Fellowship in Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery

In person interviews will be held on the September 28th and 29th.  
To view our brochure, CLICK HERE

Message from the Fellowship Program Director


The purpose of the fellowship program is to train competent, compassionate, clinicians who have mastered the most advanced methods of surgical and medical management of diseases of the retina and vitreous. The fellowship program provides an intensive, challenging, broadly based clinical and surgical experience with the goal of motivating physicians to pursue leadership positions in ophthalmology.


Edward F. Cherney, M.D., Professor
Fellowship Director


Paul Sternberg, Jr., M.D., Professor and Chairman

Milam A. Brantley, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor

Edward F. Cherney, M.D., Professor

Edward Chaum, M.D., Ph.D., Professor

Irina De la Huerta, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor

Avni Finn, MD, MBA, Assistant Professor, Associate Program Director

Sapna Gangaputra, MD, MPH, Associate Professor

Abdul-Hadi Kaakour, MD, Assistant Professor

Janice C. Law, M.D., Associate Professor, Vice Chair for Education

Stephen J. Kim, M.D., Professor



To view the Vanderbilt Fellows Vitreoretinal Case Conference CLICK HERE



Mission Statement
The purpose of the fellowship program is to train competent, compassionate, clinicians who have mastered the most advanced methods of surgical and medical management of diseases of the retina and vitreous. The fellowship program provides an intensive, challenging, broadly based clinical and surgical experience with the goal of motivating physicians to pursue leadership roles.

The fellow has an appointment as an Instructor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

The fellowship alternates between accepting one fellow/year (even years) and two fellows/year (odd years).

The fellowship is for two years. Approximately equal time will be spent in the clinic and in the operating room during each year. Dedicated time is available for research.

Affiliated Hospitals
The majority of the fellowship experience is provided at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute. Time is also spent at the neighboring Vanderbilt University Medical Center main hospital, Tennessee Valley Nashville Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital, and Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, all within a five-minute walk of the Eye Institute.

Clinical Activities
The fellowship offers comprehensive training in the medical and surgical management of a wide variety of vitreoretinal diseases, including retinal detachment, retinal vascular disease, macular disease, intraocular tumors, uveitis, proliferative vitreoretinopathy, trauma, and pediatric retinal disorders. Through progressively increasing participation over two years, the fellow will gain autonomy in clinical decision-making and treatment.

At Vanderbilt, the fellow works with retina faculty in the evaluation and treatment of adult and pediatric patients in the private referral clinics. He/she will participate in clinical diagnosis, treatment planning, office procedures and will assist faculty in the teaching of residents and medical students.   At the Nashville VA Hospital, the fellow, along with a faculty member, will direct the retina service, where he/she will supervise residents in clinic, oversee and perform injections and laser photocoagulation procedures, and assist and perform surgery.

Surgical Training
The fellow will receive a rigorous surgical training experience where he/she can expect to participate in 800-1000 cases with the goal of 500 cases as primary surgeon.  There is a broad range of cases including routine vitrectomy for macular surgery, complex retinal detachment repairs, diabetic tractional detachments, primary scleral buckles and scleral-sutured and scleral-fixated IOLs.  The fellow will also be exposed to ocular oncology and pediatric surgical cases. 

There is dedicated ophthalmology operating space in the Vanderbilt adult and pediatric operating rooms and the Nashville VA, staffed by trained ophthalmic nurses and operating staff.  The operating rooms feature state-of-the-art equipment including Zeiss Lumera operating microscopes along with both the BIOM and RESIGHT Viewing systems.  Additionally, we are in the process of acquiring the NGENUITY 3D Heads-up display and intraoperative OCT.   

Ancillary Services
State-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, including digital fundus and anterior segment photography, fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, B-scan ultrasonography and UBM, and electroretinography is used at Vanderbilt.  Additionally, we have access to RetCam and Optos wide-field fundus photography along with OCT angiography. The fellow will have ample opportunity to learn the techniques for performing and interpreting these tests

Lectures and Conferences
The fellow conducts weekly conferences every Wednesday at 7am. The themes of these conferences alternate between medical cases, surgical cases, journal club, and research seminars. Conferences are attended by all Retina division faculty members and provide an invaluable forum to discuss interesting cases and ongoing research. Additionally, the fellow will lead a monthly departmental fluorescein angiography conference, as well as participate in the semi-annual regional Fluorescein Conference attended by regional retina specialists.

Research Activities
The fellow will participate in a clinical or laboratory research project of his or her interest, to be outlined early in the first year. The fellow can also expect to participate in ongoing clinical trials including studies of macular disease, age-related macular degeneration, and retinal angiogenesis. Presentation of original research at national conferences will be encouraged and supported.

