Farzin Forooghian

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Publications (57)173.65 Total impact

  • Kathryn L Pepple, Russell Van Gelder, Farzin Forooghian
    American journal of ophthalmology 04/2014; 157(4):752-3. · 3.83 Impact Factor
  • Kaivon Pakzad-Vaezi, Chris Or, Steven Yeh, Farzin Forooghian
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    ABSTRACT: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has become an integral tool in the imaging of numerous diseases of the posterior segment. The diagnostic investigation of infectious and noninfectious uveitic conditions often requires multiple imaging modalities in the appropriate clinical context. Modern OCT technology has proved useful not only in the diagnostic investigation of these conditions, but also in monitoring of their clinical course and therapeutic response. Inflammation-induced changes at the level of the retina, retinal pigment epithelium, and choroid can now easily be identified in these conditions using OCT. Prognostic information on visual acuity outcome can also be estimated based on OCT findings. Numerous OCT findings have been described in the setting of the various uveitides. Although none of these findings appear to be pathognomonic for diagnosis of specific uveitic syndromes, in the appropriate clinical context they can add a great deal of information in the diagnosis and management of uveitis.
    Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology 02/2014; 49(1):18-29. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the progression of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroidal atrophy in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and to assess for a possible association with the number and type of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatments. Patients with neovascular AMD and a minimum of 1-year follow-up were reviewed. Fellow eyes with nonneovascular AMD were used as control eyes. Retinal pigment epithelial atrophy area and choroidal thickness were determined using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Multivariable regression models were used for statistical analyses. A total of 415 eyes were included in the study, with a mean follow-up of 2.2 years. Eyes with neovascular AMD had greater progression of RPE atrophy and choroidal atrophy compared with those with nonneovascular AMD (P < 0.001). Progression of RPE atrophy and choroidal atrophy was independently associated with the total number of injections of bevacizumab and ranibizumab (all P values ≤ 0.001). In the subgroup of 84 eyes with neovascular AMD and without RPE atrophy at baseline, only bevacizumab was associated with the progression of RPE atrophy (P = 0.003). This study likely lacked statistical power to detect an association with ranibizumab in this subgroup. Retinal pigment epithelial atrophy and choroidal atrophy in neovascular AMD seem to be exacerbated by anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment. Possible differences between bevacizumab and ranibizumab require further investigation.
    Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.) 01/2014; · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vitreoretinal lymphoma is a diffuse large B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Targeting malignant cells with rituximab is being used increasingly as local chemotherapy, but information on this treatment is scant. We aimed to describe current therapeutic approaches, as well as responses to and complications of, intravitreal rituximab in patients with vitreoretinal lymphoma. Clinical data were collected in a standardised manner retrospectively on patients with vitreoretinal lymphoma treated with intravitreal rituximab. 48 eyes (34 patients) with vitreoretinal lymphoma were treated with a median of 3.5 intravitreal injections of rituximab (1 mg/0.1 mL) for new diagnosis (68.8%), progressive disease (29.9%) and maintenance therapy (2.1%). Intravitreal rituximab±methotrexate was the sole treatment in 19 eyes (39.6%). 31 eyes (64.6%) eyes achieved complete remission, after a median of 3 injections; 7 of these eyes developed recurrent disease. 11 eyes (22.9%) achieved partial remission. Although rituximab may have contributed to complications reported in 12 eyes (25.0%), a 2-line loss of Snellen visual acuity occurred in only 2 of those eyes (4.2%). Approaches in rituximab-based intravitreal chemotherapy vary widely, but our findings suggest that this treatment may be safe and effective in inducing remission in a majority of eyes with vitreoretinal lymphoma.
