Faculty and Physicians
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Faculty and Physicians

Timothy W. Olsen, MD

Professor of Ophthalmology
Chairman Emeritus
Section of Vitreoretinal Surgery and Diseases

Timothy W. Olsen MD is Chairman Emeritus of Ophthalmology at Emory University, and completed his duties as Chairman in March 2016 in his 9th year, serving as the F. Phinizy Calhoun Sr. Professor and Director of the Emory Eye Center.

Dr. Olsen graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kansas and then from the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, AOA.  He completed his residency training at the University of Minnesota, and Fellowship in Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery at Emory University in Atlanta (1996). 

His first academic appointment was at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and was then asked to found and direct the Minnesota Lions Macular Degeneration Center at the University of Minnesota where he was promoted to professor on the tenure track and was supported by the William H. Knobloch Endowed Chair for Retina (1998-2008). 

Dr. Olsen’s primary area of research is age-related macular degeneration or AMD.  The Macular Vision Program at the Emory Eye Center focuses on both early mechanisms in the pathogenesis of AMD and also on novel and high-risk interventions for late-stage disease.  He has expertise in the novel drug delivery system, pharmacokinetics of drug delivery to macula as well as device and surgical instrument design.  During his career, he has been awarded over $7.5M in direct research support as a principle investigator.  He has been awarded the Young Investigator Award by the Macula Society, won the Love of Sight Visionary Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness in Washington DC in 2015, and the Research and Innovation Award by the Lions Eye Institute for Transplantation and Research in Tampa Florida, 2016.

Dr. Olsen is a mentor and has designated a Top Doctor for 9 years in 4 cities (Madison WI, Minneapolis & St. Paul MN, and Atlanta GA), six distinguished teaching awards from three universities, has trained 145 resident and 27 retinal fellows, mentored 87 residents in vision research; 11 post-doctoral scholars, 16 graduate students; 24 medical students; and 5 undergraduates in research. During his career, he has recruited 58 key faculty.

His publication record includes over 138 peer-reviewed articles, monographs and 25 book chapters.  He has delivered 255 national or international lectures, 2 inaugural named lectures, 11 named lectures, 30 keynote talks, and 29 visiting professorships.  He is a member of the Millipub Club (article with >1000 citations) at Emory.

National & International Recognition

Dr. Olsen served as executive editor for 11 years with the American Journal of Ophthalmology (AJO) and also on the editorial board for IOVS, RETINA, Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS) and the Yonsei Medical Journal (Seoul, South Korea).  He chairs the AAO Retina Preferred Practice Pattern (PPP) and has also chaired the retina Maintenance of Certification (MOC), and Practicing Ophthalmologist Committees (POC).  He has been awarded the Senior Achievement Award and the Secretariat Award by the AAO.  He is a Silver and Gold Fellow of ARVO, a member of the Macula and Retina societies, and serves on the executive council for the AOS. Tim mostly enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Recent awards include:

2015 Inaugural “Frederick C. Blodi Lecture” at the AOS, Newport RI
2015 Delivered the “Paton Medal Lecture” at the 30th Annual Cullen Course in Houston TX
2015  Research and Innovation Award at the Lions Eye Institute for Transplantation and Research in Tampa Bay FL
2014 "For the Love of Sight" Visionary Award, FFB, Washington DC
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)

• Macular surgery

• Diabetic retinopathy


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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