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Volume 30, Number 4  |  September 2022

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Message from the Chair

September 2022


Hopefully many of you will have seen the recent email I sent with our external reviewers’ review of the last 10 years that I have served as your chair. As I reflect back on that time, I feel as though we all have much to be proud of. We truly have a remarkable program in so many respects. Our clinical care, from the provision of primary eye care to the very young and the very old through to the most complex quaternary multidisciplinary care is world class. And that care is delivered with care, compassion, and empathy. Our research productivity is prodigious with U of T researchers regularly publishing high impact articles in high impact journals and standing on the podium at all the major international meetings. And with respect to education, something that I take particular pride in, we have learners at all levels coming to us from the world over to take in and gain the skills from the whole gamut of what we do in Toronto. But as good as we are and look back on what we have accomplished, it is important not to get too complacent. Our reviewers have identified some important potential areas that can be made better. And our goal should always be to be the best that we can be. Some of these improvements will be for the next chair to work on. A selection committee has been struck and I trust that they will choose a great successor. I look forward to the next chapter and promise to do all that I can to help and support the successful candidate. 
Sherif El-Defrawy, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
Nanji Family Chair in Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
Chair & Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences
University of Toronto
Featured in this issue:


Senior Academic Promotions

Full Professor

Dr. Hall Chew

Dr. Hall Chew is a geographic full-time physician practicing at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre specializing in cornea and external diseases.  Dr. Chew contributes greatly to the academic greatly to the academic mission of our Department particularly as Chair of the Resident Selection Committee and his service to the Residency Program Committee and the Departmental Promotions Committee. Dr. Chew has an international reputation as a scholar and has been highly recognized with many teaching awards.
Congratulations on achieving this important milestone and a well deserved promotion to full Professor.


Dr. Edward Margolin

Dr. Edward Margolin is a part-time physician practicing at Mount Sinai Hospital with a focus on the subspecialty of Neuro Ophthalmology.  Dr. Margolin contributes greatly to the academic mission of our Department in his role as Director of the Neuro Ophthalmology Fellowship and is a highly regarded researcher and educator recognized nationally and internationally.

Congratulations on achieving this important milestone and a well deserved promotion to full Professor.

Associate Professor

Dr. Nupura Bakshi

Dr. Nurpura Bakshi is a part-time physician practicing at Unity Health - St. Michael’s Hospital  and Mount Sinai Hospital with a focus on posterior uveitis and retina.  Dr. Bakshi contributes widely to the academic mission of our Department and has recently been appointed as Vice Chair Clinical and Quality Affairs.  Dr. Bakshi is a highly regarded researcher and educator recognized nationally with a special focus on advocacy for equity, diversity and inclusion in medicine.

Congratulations on a well deserved promotion to Associate Professor.


Dr. Clara Chan

Dr. Clara Chan is a part-time physician practicing at UHN-Toronto Western Hospital with a focus on the subspecialty of cornea.  Dr. Chan contributes greatly to the academic mission of our Department.
Dr. Chan is the Director of the Eye Bank.  Dr. Chan has an international reputation as a researcher and her activities focus on ocular surface disease and management, corneal transplantation techniques, limbal stem cell disease and management, ocular surface reconstruction.

Congratulations on a well deserved promotion to Associate Professor.

Dr. Jason Noble

Dr. Jason Noble is a part-time physician practicing at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre specializing in medical retina.   Dr. Noble contributes greatly to the academic mission of our Department as a highly regarded scholar and researcher. Dr. Noble’s executive leadership positions at the Canadian Retina Society (CRS), and the Canadian Ophthalmology Society (COS) are an asset to our department and profession.

Congratulations on a well deserved promotion to Associate Professor.


Dr. Matthew Schlenker

Dr. Matthew Schlenker is a full-time physician practicing at UHN- Toronto Western Hospital and Kensington Eye Institute.  Dr. Schlenker contributes to the academic mission of our department as a scholar and researcher and in his roles as the Director of our Annual Department Research Day and the Director of Resident Research.  Dr. Schlenker has a national reputation as a clinical researcher in the field of glaucoma and his activities include the analysis of the outcomes of eye surgical procedures including new minimally invasive glaucoma surgical techniques and complex cataract surgery.

Congratulations on a well deserved promotion to Associate Professor.

