated - I did call up Culver a bunch of times though)."

- Mina Chung, MD, F’00 | University of Rochester

Contact Us

Vitreoretinal Fellowship Director

Elliott H. Sohn, M.D.

Department of Ophthalmology
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
200 Hawkins Dr.
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1091

email Dr. Sohn's secretary, Sue Rath, susan-rath@uiowa.edu

telephone: 319-356-3185

Medical Retina Fellowship Coordinator

Sue Rath

Department of Ophthalmology
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
200 Hawkins Dr.
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1091

e-mail: susan-rath@uiowa.edu

telephone: 319-356-3185

Ophthalmology Fellowship Training Program Director

Questions regarding ophthalmology fellowships in general should be directed to:

Scott A. Larson, M.D.

 Department of Ophthalmology 
 University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics 
 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1091 

 e-mail : scott-a-larson@uiowa.edu 

telephone: 319-356-2859