Fellows receive both formal and informal feedback from faculty. Semi-annual meetings will be held to evaluate the fellow’s performance and to provide an opportunity to discuss the fellowship experience.

The salary is commensurate with PGY status. A stipend is available for educational development and travel to national meetings for presentations. Malpractice and health insurance premiums are covered. Additionally, fellows receive a personal discretionary account for equipment, meeting travel and expenses.

Fellows are allowed two weeks of vacation in the first year and three weeks in the second year. This does not include days spent presenting at national meetings.

Call Schedule
The fellows will share call for the retina division, one week at a time, with backup provided by the surgical retina preceptors.

Career Development
We work closely with the fellows to help guide their career path throughout their fellowship. Additionally, the faculty foster networking opportunities through local, national, and international meetings.


Please refer to the SFMatch website to apply. 

Former Fellows

Sri Maguluri, M.D., 2004-2006, Chicago, IL

Guri Bronner, M.D., 2005-2007, West Chester, PA

Wayne W. Wu, Ph.D., 2006-2008, Eau Claire, WI

Janice C. Law, M.D., 2007-2009, Nashville, TN

Sachin Mehta, M.D., 2008-2010, Phoenix, AZ

Rahul K. Reddy, M.D., 2009-2011, Phoenix, AZ

Maziar Lalezary, M.D., 2010-2012, Palm Desert, CA

Scott D. Schoenberger, M.D., 2011-2013, Dayton, OH

Rohan J. Shah, M.D., 2012-2014, Chattanooga, TN

Joshua Carlson, M.D., 2013-2015, Medford, OR

Shriji N. Patel, M.D., 2014-2016, Nashville, TN

Gowtham Jonna, M.D., 2015-2017, Austin, TX

Alia K. Durrani, M.D. 2016-2018, St. Louis, MO

Laura L. Snyder, M.D., 2016 - 2018, Chapel Hill, NC

Tomas Moreno, M.D., 2017 - 2019, Jacksonville, FL

Rishabh Date, M.D., 2018-2020, Wayne, NJ

Heather Tamez, M.D., 2018-2020, Blatimore, MD

Kenneth Taubenslag, M.D. 2019 - 2021, Baltimore, MD

Paul Mallory, M.D., 2020 - 2022, Chattanooga, TN

Kurt Scavelli, M.D., 2020 - 2022

Archana Nair, M.D., 2021 - 2023 Dallas, TX


Fellowship Publications & Research Activity

Tomas Moreno, M.D. 2017- 2019

Moreno TA, Kim SJ. Ranibizumab (Lucentis) versus Bevacizumab (Avastin) for the Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: An Economic Disparity of Eye Health. Semin Ophthalmol. 2016;31(4):378-84.

Alia K. Durrani, M.D. 2016-2018

Durrani AK, Cherney EF, Shah RJ, Patel SN. Use of Tipless Kidney Stone Basket for Removal of Intraocular Foreign Bodies or Dislocated Cataract in Eyes with Posterior Staphyloma. Retina. 2018.

Durrani A, Shah RJ, Kim SJ. Successful long-term treatment of paraneoplastic optic neuropathy with mycophenolate mofetil, prednisone, and plasmapheresis. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep. 2017;8:31-34.

Gowtham Jonna, M.D., 2015-2017

Jonna G, Daniels AB. Enhanced Depth Imaging OCT of Ultrasonographically Flat Choroidal Nevi Demonstrates 5 Distinct Imaging Patterns. AAO Annual Meeting. November 12, 2017. New Orleans, LA (VitreoRetinal Surgery Foundation Research Award).

Jonna G, Kim SJ. Re: Singh et al.: Nepafenac 0.3% after Cataract Surgery in Patients with Diabetic Retinopathy: Results of 2 Randomized Phase 3 Studies. Ophthalmology 2017. Pending publication.

Jonna G, Thompson IA, Kim SJ. Five-Year Functional Outcomes after Epiretinal Membrane Surgery: A Prospective, Controlled Study. ARVO Annual Meeting. May 1, 2016. Seattle, WA (National Eye Institute-sponsored Travel Grant).