    The British journal of ophthalmology 10/2013; · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the relationship between systemic cytokines, the complement factor H (CFH) Y402H polymorphism, drusen load, and subfoveal choroidal thickness in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Cross-sectional study. Forty-four dry AMD patients under care of the Retina Service at the University of British Columbia were enrolled. Drusen load was measured with an automated software algorithm in spectral-domain optical coherence tomography; subfoveal choroidal thickness was measured manually using enhanced depth imaging. Bio-Plex suspension assays (Bio-Rad Laboratories) were used to analyze cytokines in plasma and CFH Y402H was genotyped. Statistical analyses included analysis of covariance and Pearson correlation, corrected for multiple comparisons. The levels of 3 of 4 studied cytokines were significantly different among patients with CC, CT, or TT variants of the CFH Y402H polymorphism (P < .01). Patients with the at-risk CC variant had higher systemic levels of interleukin-6, interleukin-18, and tumor necrosis factor α than those with the CT variants, the TT variant, or both (P < .01). Interleukin-1β did not reach significance (P = .02), but did demonstrate a consistent trend. No correlation was found between plasma cytokines and drusen load or choroidal thickness (all P > .15). The elevated systemic levels of selected proinflammatory cytokines, including those representing products of inflammasome activation, were associated with the CC at-risk variant of the Y402H polymorphism and suggest that genetic factors regulate the inflammatory status in dry AMD patients. Our data support the central role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of AMD and provide further evidence of a systemic involvement in AMD etiology.
    American journal of ophthalmology 09/2013; · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: To determine the risk of uveitis associated with the use of oral fluoroquinolones. Methods: Nested case-control study of all patients who visited an ophthalmologist in British Columbia, Canada, between 2000 and 2007, as captured in the British Columbia Health Linked Database. Results: A total 3383 incident cases of uveitis and 33,830 corresponding controls were identified. Among patients who had used oral fluoroquinolones within the past 30 days, the adjusted relative risk of uveitis was 3.53 (95% CI, 2.84-4.39). However, the relative risk of uveitis among patients taking oral macrolides and beta-lactams was also significantly elevated. Conclusions: Our data do not provide convincing evidence of an association between fluoroquinolones and uveitis, as this study found an association between several classes of antibiotics and uveitis. It is possible that the systemic processes for which these antibiotics are being prescribed are in fact the inciting factors for the uveitis.
    Ocular immunology and inflammation 07/2013; · 0.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Subretinal fluid (SRF) and sub-retinal pigment epithelium (sub-RPE) fluid are signs of AMD and can be detected in optical coherence tomography images. However, manual detection and segmentation of SRFs and sub-RPE fluids are laborious and time consuming. In this paper, a novel pipeline is proposed for automatic detection of SRFs and sub-RPE fluids. First, top and bottom layers of retina are segmented using a graph cut method. Then, a Split Bregman-based segmentation method is used to segment dark regions between layers. These segmented regions are considered as potential fluid candidates, on which a set of features are generated. After that, a random forest classifier is trained to distinguish between the true fluid regions from the falsely detected fluid regions. This method shows reasonable performance in a leave-one-out evaluation using a dataset from 21 patients.
    Conference proceedings: ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference 07/2013; 2013:7388-7391.
  • Chris Or, Jing Cui, Joanne Matsubara, Farzin Forooghian
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    ABSTRACT: AIM: Bisphosphonates have been shown to induce ocular inflammatory diseases such as uveitis and scleritis, while being protective against angiogenic diseases like neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Therefore, we studied the effects of bisphosphonates on primary culture of human fetal retinal pigment epithelium (hRPE), a cell type known to secrete both inflammatory and angiogenic factors. Alendronate and etidronate were selected for this experiment as they are members of the two structurally different classes of bisphosphonates. METHODS: Primary cultures of hRPE were serum-starved for 24 h and then treated for 24 h with alendronate (0.0001, 0.1, 100 µM) or etidronate (0.01, 1 µM). Cell viability was measured using the MTT assay. Investigation of secreted cytokines induced by bisphosphonates was performed using a human cytokine 29-Plex Panel (Bio-Plex) array and the results were analysed with an analysis of variance (ANOVA). RESULTS: Etidronate, at the lower concentration, significantly increased the expression of interleukin (IL)-6 (p=0.03) and IL-8 (p=0.04). At the higher concentration, etidronate significantly decreased the expression of granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (p=0.02) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) (p=0.02). Alendronate, at the highest concentration, significantly increased the expression of IL-8 (p=0.02) and decreased the expression of eotaxin (p=0.02). Alendronate also significantly decreased the expression of bFGF at all concentrations (p<0.05) and demonstrated a trend towards decreasing vascular endothelial growth factor expression at low concentration. CONCLUSIONS: Alendronate and etidronate display dose dependent effects in hRPE cells. Alendronate and etidronate administration resulted in concentration dependent elevations in inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, alendronate and etidronate administration resulted in reduced expression of a number of angiogenic factors. These findings may explain the increased incidence of ocular inflammation as well as the therapeutic effect on neovascular AMD which have been described with bisphosphonates.