Appointment of Chief Residents and Chief Fellow

Drs. Seema Emami (PGY5) and Michael Nguyen (PGY5) are appointed as Residents-in-Chief for the Academic Year 2022-2023.

Dr. Seema Emami completed medical school at McMaster University in 2018.  During residency training, she has pursued her interests in global health by completing a two-year course through the U of T Global Health Education Initiative, and remained actively involved in undergraduate medical education as a facilitator for the Portfolio course for the past three years.  She is also involved in the COS Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and looks forward to pursuing uveitis subspecialty training upon graduation.

Dr. Michael Thai Binh Nguyen completed medical school at McMaster University in 2018. He was elected President of the Council of Canadian Ophthalmology Residents (CCOR) for 2021-2022 as part of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. He is heavily involved in medical student education and is the founding Course Director of a national review course called the Virtual Introductory Summer Course in Ophthalmology (VISCO). He will be pursuing a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus.

Dr. Georges Nassrallah is appointed as the Chief Fellow.  Georges is a currently 2nd year Oculoplastic Surgery Fellow with Dr. Navdeep Nijhawan.

Celebration of Dr. John Lloyd's tenure as Postgraduate Program Director

by: Drs. Amandeep Rai and Hall Chew
On the evening of September 15th, we were pleased to gather at the Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel and celebrate Dr. John Lloyd's highly successful tenure as our residency program director for 10 years!  We were truly fortunate to have had Dr. Lloyd lead our program through many positive changes over this time, including the advent of vertical rotations in the PGY3 year, improved cataract teaching at the PGY4 level, and more focused training at the PGY5 level.  Dr. Lloyd has left an indelible mark on a generation of ophthalmologists, and his impact will be further felt by all of their patients!
Many of Dr. Lloyd's former residents commented on his calm and cool demeanor as program director, and the incredible support they received from him.  Dr. Lloyd has left a lasting positive impact on our residency program, which is quite arguably the most sought-after ophthalmology residency program in Canada!  Thank you John for all your efforts!

- Dr. Amandeep Rai

I have been extremely fortunate to have been a resident under John's tenure, to work alongside him at Sunnybrook as a staff physician, and to be a part of the Residency Program Committee under John’s leadership as the Program Director.  

Over 10 years ago, John took over this position from the legendary Wai Ching Lam.  The position of Program Director is a challenging role, being pulled in multiple directions from multiple entities for the betterment of the program.  Of course, the most important entity is the Residents, and John did a great job in supporting all Residents throughout his tenure.  He was a great Program Director who helped our residents succeed through academic and/or personal challenges.  

He was able to balance this with the needs of the Staff from each teaching hospital, the Executive Committee, the University of Toronto Administration, CaRMS, and of course….. the Royal College. John led us successfully through the extremely onerous, Internal and External Reviews which can make or break a residency program.

John always supported the residents through their different endeavours and requests.  He went out of his way to host the residents for an annual Welcome BBQ at the start of each academic year.  

Most importantly, John and Amandeep Rai led us through the COVID pandemic, and despite the many restrictions and operational challenges brought on by the pandemic, they made the program even stronger.  Our residents successfully graduated without issue and have gone on to embark on successful careers.   

It is also important to recognize the support that John received from his family for John’s tireless work as program director after his clinical work hours.  We all thank his family for tolerating all the after-hours meetings and urgent phone calls.

The celebrated John Lloyd has left the program in great shape, passing the torch to an amazing individual in Amandeep Rai.

Thank you, John for your leadership, dedication, morals, professionalism, and collaboration in keeping U of T as the Best Residency Program in North America.

- Dr. Hall Chew

Resident Retreat

by:Taylor Lukasik (PGY4) & Jenny Qian (PGY4)

The Resident Retreat was held at Blue Mountain this year, which was a weekend of fun, laughter, and group bonding.  We also managed to sneak in a bit of exercise through our team activity.  The Timber Challenge, a high ropes course, was a great bonding experience where we challenged ourselves and loudly cheered each other on as we navigated through difficult course obstacles.

We would also like to thank Dr. Harmeet Gill for joining us in Blue Mountain.  Through his own journey in ophthalmology, he was able to share great insight about navigating through our careers as residents and beyond, and provided wisdom about achieving work-life balance.

This weekend retreat was very much enjoyed by us residents and we look forward to continuing this invaluable tradition.  We recognize what a privilege it is to spend this incredible weekend with each other every year.  We cannot thank the faculty and administration enough for helping to make this happen!  It’s now time to return to clinics and hit the AAO books, but we are refreshed and ready!

