Yannek I. Leiderman, MD, PhD, is a surgeon, vitreoretinal specialist, and translational researcher at The Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary and Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the Director of Surgical Data Science at the Artificial Intelligence in Ophthalmology Center, and Director of the Fellowship in Vitreoretinal Surgery.
The Vitreoretinal Microsurgery Lab is a cross-disciplinary laboratory group developing tools and technology for intraoperative surgical guidance, assessment, and training in ophthalmic microsurgery. Lab team members have deep expertise in bioengineering, surgical guidance, image processing, surgical navigation, surgical simulation, and artificial intelligence. Translational investigations are directed toward two principal areas: 1) Development of technology and techniques for the integration of surgical instrumentation, visualization, and imaging; 2) the design and implementation of high-fidelity ophthalmic surgical model systems to support training in advanced surgical techniques, adoption of novel surgical devices and technologies, and experimental techniques in microsurgery. A primary research direction of the group is to decode microsurgery, i.e., to begin to measure and understand the learning processes in microsurgery, and to deepen our understanding of the attainment of expert performance. Work in clinical applications and commercialization utilizes artificial intelligence methodologies coupled with surgical instrument tracking to create an enhanced microsurgical environment for ophthalmic surgery. We have received research funding from the National Eye Institute, foundational grants, and a variety of partners in industry.