On Wednesday, Feb. 5, Rohit Varma, M.D., M.P.H. was named as the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and the director of the USC Eye Institute. Varma was previously a professor at the Keck School of USC, as well as a director of the clinical trials unit, the glaucoma service, and ocular epidemiology.
Varma will also be an associate dean with the Keck School of Medicine. He is known for his research in a multitude of eye studies, including the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) and the African-American Eye Disease Study. Varma is also known for his ability to work with new imaging techniques used in the treatment and detection of glaucoma.
Varma has worked on developing imagining techniques to help with the early diagnosis of glaucoma caused by optic nerve damage. Varma was also a pioneer in developing implantable intraocular pressure (IOP) sensors and drainage devices used to control and possibly cure glaucoma. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma one of the leading cause of blindness.
In addition, Varma has been published in more than 219 ophthalmic journals, and was a co-wrote Essentials of Eye Care: The Johns Hopkins Wilmer Handbook and The Optic Nerve in Glaucoma. He has been awarded the Glaucoma Research Foundation President’s Award and he was named a Sybil B. Harrington Scholar.
Varma completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after receiving his medical degree from the University of Delhi in India. He also has a master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Varma also finished two glaucoma fellowships, one from the Wills Eye Hospital and one from USC.
Mark S. Humayun, M.D., Ph.D. will continue as co-director for the USC Eye Institute, as well as the director of the Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics.