Cornea Fellowship

Requirements and Responsibilities

The fellows serve as junior faculty members and are responsible for running the Cornea Clinic as well as seeing and examining patients in the Cornea suite under the supervision of the Cornea faculty. The fellows also run a cornea clinic at the Jesse Brown Veterans Administration Hospital one morning every other week and take trauma calls as a faculty member in rotation with the fellows from the other clinical services. The fellows also spend time on the Refractive Service at the Millennium Park Eye Center on Michigan Avenue .

Clinical investigations are carried out by the Cornea Faculty as well as full-time doctoral level research faculty. The fellow has an opportunity to participate in these investigative pursuits and is expected to give at least one presentation at the end of the year.

The facilities at the University of Illinois at Chicago, including the Eye and Ear Infirmary, the Lions of Illinois Eye Research Institute, and University of Illinois Hospital as well as the Jesse Brown Veterans Hospital and Millennium Park, are available for the fellowship program.

Surgical opportunities are derived from the patients seen in the clinic as well as the Jesse Brown Veterans Hospital. Typically, each fellow does 50 – 60 penetrating and lamellar keratoplasties, 50 – 60 cataract extractions and 30-50 + LASIK procedures during the fellowship year. Additional surgical experiences are gained with ocular surface surgeries and trauma surgeries.

Educational opportunities in addition to those gained directly with the Cornea Service include participation in Grand Rounds and Cornea Teaching Rounds weekly, and lectures which are available for the residents on weekday mornings as well as Saturday mornings.

The Cornea Service of the University of Illinois offers a one-year fellowship in cornea and external ocular disease and refractive surgery. There are two concurrent fellows.


Elmer Tu, MD—Director, Cornea Service and Cornea Fellowship
Joel Sugar, MD—Co-Director, Cornea Fellowship

Dimitri Azar, MD, MBA—Dean, University of Illinois College of Medicine
Soledad Cortina, MD—Director, Comprehensive Eye Service and General Eye Clinic
Jose de la Cruz, MD—Co-Director, Millennium Park Eye Center
Ali Djalilian, MD—Director, Corneal Epithelial Biology and Tissue Engineering Laboratory
Sandeep Jain, MD—Director, Corneal Neurobiology Laboratory
Mark Rosenblatt, MD, PhD, MBA—Head, Department of Ophthalmology
Charles Yu, MD—Assistant Professor, Cornea Service

To learn more about the Cornea Fellowship, contact Elmer Tu, MD

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