Retina specialist Baruch Kuppermann named chair of UC Irvine's Department of Ophthalmology

July 26, 2017

After a nationwide search, Baruch D. Kuppermann, MD, PhD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the UC Irvine School of Medicine and director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute.

He will hold the Roger F. Steinert, MD, Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology. 

"Dr. Kuppermann is an internationally respected retina specialist and researcher with extensive translational and clinic trial experience," said Michael J. Stamos, MD, dean, UC Irvine School of Medicine. "He will lead a highly accomplished faculty and staff to even greater clinical, research and academic distinction, building on the impressive accomplishments of former chair Dr. Roger Steinert."

Dr. Kuppermann’s laboratory research focuses on the effect of drugs on the mitochondrial genetics of patients with retinal diseases such as age related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema. He has led a number of national trials evaluating new drugs and devices for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and retinal drug delivery.

He is a co-founder of the Retina World Congress, which held its first meeting in February, to generate consensus about retinal disease, emerging technologies and treatments, best practices and clinical research. He launched UC Irvine’s international and national retina fellowship programs to train physicians from the United States and around the world, many of whom have since become leaders in the field. Over the years, he has saved and restored the vision of thousands of patients and trained more than 100 residents and fellows.

Kuppermann received a PhD in neuroscience from the California Institute of Technology and a medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Southern California School of Medicine/Doheny Eye Institute and fellowships in vitreoretinal surgery at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Baltimore and the University of California, San Diego.

Since coming to UC Irvine in 1992, Kuppermann has held multiple leadership positions in the Department of Ophthalmology, most recently as vice chair of clinical research and vice chair of academic affairs. In addition to his appointment as professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, Kuppermann is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in UC Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering.

"Dr. Kuppermann will succeed our dear friend and colleague Dr. Roger Steinert, who lost his battle with brain cancer in June," Stamos said. "I would like to thank Dr. Kuppermann, Dr. Sam Garg and Dana White, the department’s chief administrative officer, for providing interim leadership in the department and eye institute during Dr. Steinert’s illness."

UC Irvine Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UC Irvine Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 417-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 16 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UC Irvine Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, the university has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. To learn more about UC Irvine, visit www.uci.edu.

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