National Eye Health Education Program Spokesperson
National Eye Institute (NEI),
National Institutes of Health
Professor and Chairman Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
Kathleen and Stanley J. Glaser Chair in Ophthalmology
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute,
University of Miami Health System
Dr. Alfonso is fluent in English and Spanish. His research interests include bacterial and fungal sensitivity; and the development and clinical applications of keratoprosthesis, an artificial cornea, which has significant potential for patients awaiting transplants in developing nations where donor tissue is often scarce. In addition, with a team of investigators from the University of Miami, he is spearheading ways to make rapid identification of sight threatening eye infections. Clinically, Dr. Alfonso specializes in corneal transplants having performed over 1,000 of these in adults and children.
Dr. Alfonso is an internationally known expert on ocular infectious diseases and he is the medical director of Bascom Palmer's Ocular Microbiology Laboratory. In 2006, he documented an increase in the incidence of an aggressive form of fungal corneal infection that was related to soft contact lens use. His findings drew considerable media attention throughout the world and significantly reduced the number of new infections.
Dr. Alfonso has served as president of the Miami Ophthalmological Society, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Alumni Association, Sociedad Iberoamericana de Cornea y Cirugia Refractiva, director of Cuban Ophthalmological Society in Exile, director of the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology, and secretary of Continuing Education in Ophthalmology, Inc. and the Ophthalmology Research Foundation, Inc. He has also served as vice chair of the University of Miami Medical Group, medical director of Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital and vice chair of its Board of Governors. He is the recipient of the South Florida Business Journal 2008 CEO of the Year award and, in 2009, was inducted into the University of Miami's most prestigious honor society, Iron Arrow Honor Society. He has delivered eight named lectures and has received the Senior Honor Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is listed in Best Doctors and Top Doctors in the United States.
The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, leads the federal government's research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs that result in the development of sight-saving treatments.