Fellowship Welcome Event

On Friday September 23rd, fellows, preceptors and staff members gathered together for an evening of camaraderie, good food and fun to introduce the 2022-2023 academic year. Over 40 members of DOVS came out to welcome our new and returning fellows at Bangkok Garden. The evening began with inspiring and insightful words from Dr. Sherif El-Defrawy (Chair), Dr. Navdeep Nijhawan (Fellowship Program Director) and Dr. Georges Nasrallah (Chief Fellow), followed by cheerful introductions by our fellows.  Thank you to everyone who was able to join us.  We look forward to the upcoming Development Dinners and fellowship events throughout this academic year. 

OCTcases Smartphone App

The OCTcases team, led by Dr. Austin Pereira (PGY3) and recent graduate Dr. Jason Kwok, now has a free smartphone app available to easily access practice cases and an atlas of OCT images.  This medical education website is accessed over 17 000 times per year by over six thousand unique users across 91 countries, with the hope to increase these numbers with a user-friendly mobile app.  All practice cases and OCT images are contributed by University of Toronto DOVS staff physicians.
To download this free smartphone app to your home screen, search “” on your smartphone browser and follow the instructions on the main page.  
Help support this medical education endeavour started here at the University of Toronto DOVS department and have an extra resource accessible on your smartphone to improve your OCT interpretation skills.

Honours, Awards & Grants

Drs. Jenny Qian and Seema Emami won Top Women in Medicine Poster at Women in Ophthalmology Conference (WIC)

Drs. Jenny Qian (PGY4) and Seema Emami (PGY5) 's Poster Striving Towards Parity: Exploring the Representation of Women Presenters at Global Ophthalmology Conferences was selected as the best Women in Medicine poster.  Their results were derived from analyzing almost 8,000 speakers over 50 conferences worldwide.  This is a very impressive achievement given there were over 400 posters this year.  Their poster was tagged “Top Poster” in the virtual platform for all attendees to see.

Dr. Tina Felfeli won the prestigious IODE Canada War Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Tina Felfeli (PGY2) was awarded the prestigious IODE Canada War Memorial Scholarship for doctoral studies.

IODE Canada instituted the IODE War Memorial Scholarship program in 1918 to commemorate Canadians who sacrificed their lives or were permanently disabled while fighting for Canada.  Today, applicants must be doctoral candidates at a Canadian or Commonwealth university and are selected for academic achievement and potential.  This scholarship is highly competitive and attracts the brightest doctoral students from across Canada.

Congratulations to Dr. Felfeli on this major accomplishment.

Other Honours, Awards & Grants

Dimaras, Helen:
  • Title: Development of a Biobank for Rare Pediatric Eye Cancers
    Funding Agency: US Department of Defense
    Funding Program: Rare Cancers Research Program Platform Development Grant.
    Principal Investigator: Helen Dimaras
    Total Amount: $600,000 USD
    Duration: 3 years
Muni, Rajeev:
  • 2022 ASRS Film Festival Award - Best of Show

Invited Lectures and Visiting Professorships

Choudhry, Netan:
  • Vitrectomy for Macular Holes; Annual Vitreoretinal Fellows Course, Massaschusettes Eye & Ear, Boston MA USA; August 2022 (Invited Lecturer)
  • Yag Vitreolysis vs Vitrectomy for Symptomatic Vitreous Opacities; International Ocular Floater Society July 2022 (Invited Lecturer)

Mireskandari, Kamiar:
  • Cataract Surgery in The Absence of Zonular Support. Advanced Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Seminar. Virtual Meeting, Colombia. July 2022. (Presenter)

Muni, Rajeev:
  • Clinical Insight of primary RD management: How do we apply what we learned from the PIVOT study to routine practice? The Retina Detachment Symposium. Bangkok, Thailand. August 2022. (Invited Lecturer)
Teichman, Joshua:
  • Dissecting the causes of refractive misses in patients with advanced keratoconus. American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery (AECOS) Summer meeting (Invited Lecturer)
  • Penetrating keratoplasty - Step-by-step. Veterinary Ophthalmic Surgery Meeting (Keynote Speaker)


Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Leung and her husband James, who welcomed their son, Jasper Zachary Jong, on June 7, 2022.  He weighed 6lb 4oz. Big sister Myra couldn't be happier!


