Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Fellowship

The University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary is proud to offer a comprehensive fellowship in the field of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.  This fellowship is aimed at providing an in depth, diverse and enriching experience focused on pediatric eye disease.  There are two fellowship opportunities available, 1 full time position (1 year) and 1 part-time position (50% time over 2 years).  Please find application materials below.

This fellowship is in compliance with the requirements established by the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Fellowship Compliance Committee (AUPO FCC).

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The goals of the pediatric ophthalmology fellowship will be:

  1. To develop diagnostic and surgical skills necessary to properly treat common and rare ophthalmologic problems in children.
  2. To expand knowledge and develop examination and surgical skills in all areas of strabismus in both children and adults.
  3. To expand knowledge and develop examination and surgical skills in pediatric cataracts and glaucoma.
  4. To participate in clinical or basic science research projects.
  5. To participate in pediatric ophthalmology programs with the Department and community.  Examples: journal clubs, resident lectures and vision screening within the community.
  6. To meet the guidelines established by the Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus for a fellowship program.


A. The fellow is expected to participate in the pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus clinics and various subspecialty clinics including: Pediatric Neuro-ophthalmology and Ocular Genetics clinic (1/month), Neurofibromatosis (1/month), Pediatric Oculoplastics (1/month).

B.  Other clinical experiences in the Department of Ophthalmology that will be included in the fellowship program include:

  • Pediatric hospital consultations at the University of Illinois
  • NICU ROP examinations
  • Back-up night call for trauma patients periodically (from home)

Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship at the University of Illinois College of Medicine

1. Participate in vision screening of children on local community health days.

2. Participate in the Pediatric Ophthalmology symposium held annually.

Community Experiences in Pediatric Ophthalmology

What to Expect

1. The Pediatric Ophthalmology fellow is responsible for organizing Journal Club meetings (6/year).

2. Participation in Grand Rounds is encouraged.

3. The fellow will have the opportunity to assist in teaching and clinical supervision of medical students and residents. The fellow will also prepare lectures for ophthalmology residents or medical students to be given periodically during the year.

4. Chicago Ophthalmologic Society meetings (6 times per year) are supported for education, networking, and participation in the Chicagoland ophthalmologic community.

Education in Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship
The fellow is encouraged to participate in new and ongoing clinical projects and present his/her work at national meetings.

A. The fellow should complete one or more clinical or basic science research projects in an area related to pediatric ophthalmology or strabismus.  The fellowship supervisors will approve this activity which may be done in conjunction with any faculty member.

B. Oral or poster presentation at the yearly AAPOS meeting is strongly encouraged and supported by the department.

C. The University of Illinois Pediatric Ophthalmology department is a clinical site for the Pediatric Eye Disease Study Group (PEDIG).  The fellow will be exposed to active PEDIG studies and will aid in recruitment.

Pediatric Ophthalmology Research

A. The fellow will be exposed to a range of surgical procedures in the areas of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus as well as adult strabismus including:

  • Common and unusual surgical procedures advocated for all types of strabismus, simple and complex (e.g., muscle transposition procedures, thyroid eye disease and adjustable sutures).
  • Indications and methods of the use of botulinum toxin in strabismus and related problems.
  • Pediatric cataracts, glaucoma and oculoplastics.
  • Treatment of retinopathy of prematurity with laser and anti-VEGF.

B. The development of surgical knowledge and skills as well as the ability to teach these skills will be a major goal of the fellowship. This will be achieved by:

  • Participating with attending staff on pediatric and adult strabismus surgeries.
  • Participating or assisting attending staff, when requested, on pediatric patients of interest, e.g., congenital cataracts, ocular tumors, glaucoma, oculoplastic, ROP.
  • Assisting residents in routine ocular motility surgery, along with the attending.

Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship - surgery

  1. Complete orthoptic evaluation. This will be done under the direction of the clinical orthoptists.
  2. Other miscellaneous tests that might be useful in the evaluation of the children such as Forced Preferential Looking, OKN, etc.
  3. The problems and indications for special radiologic techniques in children.

Financial Support

The fellowship will be funded by the Department of Ophthalmology at the level of a PGY5 including benefits.


Fellowship Coordinator

Yesenia Hernandez
(312) 996-9122

Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

Department of Ophthalmology
University of Illinois at Chicago
1855 W. Taylor Street (M/C 648)
Chicago, IL 60612

Link to SFMatch


Full Time

Nathalie Azar, MD
Nathalie Azar, MD
Fellowship Director
Cem Mocan, MD
Cem Mocan, MD
Daniel E. Maidana, MD


RV Paul Chan, MD, MSc, FACS Pediatric Retina
RV Paul Chan, MD, MSc, FACS
Pediatric Retina
Felix Chau, MD Pediatric Retina
Felix Chau, MD
Pediatric Retina
Lawrence Kaufman, MD, PhD Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology
Lawrence Kaufman, MD, PhD
Pete Setabutr, MD
Pete Setabutr, MD
Pediatric Plastics

Part Time

Kimberlee Curnyn, MD
Kimberlee Curnyn, MD
Benjamin Mathew, MD
Benjamin Mathew, MD
Javaneh Abbasian, MD

Certified Orthoptists

Julie Lenth-Carver, CO
Julie Lenth-Carver, CO
Lisa Hartemayer, CO, COMT, MBA
Lisa Hartemayer, CO, COMT, MBA

(not pictured)

Dina Johnson, COT


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