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News and Events

Jarstad on the David Lyle Show

Tune in! Dr. Jarstad will be on the David Lyle show (KFRU 1400) on July 25, September 26 and November 28.


Chickenpox, Shingles Vaccine May Cause Corneal Inflammation in Some Patients

January 20, 2016

In use for more than 20 years, the varicella zoster virus vaccine for chickenpox and shingles is considered an essential medicine by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have found, in rare instances, a link between the vaccine and corneal inflammation. Read more… 


Crystallin Biochemistry in Health and Disease 

January 2016
Dr. Krishna Sharma was the guest editor of a collection of 20 articles published in the January 2016 issue of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. The special issue includes articles written by scientists who are studying the role of crystallins in health and disease. Dr. Sharma wrote an editorial for the series, titled “Crystallin Biochemistry in Health and Disease.” Among the 20 articles in the special issue on crystallins is an article by Drs. Raju, Santhoshkumar and Sharma, titled “Alpha-Crystallin-Derived Peptides as Therapeutic Chaperones.” 


Faculty Articles in Missouri Medicine Journal

January 2016

The January/February 2016 issue of Missouri Medicine, the publication of the Missouri State Medical Association, features six articles by ophthalmology faculty, former residents and medical students with an editorial by Dr. Fraunfelder. The editorial highlights some of our department’s activities and Dr. Fraunfelder’s vision for our future. The articles, in the order of their publication within the issue are the follows:

  • Meryl Sundy, Dustin McKnight, Craig Eck and Frank Rieger – Visual Acuity Outcomes of Toric Lens Implantation in Patients Undergoing Cataract Surgery at a Residency Training Program, pages 40-43.
  • Moss Fenberg, Ken Hainsworth, Frank Rieger  and Dean Hainsworth -- Vitrectomy as a Risk Factor for Complicated Cataract Surgery, pages  44-47
  • Matthew Benage and Frederick Fraunfelder --  Vaccine-Associated Uveitis, pages 48-52
  • Evan Olson and Kathy Lentz --  Central Retinal Artery Occlusion: A Literature Review and the Rationale for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, pages 53-57
  • Geetha Davis --  The Evolution of Cataract Surgery, pages 58-62
  • Bokkwan Jun --  Diagnostic Considerations in Patients Presenting with Transient Vision Loss.  Pages 63-67


Whiting awarded $60,000 grant from Knights Templar Eye Foundation for Batten disease research

June 4, 2015


Rebecca Whiting, PhD, research assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, was awarded a $60,000 Pediatric Ophthalmology Career-starter Grant to study new treatment options for Batten disease, an inherited disorder that causes vision loss in children as well as brain degeneration.

The grant was presented to Whiting by Russell Hanson and Harold Coots of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation on May 29 during the Department of Ophthalmology’s 22nd Annual Scientific Session as part of Resident and Alumni Weekend.

“The support of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation will be instrumental in helping us study ways to improve the lives of children with Batten disease, in particular by developing approaches to prevent the progressive vision loss that occurs in this disease,” Whiting said. “I’m grateful for the trust and support of the foundation to combat this rare, but very serious, nervous system and retinal disorder.”

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation places importance on the development of junior scientists, and the research enabled by this grant will not only benefit children with Batten disease, but will enable Whiting to establish herself as an independent investigator.

Click here for a high-resolution photo from the check presentation. From left: Russell Hanson, representative of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation; Rick Fraunfelder, MD, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology; Rebecca Whiting, PhD, research assistant professor; Martin Katz, PhD, professor of ophthalmology; and Harold Coots, representative of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation.


Missouri Medical Focus Interview

Rick Fraunfelder, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the MU School of Medicine and corneal disease specialist at the Mason Eye Institute, discusses diseases of the outer eye.

Click to listen


New corneal transplant procedure transforms woman’s world

March 13, 2015


For Betty Minor of Sedalia, blurry vision was a fact of life. The 75-year-old had resigned herself to coping with her deteriorating eyesight. She would only read large-print books and she needed someone to read her the menus at restaurants. Her prescription glasses did little to help. For more than 35 years, Minor has lived with Fuch’s dystrophy, an inherited degenerative condition that causes vision loss. In July, Minor underwent a new corneal transplant procedure that changed her life.



