Derek S. Welsbie, MD, PhD is a board-certified ophthalmologist who specializes in treating adolescents and adults with all stages of glaucoma. His clinical focus ranges from monitoring patients suspected of having glaucoma to operating on patients with advanced disease. An assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, his laboratory studies the way in which glaucoma leads to optic nerve injury, neurodegeneration and, ultimately, vision loss. Specifically, he is interested in identifying the genes responsible for nerve cell death and to use what is learned to develop new neuro-protective treatment strategies for glaucoma patients. Dr. Welsbie lectures at national conferences and has coauthored numerous articles. His work has been published in Nature, Science, and JAMA Ophthalmology, among others. Prior to joining UC San Diego Health, Dr. Welsbie was an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University Wilmer Eye Institute, where he won the Shafer Prize for innovative glaucoma research from the Glaucoma Research Foundation and was named Assistant Professor of the Year in 2015. He also served as the Stephen J. Ryan Assistant Chief of Service and continues to have an interest in resident and medical student education. Dr. Welsbie completed a residency in ophthalmology and fellowship training in glaucoma at the Wilmer Eye Institute. He earned his medical degree and doctorate in molecular biology from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is board-certified in ophthalmology. Dr. Welsbie is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Glaucoma Society, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
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