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Photo of Tu, Elmer Y

Elmer Y Tu, MD


Director, Cornea and External Disease Service
Director, Cornea Fellowship

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

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Infectious diseases of the cornea form the core of Dr. Tu’s clinical and research interests. Widely viewed as having special expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Acanthamoeba and other severe infections of the cornea, Dr. Tu and colleague Dr. Charlotte Joslin were the first to identify and study the statistically significant increase in Acanthamoeba keratitis in the United States. They established an association between a specific contact lens solution and Acanthamoeba outbreak and also theorized that an environmental change related to water supply standards may be responsible for the persistence of its increased incidence. Dr. Tu’s area of expertise also includes new and innovative forms of corneal transplantation and treatment of challenging ocular surface disorders. He is on numerous national and international committees and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cornea Society. He joined the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary faculty in 1999. Dr. Tu is board certified in ophthalmology.

Selected Publications

See a representative list of Dr. Tu’s published journal articles on


Notable Honors

1999, 2002 – present, Best Doctors in America, Best Doctors in America

2002 – present, Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists, Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists

2010, American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award

2009, 2015, American Academy of Ophthalmology Secretariat Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology Secretariat Award


MD: University of Miami School of Medicine
Residency in Ophthalmology: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
Clinical Fellowship in Corneal and External Diseases: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of