Hainsworth Appointed Medical Director for Clinical Research

Sept. 19, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

We’re pleased to announce the appointment of Dean P. Hainsworth, MD, professor of ophthalmology, as medical director for clinical research at the School of Medicine, effective Oct. 1.

As medical director for clinical research, Dr. Hainsworth will be responsible for overseeing the development of a productive, compliant, accessible clinical research program for students, trainees and faculty. His job duties will include oversight of the operations of the Clinical Research Center. He will lead School of Medicine and campus efforts to expand clinical research in both investigator-initiated studies and industry-sponsored studies. An area of particular focus will be expanding our Phase 1 clinical trial capabilities and reaching out to industry for research support.

A member of the School of Medicine faculty since 1996, Dr. Hainsworth also serves as chief of the vitreoretinal service at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and also completed an internship and residency at Kentucky. Dr. Hainsworth completed a vitreoretinal fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. He is board-certified in ophthalmology.

Dr. Hainsworth’s research focuses on retinal disease and treatment, especially among diabetic patients. He is currently the principal or co-investigator for four research grants, including two sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

At this important juncture in our transformational effort in clinical and translational science at the School of Medicine and across the MU campus, we appreciate Dr. Hainsworth’s willingness to assume this key leadership role. Please join us in supporting him as he undertakes these important additional responsibilities.

Jamal A. Ibdah, MD, PhD
Sr. Associate Dean for Research
Director, MU Institute for Clinical and Translational Science

Leslie W. Hall, MD
Interim Dean
School of Medicine



FraunfelderFraunfelder Joins MU School of Medicine as Chair of Ophthalmology

Frederick Fraunfelder, MD, has joined the University of Missouri School of Medicine as chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. Fraunfelder comes to MU from the Casey Eye Institute and Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, where he served as a professor of ophthalmology and as the chief of the cornea, external disease and refractive surgery division.
Full Story
Columbia Daily Tribune
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Kansas City Star



Mohan Named Silver Fellow by National Ophthalmology Organization

Rajiv Mohan, PhD, a professor in the University of Missouri School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology, has been named a 2014 Silver Fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) for his contributions to eye research, including nanomedicine therapies to treat corneal diseases. He will be honored at the 2014 ARVO annual meeting May 8 in Orlando, Fla. Full Story


Cowden-awardJohn Cowden, MD, chair and Roy E. Mason and Elizabeth Patee Mason Distinguished Professor of ophthalmology at MU, received a 20-year medallion for service in eye transplants from the Heartland Lions Eye Banks. The medallion was presented by Ron Walkenbach, PhD, eye bank executive director, at a ceremony March 11, 2013, in MU's Mason Eye Clinic. Heartland Lions Eye Banks is a division of the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation with the mission to preserve and restore sight. The group operates throughout Missouri and in parts of Illinois and Kansas, providing tissue corneal transplants worldwide. Dr. Cowden was also a past recipient of the Golden Medallion Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Missouri Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons in 2006. 


Rajiv Mohan, PhD, received the Missouri Foundation for Medical Research Young Investigator Award for his corneal angiogenesis research. The work was presented at the Truman Veterans' Memorial Hospital Annual Research Day on April 29, 2010. The best poster selection was performed voting from scientists, veterans and attendees. (


Rajiv Mohan's, PhD cornea nanomedicine research was identified as "the newest and most innovative research" for the year 2010 by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). This research was featured in "Emerging Trends and Hot Topics" during its annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from May 2 to May 6, 2010. A total of 6,716 abstracts were submitted this year for ARVO meeting.


Lixing Reneker, PhD, has been selected to serve as a member of the Anterior Eye Disease Study Section, beginning July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2016. This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort. Study sections review grant applications submitted to the NIH, make recommendations on these applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in their fields of science.

Icon Bioscience Appoints Ophthalmology Alum VP of Clinical Development

Wendy Yee Murahashi, MD has joined Icon Bioscience's clinical development program to explore new drug delivery technologies. More...

New Missouri Legislation Requires Early Eye Exams

Beginning July 1, all children in kindergarten or first grade entering Missouri schools for the first time are required to have a comprehensive eye exam. A pediatric ophthalmologist at Washington University School of Medicine says the bill forces pediatricians from their gatekeeper’s role. More...

Eye Doctors Provide Care to Haitian Earthquake Victims

University of Missouri Health Care ophthalmologists Jacob Brubaker, left, and James Fox travel to Haiti with New Reality International, a California-based charity, to provide eye care. More...

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