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Photo of Azar, Dimitri

Dimitri Azar, MD, MBA, FARVO

UIC Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology, Bioengineering and Pharmacology

Dean Emeritus of the College of Medicine
B.A. Field Chair in Ophthalmologic Research

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences


Dr. Azar is an internationally recognized ophthalmic surgeon who served as Dean of the College of Medicine at University of Illinois from 2011 to 2017.

He joined the faculty in 2006 as Head of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences. Previously he was a tenured Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Cornea Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Senior Scientist at Schepens Eye Institute and a faculty member at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He earned an executive MBA from University of Chicago. Dr. Azar is board certified in ophthalmology.

He is a leader in basic science and clinically related vision research, making significant contributions to the treatment of corneal diseases and to advances in refractive surgery through mathematical analyses and applications of advanced optics. His basic science research on matrix metalloproteinases in corneal wound healing and angiogenesis has been continually funded by the National Eye Institute R01 award since 1993.

Dr. Azar is the author of more than 400 scientific articles and book chapters. He is the editor of 14 books in ophthalmology and holds 15 patents. He has been named one of The Best Doctors in America or recognized among Castle Connolly’s Regional Top Doctors in America annually since 1994. He serves as a trustee for the Chicago Ophthalmological Society and for the Association of Research and Vision in Ophthalmology. Dr. Azar has received multiple leadership awards, including the 2009 Lans Distinguished Award and the University of Illinois at Chicago Scholar Award.

Notable honors

Best Doctors in America, 1994 – present
American Academy of Ophthalmology Secretariat Award, 2014
Chicago Super Doctors, 2012, 2013
Lans Distinguished Award, International Society of Refractive Surgery, 2009
American Academy of Ophthalmology Senior Achievement Award, 2004
American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award, 1998

Publication Aggregators


MD: American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Residency in Ophthalmology: Mass Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School
Research Fellowship in Cornea-Morphology: Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School
Clinical Fellowship in Cornea and External Eye Disease: Mass Eye and Ear
MBA: University of Chicago, Booth Graduate School of Business