Victor Elner, MD,Ph.D
- Personal Statement As the board-certified ophthalmologist and board-certified pathologist with specialized training and 35 years of experience in ocular pathology, I have performed research at the clinical, translational, applied, and basic research levels. This research includes 20 years of NIH-supported research concentrated on mechanisms of ocular inflammation and cell death, particularly those involving the retina, that are involved in many common blinding diseases including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and proliferative vitreoretinopathy. During the last 10 years, I have pursued and published new techniques in ophthalmic imaging and computerized image analysis in order to observe retinal cellular metabolic stress in humans. This instrumentation is now in use in clinical trials in New York, Palo Alto, and Cleveland. A recently approved patent extends this type of diagnostic imaging to other ocular structures, most notably the cornea. I have also extensively published on topics of ophthalmic pathology and ophthalmic surgery, designing new techniques for patient care. In my roles of eye plastic and orbital surgeon, ophthalmic pathologist, and laboratory researcher, I have mentored many fellows, residents, and medical students as well overseen projects by post-doctoral investigators in the clinical and laboratory realms. Most recently, I mentored an ASOPRS thesis on surgery of the medial canthus which was published and currently am mentoring a subsequent fellow in his thesis on a new technique for lateral canthal surgery. I have served on grant study sections (review committees) at the NIH and been a reviewer for NIH intramural programs. My studies have produced over 225 peer-reviewed publications.
We have also continued retinal metabolic imaging in New York City, Palo Alto, and Cleveland. Data from New York was the subject of a manuscript on ocular hypertension and glaucoma, a manuscript on diabetic macular edema, and an additional manuscript on the use of neuroprotective agents for glaucoma now being prepared. The patterns of flavoprotein fluorescence, the metabolic marker, demonstrates interesting differences between primary open angle glaucoma, ocular hypertension, and the effects of neuroprotectants on normotensive glaucoma. It is also predictive of the onset of diabetic macular edema before OCT alteratiions occur and after they resolve, correlating better with visual acuity than the OCT findings. This research is ongoing and is the subject of patents already granted by the US Patent office.