    The British journal of ophthalmology 06/2013; · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To investigate the safety and effects of subconjunctival sirolimus, a mTOR inhibitor and immunosuppressive agent, for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA). METHODS: The study was a single-center, open-label phase II trial, enrolling 11 participants with bilateral GA; 8 participants completed 24 months of follow-up. Sirolimus (440µg) was administered every 3 months as a subconjunctival injection in only one randomly-assigned eye in each participant for 24 months. Fellow eyes served as untreated controls. The primary efficacy outcome measure was the change in the total GA area at 24 months. Secondary outcomes included changes in visual acuity, macular sensitivity, central retinal thickness, and total drusen area. RESULTS: Study drug was well-tolerated with few symptoms and related adverse events. Study treatment in study eyes was not associated with structural or functional benefits relative to the control fellow eyes. At Month 24, mean GA area increased by 54.5% and 39.7% in study and fellow eyes respectively (p = 0.41), while mean visual acuity decreased by 21.0 letters and 3.0 letters in study and fellow eyes respectively (p = 0.03). Substantial differences in mean changes in drusen area, central retinal thickness, and macular sensitivity were not detected for all analysis time-points up to 24 months. CONCLUSIONS: Repeated subconjunctival sirolimus was well-tolerated in patients with GA, however no positive anatomical or functional effects were identified. Subconjunctival sirolimus may not be beneficial in the prevention of GA progression, and may potentially be associated with effects detrimental to visual acuity.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 04/2013; · 3.43 Impact Factor
  • Chris Or, Natasha Press, Farzin Forooghian
    Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology 04/2013; 48(2):e18-20. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology 04/2013; 48(2):e35-8. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To compare the reproducibility and mutual agreement of the subfoveal choroidal thickness measurements by expert raters and an automated algorithm in enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography (EDI-OCT) images of eyes with non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: Forty-four patients with non-neovascular AMD were recruited and EDI-OCT images were acquired. Subfoveal choroidal thickness was measured manually by two expert raters and automatically by a graph-cut based algorithm. Drusen area was measured using the automated software (version 6) of Cirrus SD-OCT. The manual and automated choroidal thickness measurements were compared in reproducibility, mutual agreement, and correlation with drusen area. RESULTS: The mean subfoveal choroidal thickness was 246 ± 63 μm for the first rater, 214 ± 68 for the second rater, and 209 ± 53 for the automated algorithm. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were 0.96 (CI: 0.94-0.98) between the raters, 0.85 (CI: 0.77-0.90) between the first rater and the automated algorithm, and 0.84 (CI: 0.75-0.89) between the second rater and the automated algorithm. Repeat scan measurement ICCs were 0.91 (CI: 0.86-0.94) for the first rater, 0.96 (CI: 0.94-0.97) for the second rater, and 0.87 (CI: 0.80-0.92) for the automated algorithm. Both manual and automated measurements were correlated with drusen area. CONCLUSION: The automated algorithm yielded generally yielded smaller choroidal thickness than the raters with a moderate level of agreement. However its repeat scan measurement repeatability was comparable to that of the manual measurements. The mean difference between the raters indicated possible biases in different raters and rating sessions. The correlation of the automated measurements with the drusen area was comparable to that of the manual measurements. Automated subfoveal choroidal thickness measurement has potential use in clinical practice and clinical trials with possibility for reduced time and labor cost.