Department of Ophthalmology




Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2016

 
David Gay, M.D.

Interests: David has been involved in a wide variety of activities from running, bicycling, rock climbing to snow boarding and skiing. He spends much of his free time with his wife and son, but has also lived abroad and is writing a work of fiction.

After graduation: Krieger Eye Institute Oculoplastics Fellowship

Educational Background
Double major Exercise / German -- University of Utah -- 2006

M.D. -- Virginia Commonwealth University -- 2011

Internal Medicine Internship -- University of Utah -- 2012

Research -- Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, UT -- 2013

Presentations & Awards:
June 27, 2014PGY-2 Resident Research Presentation
"Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone Agonist as a Retinal Ganglion Cell Layer Neuroprotective Agent"
June 26, 2015PGY-3 Resident Research Presentation
"GHRH Agonist as Neuroprotective Agent"
June 24, 2016PGY-4 Resident Research Presentation
"GHRH A Neuroprotective Agent in Traumatic Optic Neuropathy"
 
Mark Stephens, M.D.

Interests: Many of his interests revolve around athletics. From a consistent gym schedule of weights and running to basketball and golf he keeps steadily involved in sports. These are rounded out with football on TV, barbequing, and time with his wife.

After graduation: Private Practice, Dallas, Texas

Educational Background
B.A. Biology / Finance -- Southern Methodist University -- 2008

M.D. -- University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston -- 2012

Preliminary Medicine Internship -- University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston -- 2013

Presentations & Awards:
June 27, 2014PGY-2 Resident Research Presentation
“Pro-NGF as a Biomarker of Diabetic Retinopathy “
January 1, 2015Publication
B. A. Mysona, S. Matragoon, M. Stephens, I. N. Mohamed, A. Farooq, M. L. Bartasis, A. Y. Fouda, A. Y. Shanab, D. G. Espinosa-Heidmann, and A. B. El-Remessy “Imbalance of the Nerve Growth Factor and Its Precursor as a Potential Biomarker for Diabetic Retinopathy,” BioMed Research International, Article ID 571456, in press.
June 26, 2015PGY-3 Resident Research Presentation
"Pro-NGF as a Biomarker of Diabetic Retinopathy"
June 26, 20152015 Resident Research Presentation Competition--Third Place
"Pro-NGF as a Biomarker of Diabetic Retinopathy"
June 24, 2016PGY-4 Resident Research Presentation
"Medication Use in the Immediate Post-Op Period of Ocular Trauma"
 
Michael Westafer, M.D.

Interests: Michael has a number of interests and outside activities. High on this list is design and photography. He has worked on graphics projects for the UNC School of Medicine and Boxing club. He has been the webmaster of the boxing club as well. Beyond these he is involved in racquetball and home brewing.

After graduation: Glaucoma fellowship, Cleveland Clinic, Cole Eye Institute

Educational Background
B.S. Biology -- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill -- 2008

M.D. -- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill -- 2012

Preliminary Medicine Internship -- Georgia Regents University -- 2013

Presentations & Awards:
June 27, 2014PGY-2 Resident Research Presentation
"Identification of TGF-B Regulated Proteins in Aqueous Humor" (Cont'd from Dr. Sethi's talk)
June 26, 2015PGY-3 Resident Research Presentation
"Identification of TGF-β Regulated Proteins in Aqueous Humor"
June 26, 20152015 Resident Research Presentation Competition--First Place
"Identification of TGF-β Regulated Proteins in Aqueous Humor"
June 24, 2016PGY-4 Resident Research Presentation
"Identification of TGF-β Regulated Proteins in Aqueous Humor"

Graduation Date: Friday, June 24th 2016
Place: Snelling Center

Summary: This whole meeting was done at the Snelling Center this year and it was a good place for the meeting. From the food the the staff, faculty and guest speakers we said goodbye to Dr. David Gay who is heading to an oculoplastics fellowship, Dr. Michael Westafer who is headed to a fellowship and glaucoma and Dr. Mark Stephens who is entering private practice. A special thank you to this bunch of three and their years with us.

The banquet and reception were held in the same facility as last year. It was well attended by the staff and providers of our department. Audrey Forbes did a wonderful job coordinating and facilitating the event making a number of trips to the venue to ensure and guide the setup. As the attendees took their seats the waiters and waitresses began to bring out the filet and chicken or salmon. The tables were mostly full and the staff and families chatted as the various courses were served. Each year Dr. Nussbaum will give a brief address that ties together traits of the graduating class with admonitions for them and the group. This year he started off with how a simple smile will often serve as an ice breaker and soften interactions between some folks. He went carrying this into friendliness and its impact in our communities. After Dr. Nussbaum concluded Dr. Mark Stephens (one of the graduates) spoke for the seniors. He felt that his education had been well provided through the environment and faculty. He said he can usually settle in rather well making the best of circumstances. He said that that had been easy during the 3 years of his time with us. He was taking away great memories of these years of training. As Dr. Stephens concluded he and the seniors called Dr. Ulrich to the podium and he was awarded the Teacher of the Year for 2016. They said their decision was based upon the way in which he tailored his surgical instruction to the individual needs of the resident. Dr. Ulrich remained at the podium and gave the residents their diplomas and parting gifts.

For the last several years we have been inviting some alumni to come as one or more of the speakers. This year Dr. Joseph Chacko of the University of Arkansas came and spoke on topics of neuro-ophthalmology and the general ophthalmogist. Dr. Chacko is a graduate of the class of 1995 and has practiced in several locations before being at his current post since 2005. Dr. Jeff Odel is always a favorite with the residents given the elective experience he provides during the resident's second year when they travel to NYC. Zane Pollard was the final guest speaker who is a pediatric ophthalmologist from Atlanta Georgia. He and Dr. Odel gave great talks in the areas of their expertise.