Dr. Patricia T. Harvey

Sharing the sad news of the passing of Dr. Pat Harvey, well known to many of our Ophthalmology Colleagues.  Dr. Harvey graduated from the DOVS Ophthalmology Program in 1982 and was a member of the department teaching staff for many years. 

"Age 69 years, of Dundas, Ontario, went to be with Jesus on Friday, September 2, 2022 after a six month illness.  Pat considered herself blessed to be born into a loving Christian family and to be taught from childhood the need to follow Jesus in one's life. She became a medical retina specialist, a calling she thoroughly enjoyed and in which she was internationally renowned.  Her expertise was equaled only by her kindness, as her numerous patients attest.  Pat was highly committed to her church family at Philpott Memorial Church, where she was a lifelong member and where she served in many capacities.  Her close loving relationships included her treasured best friend Stu Archibald and his daughters Jenny, Heather and Cathy, her two brothers John and his wife Mary, David and his wife Val, the children of both families, Jesse, Seth, Sarah, Jessica, and Jonathan, and the beloved great nieces and nephews.  On September 10th at 10:30 a reception-visitation followed by the funeral service will be held at Philpott Memorial Church, 84 York Blvd, Hamilton, ON. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Philpott Memorial Church, or Juravinski Cancer Centre, c/o HHS Foundation, Hamilton, ON. Please sign Pat's online Book of Condolence at"

Online Rounds Schedule and Events

A celebration of Dr.Jeff Hurwitz’s life will take place on Monday, October 10th at 10:00am at the Scotiabank Centre.  Please come and celebrate this extraordinary life with the Hurwitz family, friends and colleagues.  The Scotiabank Centre was a special place of joy for Jeff where he enjoyed so many of his favorite sports and musical activities.  The Hurwitz family asks that you kindly visit to RSVP and register to receive further details.  Your prompt response is deeply appreciated.

Date: October 7, 2022
Grand Rounds
Title: Learner Mistreatment in Medicine.
Speaker: Dr. Reena Pattani

Date: October 10, 2022
Celebration of Dr. Jeffrey Hurwitz's Life
Location: Scotiabank Arena
Time: 10:00am

Date: October 14, 2022
VPP Rounds
Title:  Updates in Neuro-Ophthalmology: Recent Findings That Will Change Your Practice Tomorrow
Speaker: Dr. Neill Miller

Date: October 21, 2022
VPP Rounds
Title: Pharmacotherapy and new developments in the treatment of uveitis
Speaker: Dr. Quan Dong Nguyen

Date: October 28, 2022
Grand Rounds
Title: Uveitis
Speaker: Dr. Alex Kaplan

Date: November 4, 2022
Grand Rounds
Title: Neuro-ophthalmology
Speaker: Dr. Edward Margolin

Date: November 11, 2022
Grand Rounds
Title: Mystery Retina & Uveitis Case Panel
Speaker: Dr. Nupura Bakshi

Date: November 18, 2022
Grand Rounds
Title: Paediatrics
Speaker: Dr. Stephanie Kletke

Date: December 2-3, 2022
61st Walter Wright Symposium
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Details and Registration:

Date: December 9, 2022
Grand Rounds
Title: Walter Wright Review
Speaker: Drs. Neera Singal, Hall Chew, Josh Teichman

Date: December 16, 2022
Grand Rounds
Title: Glaucoma
Speaker: Dr. Irfan Kherani

* Schedule subject to change

For latest details and links, please visit:

Full Upcoming Calendar and Events

Recent Publications

Recent publications by DOVS Faculty, Staff, Residents and Fellows

July 2022
August 2022
Adatia FA, González-Saldivar G, Chow DR. Effects of Sleep Deprivation, Non-Dominant Hand Employment, Caffeine and Alcohol Intake During Surgical Performance: Lessons Learned From the Retina Eyesi Virtual Reality Surgical Simulator. Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2022 Aug 1;11(8):16. doi: 10.1167/tvst.11.8.16. PMID: 35980671
Ahmed Y, Pereira A, Rai AS, Leung VC, Ahmed A, Rai AS. Prospective evaluation of medical student accuracy conducting direct ophthalmoscopy with an unmodified iPhone X. Int Ophthalmol. 2022;doi:10.1007/s10792-022-02377-4.
Gagné S, Yuen D, Cohen S.  Transconjunctival XEN45 Implantation for Glaucoma Performed at the Slit Lamp: A Pilot Study. J Glaucoma. 2022 Aug 1;31(8):675-681. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000002070. Epub 2022 Jun 30. PMID: 35773233
Garg A, Trinh T, Wong BM, Mimouni M, Ramdass S, Liao J, Chandrakumar M, Slomovic AR, Chan CC.  Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem for Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency: A Case Series. Eye Contact Lens. 2022 Aug 19. doi: 10.1097/ICL.0000000000000928. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35984104

