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University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean Appoints New Chair for Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bennie H. Jeng, MD, MS
 Bennie H. Jeng, MD, MS

University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, has appointed Bennie H. Jeng, MD, MS, a leading expert in cornea and external disease, to serve as the Chair of the School’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Dr. Jeng replaces Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Interim Chair Scott E. Strome, MD, who is also Chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

“Dr. Jeng is a distinguished National Institutes of Health-funded physician-scientist, accomplished in both world class patient care and outstanding biomedical research,” says Dean Reece, who is also vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “I feel confident that this is the ideal choice to elevate our Department of Ophthalmology to the top tier of programs nationwide, leading our faculty to success in both the clinical practice and research. Under his leadership, I believe that the department will become a major area of growth and success within the School of Medicine. I am thrilled that Dr. Jeng will join our distinguished faculty. Many thanks to Dr. Strome for keeping the department strong and growing. During his time as chair, Dr. Strome successfully maintained the department’s tradition of excellence, providing strong leadership for our talented faculty. I feel certain that Dr. Jeng will be able to build upon and expand our already robust program.”

Dr. Jeng will join the University of Maryland School of Medicine from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he worked as a Professor of Ophthalmology and Co-Director of the Cornea Service. He also served as Chief of the Department of Ophthalmology at the San Francisco General Hospital, and was the Director of the Francis I. Proctor Foundation/UCSF Cornea Fellowship Program.

“I am honored that Dean Reece and the medical school and hospital leadership have entrusted me with this important post, and I am extremely excited to work with everyone at the University to expand and develop the programs within the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences,” says Dr. Jeng. “Given the enormous successes of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, it is truly an exciting time for the department, and I am very pleased to be a part it."

Dr. Jeng completed his undergraduate work at Washington University in St. Louis and then earned his medical degree from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Following an internship at the Cleveland Clinic, he completed his ophthalmology residency training at the Cole Eye Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, where he served as Chief Resident in his last year. He then did his fellowship training in cornea, external diseases, refractive surgery, and uveitis at the Franics I. Proctor Foundation/ UCSF. Upon completion of his fellowship, he returned to the Cleveland Clinic to serve on the faculty, during which time he established a busy medical and surgical cornea practice. During his time at the Cleveland Clinic and UCSF, Dr. Jeng obtained a K12 grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund his research in treating severe ocular surface diseases. He also currently has R01 funding through the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to study a novel compound in healing persistent epithelial defects.

Dr. Jeng is a physician-scientist who has published more than 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 15 book chapters. He has delivered more than 100 invited lectures in the U.S. and around the world, including in Kuwait, Australia, and Korea. He also serves on the editorial boards of both JAMA Ophthalmology and Eye. Dr. Jeng has been an active member on numerous committees for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and currently serves on the cornea subcommittee of the Annual Meeting Program Committee, as well as the Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE) Network committee. He is a member of the Medical Advisory Board and the Research Committee for the Eye Bank Association of America, and has served on various committees for the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Dr. Jeng has taught cataract surgery at various courses across the country, and has also been the recipient of resident teaching awards while on faculty at the Cleveland Clinic and at UCSF.

The University of Maryland School of Medicine has a long history of innovation in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. The School served as the foundation for one of the first ophthalmology services in the country that was laid by the University of Maryland's first Dean, Dr. John Beale Davidge. The first chair in the nation for diseases of the eye and ear was established at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1873. This formal establishment of an ophthalmic presence provided a rich environment for careful clinical observations and surgical innovation that continues today.

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