Bascom Palmer veteran Dr. Eduardo Alfonso leading institute as it steps up research, plans expansion and firms up top ranking
After spending the majority of his career at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and as a professor at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, Eduardo Alfonso was selected to serve as the institute's fifth chairman since its 1962 opening.
The institute, which maintains campuses in Miami, Palm Beach, Plantation and Naples, serves as the ophthalmology department of the medical school in addition to treating more than 225,000 patients annually. US News & World Report ranked Bascom Palmer the No. 1 eye-care center in the country for the sixth year in a row in its 2009 report "America's Best Hospitals."
While he'll continue teaching, doing research and caring for patients, Dr. Alfonso said his main focus as chair will be to expand the institute's research capabilities and take the products of that research into clinical practice.
The expansion, he has previously said, could include up to an additional 40,000 square feet of research space.
Already under way are development of an artificial cornea and therapies for the degeneration of the nerve that connects the eye to the brain, causing blindness.
Dr. Alfonso shared his vision of the institute's future in the Edward Norton Library of Ophthalmology's rare book room with Miami Today staff writer Zachary S. Fagenson.
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