Fellows 2016 – 2017
Brian Do, MD (Rutgers University) – Vitreoretinal
Brian Do, MD, is a clinical instructor of ophthalmology and vitreoretinal fellow at USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute. Do completed his BS in civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University and his MD at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School of Rutgers University , where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Do completed an internal medicine internship at New York Presbyterian. He completed his ophthalmology residency and one year of fellowship training in uveitis and ocular immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine of Mount Sinai in New York, with an additional year of training at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. Do was recognized by the Institute for Medical Education at Mount Sinai with the House Staff Excellence in Teaching Award. His academic interests include uveitis, particularly infectious and non-infectious posterior uveitis, the use of multi-modal fundus imaging in patients with uveitis, and complex retinal detachment surgery. Outside of ophthalmology, some of his interests include rock climbing, photography, snowboarding, and cooking with close friends and family.
Kimberly Gokoffski, MD, PhD (University of California, Irvine) – Neuro-Ophthalmology
Kimberly Gokoffski, MD, PhD, completed her internship and residency at University of California, Davis, in Sacramento, and her MD/PhD at University of California, Irvine. Her research interests are centered on the intractable problem of optic nerve (ON) regeneration. Previously, the major hurdle to ON regeneration was the lack of available retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Now that advances in stem cell biology readily allow for the production of recipient-matched RGCs, the rate-limiting step to ON regeneration becomes directing axons of newly transplanted cells from the retina to their distant targets. Gokoffski is investigating how exogenous signals such as electrical fields may facilitate RGC axon growth. She is fluent in Polish. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, dancing, camping and scuba diving.
Humair Khan, MD (Baylor College of Medicine) – Cornea
Humair Khan, MD, was born in Dubai and spent his early childhood in New York City before settling with his family in Houston. He graduated summa cum laude with a BS in biology and chemistry from Houston Baptist University. He completed an internal medicine internship and received his MD from Baylor College of Medicine, then did his residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. Khan is pursuing ophthalmology because he believes sight is precious and plays a major role in the quality of life. He is the recipient of many scholarships and awards during his academic career and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Outside of work, he spends with his family, reads novels and plays basketball. He is an avid Houston Rockets and Houston Texans fan.
Julie Kwon, MD (Rutgers University) – Medical Retina
Julie You Kwon, MD, is a medical retina fellow and clinical instructor at the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute. She was born in South Korea and raised in New Jersey. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to entering medical school, she worked as a procurement analyst at Merck pharmaceutical company and negotiated deals with specialty chemical manufacturers in India and China. Kwon earned her MD from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. During medical school, she studied retinal vessel changes after laser for retinopathy of prematurity at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia through the Doris Duke Research Fellowship. She completed her internal medicine internship at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, then completed her ophthalmology residency at North Shore-Long Island Jewish, where she was chief resident. Kwon has written book chapters, published peer-reviewed manuscripts and presented at national meetings. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and exploring Los Angeles.
Jessica Maslin, MD (University of California, San Diego) – Glaucoma
Jessica Maslin, MD, graduated with distinction from Stanford University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and received the Ruth Headley Award for her achievements in the Humanities Honors Program. Maslin received her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego, where she served as president of the Ophthalmology Interest Group and chief prose editor of The Human Condition literary magazine. She was awarded the Samuel B. Hamburger Memorial Thesis Award for the most outstanding research project in her graduating class. Maslin completed an internal medicine internship at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and an ophthalmology residency at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. She has published several original studies and review articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented her glaucoma research at numerous national meetings. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing and spending time with her family.
Helen Merritt, MD (University of Texas at Austin)- Oculo-Facial Plastic
Helen Merritt, MD, received her BA in biology at the University of Texas at Austin and then completed medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, returning there to complete her ophthalmology residency after a transitional internship. She is currently pursuing an additional two years of specialized focus on oculofacial plastic surgery with Eyesthetica and the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute. Merritt has been involved in tutoring and peer education throughout medical school and residency, and she enjoys working with the residents on oculoplastic and reconstructive cases. She contributes to the advancement of the field of ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery with involvement in many peer-reviewed publications and presentations on topics ranging from orbital trauma to periocular cancers. She has been involved in advocating policy for continued patient safety and care issues in the setting of ophthalmology with yearly congressional visits in Washington D.C. Merritt enjoys playing music in her spare time with a dedication to cello and guitar. She is a native Texan and fluent in Spanish.
Julia Nemiroff, MD (New York University) – Medical Retina
Julia Nemiroff, MD, graduated summa cum laude from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), where she majored in biology. Her passion and commitment to eliminate preventable blindness led her to found a chapter of Unite For Sight as a senior at NYIT. Under her leadership, the NYIT chapter was recognized as the 2006-2007 Unite For Sight Chapter of the Year, and Julia was honored as the Unite For Sight Chapter Leader of the Year. The NYIT chapter also raised the most money of all university chapters in 2007 and was awarded Unite For Sight’s Humanitarian Service Award. She earned her medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. She completed her ophthalmology residency at Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, where she was awarded the Robert E. Christensen Grant for research merit. Her primary research interests are exploring OCT angiography as a novel imaging method to elucidate retinal vascular disease processes. Her interests include yoga, literature and ice-skating.
Nishant Soni, MD (Rutgers University) – Cornea
Nishant Soni,MD, is a Cornea and External Disease fellow at the USC Roski Eye Institute. He grew up in Northern New Jersey and attended Cornell University in Ithaca, NY for his undergraduate studies, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Society. He then attended the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ and participated in the Student Scholars Program, which enabled him to dedicate a year to research in Orbital Trauma and publish on the prognosis and management of open globe eye injuries. Nishant went on to complete an internship year at MedStar Harbor Hospital, and his ophthalmology residency at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD. He received two ASCRS Foundation grants to conduct research on corneal tissue preservation in cold storage media. To pursue his interests in international medicine, he traveled to Hyderabad, India during his residency for a rotation in the Cornea sub-specialty and training in small incision cataract surgery at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute. His interest areas include complex cataract surgery, eye banking, and international ophthalmology. Outside of ophthalmology, you can find him singing blues music, bike riding, playing tennis, or spending time with his wife enjoying restaurants and live music venues in the Los Angeles area.
Jeffrey J. Tan, MD (Boston University) – Vitreoretinal
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jeffrey Tan majored in business administration at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He then attended Boston University for medical school, completed his internship at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in California, and moved back to the east coast to Brooklyn, NY for ophthalmology residency. As chief resident at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, he received the Kings County resident of the year award and the Richard C. Troutman award for academic excellence. Dr. Tan’s professional interests include retinopathy of prematurity, peripheral vitreoretinal interface abnormalities, and diabetic retinopathy. He received the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO)/Research to Prevent Blindness research forum award and SUNY Downstate research award for his research in retinopathy of prematurity and bevacizumab. Basketball is his second passion in life, and also enjoys golf, skiing, and audiophile equipment.
Brian Toy, MD (University of California, San Francisco) – Vitreoretinal
Brian Toy, MD, is a vitreoretinal fellow and clinical instructor at the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in bioengineering, received an MD with distinction from the University of California, San Francisco, and completed a clinical research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. He completed an internship at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a major county healthcare system in the Bay Area, and then completed an ophthalmology residency at Stanford University. Toy’s professional interests include retinal imaging, telemedicine and safety net care, particularly as applied to diabetic retinopathy. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, skiing, and spending time with friends and family.
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