Global Retinoblastoma Study Group. The Global Retinoblastoma Outcome Study: a prospective, cluster-based analysis of 4064 patients from 149 countries. Lancet Glob Health. 2022 Aug;10(8):e1128-e1140. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00250-9. PMID: 35839812; PMCID: PMC9397647.
Im JHB, Jin YP, Chow R, Dharia RS, Yan P. Delayed anti-VEGF injections during the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in visual acuity in patients with three common retinal diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis.  Surv Ophthalmol. 2022 Aug 12:S0039-6257(22)00113-8. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2022.08.002. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35970234 Free PMC article. Review.

Ing EB.
Letter to the Editor: Testing Recommendations for IgG4-Related Disease. EyeNet Magazine. American Academy of Ophthalmology. August 2022
Isaac M, Mireskandari K, Fallaha N, Ospina LH, Javidi E, Chorfi S, Superstein R, Hamel P, Tehrani NN.  Long-term outcomes of type 1 retinopathy of prematurity following monotherapy with bevacizumab: a Canadian experience. Can J Ophthalmol. 2022 Aug 6:S0008-4182(22)00215-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2022.07.001. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35940211
Issahar Leibovitzh G, Trope GE, Buys YM, Tarita-Nistor L: Binocular summation of visual acuity at high and low contrast in mild glaucoma. Journal of Glaucoma 2022 Aug 17 doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000002106.
Lad EM, Duncan JL, Liang W, Maguire MG, Ayala AR, Audo I, Birch DG, Carroll J, Cheetham JK, Durham TA, Fahim AT, Loo J, Deng Z, Mukherjee D, Heon E, Hufnagel RB, Guan B, Iannaccone A, Jaffe GJ, Kay CN, Michaelides M, Pennesi ME, Vincent A, Weng CY, Farsiu S; Foundation Fighting Blindness Consortium Investigator Group. Baseline Microperimetry and OCT in the RUSH2A Study: Structure-Function Association and Correlation with Disease Severity.  Am J Ophthalmol. 2022 Aug 22:S0002-9394(22)00318-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2022.08.013. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36007554

Pereira A, Aldrees S, Pimentel MC, Yan P. Updated review: optical coherence tomography findings of the pachychoroid disease spectrum. Can J Ophthalmol. 2022;doi:10.1016/j.jcjo.2022.06.014.

Pereira A, Ballios BG, Sarraf D, Yan P. Full-thickness macular hole due to choroidal neovascularization in the setting of pathologic myopia. Journal of Vitreoretinal Diseases 2022;doi:10.1177/24741264221104592.

Pereira A, Sodhi S, Choudhry N. Unilateral retinal crystalline deposition. Can J Ophthalmol. 2022 Aug 31:S0008-4182(22)00248-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2022.08.002. Online ahead of print. PMID: 36057341 No abstract available.
Pur DR, Krance S, Pucchio A, Bassi A, Miranda RN, Felfeli T. Emerging applications of bioinformatics and artificial intelligence in the analysis of biofluid markers involved in retinal occlusive diseases: a systematic review. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2022 Aug 4. doi: 10.1007/s00417-022-05769-5. Online ahead of print. PMID: 3592545
1 Review.

Trinh T, Solomon B, Mimouni M, Cohen E, Gouvea L, Santaella G, Sorkin N, Al Shaker S, Din N, Rootman DS. Author's Response to Letter: Outcomes of Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract and Refractive Lens Surgery in Patients with Prior Radial Keratotomy.  J Cataract Refract Surg. 2022 Aug 12. doi: 10.1097/j.jcrs.0000000000001041. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35971226

Tyndel F, Steriade C, Gallo A, Wennberg R, Radovanovic I. Fulminant Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension in Pregnancy. Case Rep Neurol. 2022 May 16;14(2):251-255. doi: 10.1159/000524717. eCollection 2022 May-August. PMID: 35815103 
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