Board of Directors
ANTHONY ALDAVE, MD
Dr. Anthony Aldave, founder of Visionaries International, received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He completed his residency training in ophthalmology at the Wills Eye Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then a two‐year Cornea, Uveitis and Refractive Surgery Fellowship at The University of California, San Francisco/Francis I. Proctor Foundation. He joined the Stein Eye Institute in July 2002 as a full‐time member of the Cornea and Uveitis Division. Dr. Aldave is currently a Professor of Ophthalmology, holder of the Walton Li Chair in Cornea and Uveitis, Chief of the Cornea and Uveitis Division and Director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Fellowship Program.
Dr. Aldave has received numerous honors during his career, including the Alpha Omega Alpha Scholarship Award for graduating first in his medical school class, the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship, the American Ophthalmological Society‐Knapp Testimonial Fund Fellowship, the first Claes Dohlman Society Award and the Achievement, Senior Achievement and Secretariat Awards from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
In addition to his busy clinical practice, Dr. Aldave directs the Corneal Genetics Laboratory at the Stein Eye Institute. Dr. Aldave’s NIH‐funded laboratory research focuses on the molecular genetics of the corneal dystrophies, a group of inherited disorders that affect corneal clarity and constitute one of the primary indications for corneal transplantation.
Dr. Aldave is an active member of the UCLA Center for World Health, working with other members of the UCLA faculty on the Global Surgery Initiative, whose mission is to improve the surgical health of people and communities throughout the world through education, research, and service.
SOPHIE DENG, MD PhD
Dr. Sophie Deng is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Deng received her MD and PhD at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York, where she completed the rigorous Medical Scientist Training Program. She did her residency in ophthalmology at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Deng subsequently completed her fellowship in cornea, external ocular disease and refractive surgery at the Jules Stein Eye Institute. She sees patients with corneal and external ocular diseases and cataracts. Her surgical areas include femtolaser-assisted penetrating keratoplasty, Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty, deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty, keratoprosthesis, ocular surface reconstruction and cataract.
In addition to her clinical activities, Dr. Deng dedicates 40% of her time to research. She is the director of Corneal Cell Biology Laboratory and her research focuses on corneal epithelial stem cell biology and new treatments for ocular surface reconstruction using stem cell therapy.
ROBERTO PINEDA, MD
A native of Minneapolis, MN, Dr. Roberto Pineda completed his undergraduate degree (BS) in Biology at the University of Minnesota, spending a year abroad as an exchange student in Penang, Malaysia. He subsequently completed his medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and was a recipient of the NIH-HHMI Research Scholars Program at the Cloisters in Bethesda Maryland where he worked with retinoblastoma cell lines. He went on to complete his Residency in Ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School where he served as Chief Resident for an additional year. As a Heed Fellow recipient, he completed his Cornea Fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Currently, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School and Director of Refractive Surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dr. Pineda has published many papers and co-authored 5 books including the award winning Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Illustrated Manual of Ophthalmology. Awards include induction into AOA, the honor medical society, the Heed Ophthalmic Fellowship award, AAO Achievement award, Best of Boston (Ophthalmology) and Best Doctors in America. His clinical focus includes cornea, anterior segment reconstruction and refractive surgery. He regularly participates in the Flying Eye Hospital Programs run by ORBIS International since 1998 including his most recent trip to Ulan Baatur in 2011. Other International interests include development of an International Boston Keratoprosthesis Protocol with longitudinal evaluation of the Boston Keratoprosthesis in two African nations. He is currently working on development of a new optical imaging device for evaluation of the cornea and lens.
Dr. Samar K Basak, MD, FRCS
Dr. Samar K Basak received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree in 1982 from NRS Medical College in Kolkata, India and his MD degree in 1987 from Dr. RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi. Dr. Basak’s post-graduate training includes receiving the title Diplomate of National Board (DNB) in 1994 and honorary FRCS from Royal College of Physician and Surgeons, Glasgow, in 2007.
Dr. Basak is one of the founding members of Disha Eye Hospitals and Research Centre in Barrackpore, Kolkata, India. He is the Chief of the Anterior Segment and External Eye Disease Division, which includes the Cataract, Cornea and Eye Bank services. He is the current Vice President of the Eye Bank Association of India (2010-2013) and Editor of the Proceedings of the All India Ophthalmology Society (2011-2014).
Dr. Basak has a longstanding commitment to education, which has led him to perform live surgical instruction in small incision cataract surgery (SICS), phacoemulsificiation cataract surgery, and various forms of corneal transplantation, including DSEK and Boston keratoprosthesis. In addition, he has authored the books “Essentials of Ophthalmology” (now in 4th edition), which is very popular among medical students in India, and “Atlas on Clinical Ophthalmology”, which is read by ophthalmologists wordwide. He has also presented numerous papers, posters and videos in national and international conferences and has published his clinical research in indexed journals. Dr. Basak also serves as a reviewer for several prestigious journals, including Ophthalmology, Indian J Ophthalmology, International Journal of Clinical Medicine and British J of Ophthalmology. When not busy with his ever-increasing paper work, Dr. Basak loves to pursue his unique hobby of “Ophthaphilately” which has been recognized by International Philatelic Society. He has also written a book on “Ophthaphilately.”