Shriji N. Patel, M.D., 2014-2016

Kim SJ, Patel SN, Sternberg P. Routine Use of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs with Corticosteroids in Cataract Surgery: Beneficial or Redundant? Ophthalmology. 2016;123(3):444-6.
Patel S, Kim SJ. Re: Ikuno et al.: Intravitreal aflibercept injection in patients with myopic choroidal neovascularization: the MYRROR study (Ophthalmology 2015;122:1220-7). Ophthalmology. 2016;123(2):e16-7.
Patel S, Barnett JM, Kim SJ. Retinal Toxicity of Intravitreal Polyethylene Glycol 400. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2015;
Patel S, Ling J, Kim SJ, Schey KL, Rose K, Kuchtey RW. Proteomic Analysis of Macular Fluid Associated With Advanced Glaucomatous Excavation. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015;:1-3.
Guo S, Patel SN, Baumrind B, Johnson K, Levinsohn D, Marcus E, Tannen B, Roy M, Bhagat N, Zarbin MA. Management of pseudophakic cystoid macular edema. Survey of Ophthalmology 2014 Sep 2.
Patel SN, Rescigno RJ, Zarbin MA, Langer PD, Bhagat N. Endogenous Endophthalmitis Associated with Intravenous Drug Abuse. RETINA. 2014;34(7):1460-1465
Rescigno R, Glatman M, Patel SN. A complicated case of sarcoidosis. JAMA Ophthalmology. 2014;132(5):649-50.
Patel SN, Bhagat N, Goldfeder A, Zarbin M. Unilateral acute idiopathic maculopathy in a 14-year-old Hispanic girl. European Journal of Ophthalmology. 2013;23(5):767-771


Rohan J. Shah, M.D. (2012-2014)

Shah RJ, Garcia-Gonzalez JM, Blair MP, Galasso J, Shapiro MJ. Concurrent scleral buckle and intravitreal bevacizumab for advanced retinopathy of prematurity-related retinal detachment. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2015 Dec 8: epub print.
Thinda S, Shah RJ, Kim SJ. Two-year anatomical and functional outcomes after macular hole surgery: A prospective, controlled study. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina 2015; 46 (9): 926-934.
Yu H, Shen JH, Shah RJ, Simaan N, Joos KM. Evaluation of microsurgical tasks with OCT-guided and/or robot-assisted ophthalmic forceps. Biomed Opt Express 2015; 6 (2): 457-472.
Parikh R, Shah RJ, VanHouten JP, Cherney, EF. Ocular findings at initial pan retinal photocoagulation for proliferative diabetic retinopathy predict the need for future pars plana vitrectomy. Retina 2014; 34 (10): 1997-2002.
Lalezary M, Shah RJ, Reddy RK, Kammer JA, Kuchtey RW, Joos KM, Cherney EF, Recchia FM, Kim SJ. Prospective Retinal and Optic Nerve Vitrectomy Evaluation (PROVE) Study: Twelve-month Findings. Ophthalmology 2014; 121 (10): 1983-1989.
Shah RJ, Cherney EF. Diffuse retinal ischemia following intravenous crushed oxymorphone abuse. JAMA Ophthalmol 2014; 132 (6): 780-781.
Kim SJ, Toma H, Shah R, Kompella UB, Vooturi S, Sheng J. The Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Efficacy of Intraocular Celecoxib. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014; 55 (3): 1409-18.
Schoenberger SD, Kim SJ, Shah R, Sheng J, Cherney E. Reduction of interleukin 8 and platelet-derived growth factor levels by topical ketorolac, 0.45%, in patients with diabetic retinopathy. JAMA Ophthalmol 2014; 132 (1): 32-7.
Shah RJ, Law JY, Wolfe JD, Eichenbaum DA. “Road-Testing the Alcon Ultravit High Speed Vitrectomy Probe.” Section Eds: Rhee DY, Hassan TS. Retina Times; Winter 2013 (52), 29-31.


Scott D. Schoenberger, M.D. (2011-2013)

Schoenberger SD, Thinda S, Kim SJ. Tropheryma whipplei crystalline keratopathy: report of a case and updated review of the literature. Case Rep Ophthalmol Med. 2012;2012:707898.
Schoenberger SD, Kim SJ, Sheng J, Rezaei KA, Lalezary M, Cherney E. Increased prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels in proliferative diabetic retinopathy and correlation with VEGF and inflammatory cytokines. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Aug 27;53(9):5906-11.
Schoenberger SD, Kim SJ, Lavin P. Paraneoplastic optic neuropathy from cutaneous melanoma detected by PET/CT scanning. Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(9):1223-5.
Thinda S, Schoenberger SD, Kim SJ, Cohen DN, Tran U. Whipple’s disease with crystalline keratopathy and chronic uveitis. Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(9):1212.
Schoenberger SD, Agarwal A.  Geographic Chorioretinal Atrophy in Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum.  Am J Ophthalmol. 2013 Jul 24
Schoenberger SD, Kim SJ.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for retinal disease.  Int J Inflam. 2013
Schoenberger SD, Agarwal A.  A novel mutation at the N-terminal domain of the TIMP3 gene in Sorsby fundus dystrophy. Retina. 2013 Feb;33(2):429-35
Schoenberger SD, Agarwal A. Images in clinical medicine. Talc retinopathy. N Engl J Med 2013;368(9):852.
Schoenberger SD, Kim, SJ. Bilateral, multifocal central serous-like chorioretinopathy due to MEK inhibition for metastatic cutaneous melanoma Case Rep Ophthalmol Med. 2013;2013:673796.
Watkins W, Schoenberger SD, Lavin P, Agarwal A. Circumscribed outer foveolar defects in spinocerebellar ataxia type 7. Retinal Cases & Brief Reports 2013;7(3):294-6.
Schoenberger SD, Agarwal A. Intrachoroidal cavitation in North Carolina macular dystrophy. JAMA Ophthalmology. Epub ahead of print.

