Seen here is a closeup of a wide-open blue-colored human eye that is very bloodshot red.

Department of Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology at Penn State College of Medicine

The mission of the Department of Ophthalmology is to provide the highest quality care, from basic eye exams to management of glaucoma to reconstructive surgery; to improve patient care through excellence in biomedical research; and to educate and train future ophthalmology specialists.

Penn State College of Medicine's Department of Ophthalmology is dedicated to providing the highest-quality eye care possible. Penn State Eye Center is the region’s largest multispecialty eye care practice. From cornea and refractive surgery to neuro-ophthalmology, the department provides services in all major ophthalmic specialties.

The Eye Center is also dedicated to supporting cutting-edge research that translates to the provision of up-to-date eye care treatments for patients in central Pennsylvania and beyond.

Faculty from the department participate in both clinical and basic research to improve treatments for diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, pediatric eye disease, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion and corneal wound healing.

David Quillen, MD, is Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Penn State College of Medicine. He is pictured in a dress shirt, tie and medical coat against a blue background.
David Quillen, MD, Chair, Ophthalmology

The department also offers in-depth training for future practitioners, including a medical student elective, a residency and a number of continuing education programs.

David Quillen, MD
George and Barbara Blankenship Professor and Chair
Department of Ophthalmology
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More about Ophthalmology @ Penn State

Education in the Department of Ophthalmology

Education in the Department of Ophthalmology provides training at all levels of practice.

Medical students can take part in an ophthalmology elective that helps them understand the diagnosis, pathogenesis and management of a variety of ophthalmic disorders, regardless of their future specialty plans.

The three-year ACGME-accredited ophthalmology residency includes general and subspecialty ophthalmology training. Subspecialty rotations include cornea and external diseases, glaucoma, pediatric and neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, ocular surgery and retina. Experience in general ophthalmology as well as optometry practice is gained through rotations on emergency room/hospital consultation services at Hershey and through general ophthalmology outpatient clinic practice at the VA Medical Center in Lebanon.

For practitioners, the department helps to organize a number of continuing medical education opportunities each year.

Research in the Department of Ophthalmology

In addition to exceptional clinical training, the department is known for its robust clinical and basic science research programs.

Faculty participate in several national clinical research studies through the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, including work on:

  • Inherited retinal degeneration
  • Early non-invasive ocular markers for diabetic complications
  • Establishment of a biorepository of ocular tissue and vitreous fluid for future study
  • The safety and efficacy of various compounds in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration


The research group also has expertise and a body of published work in key pathways to stimulate healing of the cornea after injuries.

And the Retina Research Group, an interdisciplinary team of scientists with expertise in ophthalmology, physiology, cellular and molecular biology and neuroscience, aims to characterize the cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to vision impairment in diabetes and to generate novel treatments to cure diabetic retinopathy.

Clinical Care in the Department of Ophthalmology

Penn State Eye Center is the region’s largest multi-specialty eye care practice. From cornea and refractive surgery to neuro-ophthalmology, the center provides services in all major ophthalmic specialties.

The highly trained specialists treat a range of eye diseases and conditions, including cornea and external disease; glaucoma and cataracts; low vision; visual acuity loss, visual field loss and double vision; eye movement disorders; eyelid disorders; retinal and vitreous diseases; and strabismus.

The center also provides general optometry services such as eye exams, and is equipped with the latest diagnostic imaging technology, including gonio photography, digital fluorescein angiography, ICG angiography and fundus photography.

Educational Programs

Jobs in Ophthalmology

Information on jobs that may be available in the Department of Ophthalmology can be found at (for non-clinical positions) or (for clinical positions). All applications must be made through those sites.