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Faculty and Physicians

Timothy W. Olsen, MD

F. Phinizy Calhoun Sr. Professor of Ophthalmology
Section of Vitreoretinal Surgery and Diseases

Timothy W. Olsen, MD, is former chair and director of Emory Eye Center.  He is a member of the Vitreoretinal Surgery & Disease service where his clinical expertise focuses on macular diseases, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and macular surgery.

Dr. Olsen’s research is focused on age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Dr. Olsen and Dr. Xiao Feng developed the Minnesota Grading System (MGS) for AMD, a system that enables a clinical assessment of human eye bank tissue for subsequent testing of disease causing biochemical and molecular pathways.

Collaborative work at the Yerkes Primate Center is investigating an experimental surgical procedure designed to address near end-stage macular disease. He collaborates with engineers at Georgia Tech (David Rosen, PhD and Shreyes Melkote, PhD) through the department of biomedical engineering. To date, pilot phase studies are encouraging.

Dr. Olsen also collaborates with numerous drug delivery experts. He and co-workers have described novel methods of drug delivery such as the suprachoroidal route drug delivery. Novel studies on the use of aerosolized drug delivery to control PVR (proliferative vitreoretinopathy, or scar tissue formation) also represent an ongoing pre-clinical area of funded study.

Dr. Olsen’s lab is designed to replicate the current modern vitreoretinal surgical arena. As principal investigator, he has conducted over 26 independent study projects, authored or co-authored over 128 peer-reviewed paper, co-authored five books, 24 book chapters, and received grants currently just over $7.4M.

National Recognition

He holds leadership positions in the American Ophthalmologic Society (AOS), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and serves as the retina chair of the Preferred Practice Patterns (PPP) of AAO. He has been selected to serve on four non-profit boards, including the Board of Directors for The Emory Clinic, Board of Trustees for the Center for the Visually Impaired, the Lions Eye Institute for Transplantation and Research (Tampa Bay, Fla.) and is an active member of the Macula and Retina Society as well as the Society of Heed Fellows.

He serves as an executive editor for the American Journal of Ophthalmology; on the editorial board of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS); RETINA, the Journal of Retinal and Vitreous Diseases; the Yonsei Medical Journal; and Ocular Surgery News (OSN), and he is a reviewer for numerous journals.

Recent awards include:
2015 Inaugural “Frederick C. Blodi Lecture” at the American Ophthalmologic Society, Newport R.I.
2015 Delivered the “Paton Medal Lecture” at the 30th Annual Cullen Course in Houston, Texas
2014 "For the Love of Sight" Visionary Award, FFB, Washington D.C.
2013 Emory Millipub Club (article with > 1000 citations)
2013 American Academy of Ophthalmology Secretariat Award
2012 ARVO Gold Fellow
2011 Becker's ASC Review, "135 Leading Ophthalmologists in United States"
2011-14 Atlanta Magazine, "Top Doctors"
2011 American Academy of Ophthalmology Senior Achievement Award
2010 Young Investigator Award (aka Rosenthal Award), Macula Society
2010 ARVO Silver Fellow

Areas of Clinical Interest

• Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

• Complex retinal detachment surgery

• Diabetic retinopathy

• Diseases and surgery of the macula


Timothy W. Olsen, MD, Publications (updated 12.24.2015)

Timothy W. Olsen, MD

Medical School: University of Kansas, 1989

Residency: University of Minnesota, 1993

Fellowship in Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery : Emory Eye Center, Atlanta GA, 1994-96

Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and the National Board of Medical Examiners

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