David Wallace, MD, MPH, joins Indiana University School of Medicine as chair for the Department of Ophthalmology and director of the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute. A native Hoosier and IU School of Medicine-trained physician, Dr. Wallace most recently served as professor of ophthalmology, vice chair for clinical strategic planning, and director of clinical research for the Duke University Department of Ophthalmology. His clinical specialties include pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus, and he currently leads the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group, a national clinical trials network focused on conducting multi-center studies on eye diseases affecting children, such as amblyopia, intermittent exotropia, and retinopathy of prematurity.
Born in Indianapolis and raised in South Bend, Dr. Wallace earned his undergraduate degree from IU and is an alumnus of IU School of Medicine’s class of 1990. He completed his residency training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and he is fellowship-trained in pediatric ophthalmology at IU School of Medicine. Dr. Wallace assumes the role held by Louis Cantor, MD, chair of the department since 2009.
A Q&A with Dr. Wallace details his plans for the Department of Ophthalmology and the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute:
What is your vision for education and research within the Department of Ophthalmology and the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute? Our vision is to significantly grow our research faculty. As much as possible, we want to recruit researchers whose interests synergize with areas of excellence throughout the medical school. We will also grow our clinical faculty, which could lead to the expansion of our fellowship programs.
How do you see this translating clinically for patients? New discoveries, whether here or elsewhere, will translate to cutting-edge eye care. We want our patients to have access to the most modern treatments, and we want to utilize a patient-centered approach to care, meaning the patient and their needs are always first.
What is most rewarding about being a part of the education and training of students? For medical students, it’s seeing that excitement about ophthalmology as a specialty. It takes me back to my medical school years here at IU. I still remember my excitement when first learning about ophthalmology and the impact we can have on people’s lives by improving their vision. For residents, it’s seeing the transition from the eager, but inexperienced, first-year resident to a graduating resident who is confident in handling common eye problems.
What is most rewarding for you clinically? Seeing the impact that our research has on how we deliver care. Clinical research studies are a lot of work, but it’s so worth it when it translates into new treatments or better ways to give existing treatments.
Why did you choose to come to IU School of Medicine, and what in particular stood out to you about the Department of Ophthalmology and the Glick Eye Institute? We have an excellent group of faculty and a beautiful facility in the Glick Eye Institute. Add that to the talent throughout the medical school as a whole, and there is tremendous opportunity for collaboration to move all of our programs forward.
What are you looking forward to most about serving as chair for the Department of Ophthalmology? I’m looking forward to engaging the members of our department and developing a shared vision for where we want to go in the next few years, and to working with IU School of Medicine and IU Health leaders to grow our clinical practice and research programs.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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