Maziar Lalezary, MD (2010-2012)

Lalezary M, Kim SJ, Jiramongkolchai K, Recchia FM, Agarwal A, Sternberg P Jr., Long-term trends in intraocular pressure after pars plana vitrectomy. Retina. 2011 Jul-Aug;31:1316-22.                                                                          
Jiramongkolchai K, Lalezary M, Kim SJ.  Influence of previous vitrectomy on incidence of macular oedema after cataract surgery in diabetic eyes. Br J Ophthalmol. 2011;95:524-9.
Schoenberger SD, Kim SJ, Sheng J, Rezaei KA, Lalezary M, Cherney E. Increased prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels in proliferative diabetic retinopathy and correlation with VEGF and inflammatory cytokines. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Aug 27;53(9):5906-11.
Lalezary M, Recchia FM, Kim SJ. Treatment of congenital cytomegalovirus retinitis with intravitreal ganiclovir. Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(4):525-7.

Rahul K. Reddy, M.D. (2009-2011)

Reddy R, Kim SJ. Critical appraisal of ophthalmic ketorolac (Acuvail) in the treatment of pain and inflammation following cataract surgery. Clinical Ophthalmology 2011;5:751-58.
Reddy R, Kim SJ. Intraocular T-cell lymphoma due to mycosis fungoides and response to intravitreal methotrexate. Ocular Immunology and Inflammation. 2011;19:234-6.
Reddy RK, Lalezary M, Kim SJ, et al. Prospective Retinal and Optic Nerve Vitrectomy Evaluation (PROVE) study: findings at 3 months. Clin Ophthalmol. 2013;7:1761-9.

Sachin Mehta, M.D. (2008-2010)

Mehta S, Armstrong BK, Kim SJ, Toma H, West JN, Yin H, Lu P, Wayman LL, Recchia FM, Sternberg P Jr.  Longterm potency, sterility, and stability of vancomycin, ceftazidime, and moxifloxacin for treatment of bacterial endophthalmitis.  Retina 2011;Feb 23 epub ahead of print.
Sachin Mehta, Anita Agarwal. Metastatic liposarcoma masquerading as an inflammatory granuloma. Retinal Cases and Brief Reports, 2011; 5: 18-21.
Armstrong BK, Mehta S, Kim SJ. Vancomycin, ceftazidime, and moxifloxacin can be safely stored in single-use, polypropylene syringes. Retina. 2011;31(10):2134-6.

Janice C. Law, M.D. (2007-2009)

Tarantola RM, Law JC, Recchia FM, Sternberg P, Agarwal A. Photodynamic Therapy as Treatment of Chronic Idiopathic Central Serous Chorioretinopathy. Lasers in Surgery & Medicine.  2008. vol. 40 (10) pp. 671-5
Law JC, Recchia FM, Morrison DG, Donahue SP, Estes RL.  Intravitreal Bevacizumab as Adjunctive Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity. Journal for American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus. 2010. vol. 14 (1) pp 6-10
Agarwal A, Law JC, Tarantola RM.  Late Onset Retinal Degeneration: An Entity Not To Be Overlooked. Retinal Cases and Brief Reports. 2010. vol. 4 (3) pp 257-261.
Reddy RK, Lalezary M, Kim SJ, et al. Prospective Retinal and Optic Nerve Vitrectomy Evaluation (PROVE) study: findings at 3 months. Clin Ophthalmol. 2013;7:1761-9.

Wayne W. Wu, M.D., Ph.D. (2006-2008)

Wu, W, Recchia, FM, Sternberg P., "Pharmacotherapy of Choroidal Neovascularization" in MACULAR SURGERY 2nd ed. Hugo Qurioz-Mercado ed. Lippincott Williams-Wilkins, 2011

Sri Maguluri, M.D. (2004-2006)

Kovach JL, Maguluri S, Recchia FM.  Subclinical endophthalmitis following a rooster attack.  J AAPOS 2006;10(6):579-80.
Maguluri S, Recchia CC, Recchia FM.  Neurosensory macular detachment in group 2A juxtafoveolar telangiectasis and resolution following intravitreal triamcinolone.  Retinal Cases and Brief Reports 2007;1(1):20-1.