The National Eye Institute (NEI) offers one- and two-year post-residency AUPO approved clinical fellowships in uveitis and ocular immunology. The fellowships encompass unparalleled and comprehensive clinical training in the medical and surgical management of uveitis and ocular inflammatory diseases. Referrals to the ocular immunology and uveitis service come from across the country and internationally. Fellows will become proficient in managing the full spectrum of uveitis and ocular inflammatory pathology including scleritis, anterior uveitis, pediatric uveitis, posterior and panuveitis, infectious uveitis, white dot syndromes, as well rare and complex second opinion referrals. Our fellows are also trained in managing intraocular lymphoma, the ocular complications of HIV/AIDS and viral retinitis and we work closely with colleagues from the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to manage these patients. Additionally, due to the NIH’s expertise in rare immunodeficiency and immune-deviation syndromes, fellows will also gain unique exposure to the ocular inflammatory manifestations of these rare diseases.

Fellows will become skilled in the assessment and work-up of uveitis patients including ordering appropriate laboratory and radiological testing, the interpretation of functional tests such as Goldmann visual fields, microperimetry, and electroretinography and the interpretation of a spectrum of advanced multimodal imaging techniques including fundus autofluorescence, wide-field fluorescein angiography, indocyanine green angiography and swept-source optical coherence angiography. 

Our fellows become proficient in the medical management of uveitis and the safe prescribing of immunomodulatory therapies as well as the use of local corticosteroid treatments. Surgical experience includes uveitic cataract surgery and exposure to posterior segment uveitic surgery including diagnostic pars plana vitrectomy.

The clinical experience is supported by educational didactic sessions including weekly departmental grand rounds, weekly journal club/imaging conference and a regular electroretinography (ERG) conference. There is the opportunity to attend many other meetings organized by NIH and local ophthalmology community in the greater DC area and fellows typically present at ARVO every year.

The NEI has a large staff of immunologists, basic-research and clinician scientists, biostatisticians and clinical trial specialists who interact with the clinical fellowship program. Many of the patients seen at the NEI are subsequently enrolled into clinical trials. Fellows will have the opportunity to learn about and participate in clinical trials and to develop their own research projects. In previous years, fellows have worked on translational projects, large-dataset analysis, multimodality imaging, the microbiome and machine-learning projects.  We are committed to working with our uveitis fellows to developing their areas of interest.

There is also the option to do a combined uveitis/medical-retina fellowship while still preserving protected research time. Our graduates are equally prepared for academics or private practice and many have become leaders in uveitis and retina. Many of our graduates pursue vitreoretinal surgical training following their uveitis fellowship.

The clinical faculty members for the uveitis service include:

Doctor Title/Department Email
H. Nida Sen, M.D., M.H.Sc. Chair, Uveitis and Ocular Immunology Fellowship Program senh@nei.nih.gov
Shilpa Kodati, M.D. Staff Clinician, Vitreoretinal Surgery and Uveitis; Co-program director, Uveitis and Ocular Immunology Fellowship Program shilpa.kodati@nih.gov
Henry Wiley, MD Staff Clinician, Vitreoretinal Surgery wileyhe@nei.nih.gov
Leslie Jones, MD Consultant, Glaucoma leslie.jones2@nih.gov
Catherine Cukras, MD Clinical Investigator, Medical Retina cukrasc@mail.nih.gov
Laryssa Huryn, MD Staff Clinician, Ocular Genetics and Visual Function laryssa.huryn@nih.gov

The NIH offers clinical fellows a highly competitive salary and benefits package. Candidates must hold an M.D. or equivalent degree, have completed at least 3 years of training in ophthalmology and be American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) eligible. The deadline to submit applications is September 30. Fellowships begin in July of the following year. Please refer to the San Francisco Matching Program (www.sfmatch.org) website to register for the match and apply to the program.

If you have any questions regarding the fellowship program you may contact:

H. Nida Sen, M.D., M.H.Sc.
Program Chair, Uveitis and Ocular Immunology Fellowship
National Eye Institute
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
Tel: 301-435-5139
Fax: 301-480-5798
E-mail: senh@nei.nih.gov

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The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs. HHS, NIH, and NEI are Equal Opportunity Employers.

Last updated: July 2, 2020