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 03/2013; · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:: Spectral domain optical coherence tomography can be used to measure both choroidal thickness and drusen load. The authors conducted an exploratory study using spectral domain optical coherence tomography to determine if a correlation between choroidal thickness and drusen load exists in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration. METHODS:: Forty-four patients with dry age-related macular degeneration were recruited. The drusen area and volume were determined using the automated software algorithm of the spectral domain optical coherence tomography device, and choroidal thickness was measured using enhanced depth imaging. Correlations were determined using multivariable and univariable analyses. RESULTS:: The authors found an inverse correlation between choroidal thickness and drusen load (r = -0.35, P = 0.04). Drusen load was also correlated with visual acuity (r = 0.32, P = 0.04). A correlation between choroidal thickness and visual acuity was suggested (r = -0.22, P = 0.21). CONCLUSION:: Spectral domain optical coherence tomography can be used to assess the correlation between drusen load and choroidal thickness, both of which show a relationship with visual acuity. The measurement of these outcomes may serve as important outcome parameters in routine clinical care and in clinical trials for patients with dry age-related macular degeneration.
    Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.) 03/2013; · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent technological advances-new pathophysiological insights, new imaging techniques for diagnosis and management, and new treatments-have led to an improved understanding of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC). The primary role of the choroid has become more widely accepted with widespread use of indocyanine green angiography. Optical coherence tomography (OCT), and particularly enhanced depth imaging OCT, demonstrate a thickened and engorged choroid. Adaptive optics, fundus autofluorescence, multifocal electroretinography, microperimetry, and contrast sensitivity testing reveal that patients with even a mild course suffer previously undetected anatomic and functional loss. Although focal laser and photodynamic therapy are the current standard of care for persistent subretinal fluid in CSC, they are not appropriate in all cases, and the optimal timing of intervention remains unclear.
    Survey of Ophthalmology 03/2013; 58(2):103-26. · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fluoroquinolones are commonly prescribed classes of antibiotics. Despite numerous case reports of ocular toxicity, a pharmacoepidemiological study of their ocular safety, particularly retinal detachment, has not been performed. To examine the association between use of oral fluoroquinolones and the risk of developing a retinal detachment. Nested case-control study of a cohort of patients in British Columbia, Canada, who had visited an ophthalmologist between January 2000 and December 2007. Retinal detachment cases were defined as a procedure code for retinal repair surgery within 14 days of a physician service code. Ten controls were selected for each case using risk-set sampling, matching on age and the month and year of cohort entry. The association between retinal detachment and current, recent, or past use of an oral fluoroquinolone. From a cohort of 989,591 patients, 4384 cases of retinal detachment and 43,840 controls were identified. Current use of fluoroquinolones was associated with a higher risk of developing a retinal detachment (3.3% of cases vs 0.6% of controls; adjusted rate ratio [ARR], 4.50 [95% CI, 3.56-5.70]). Neither recent use (0.3% of cases vs 0.2% of controls; ARR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.45-1.87]) nor past use (6.6% of cases vs 6.1% of controls; ARR, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.89-1.19]) was associated with a retinal detachment. The absolute increase in the risk of a retinal detachment was 4 per 10,000 person-years (number needed to harm = 2500 computed for any use of fluoroquinolones). There was no evidence of an association between development of a retinal detachment and β-lactam antibiotics (ARR, 0.74 [95% CI, 0.35-1.57]) or short-acting β-agonists (ARR, 0.95 [95% CI, 0.68-1.33]). Patients taking oral fluoroquinolones were at a higher risk of developing a retinal detachment compared with nonusers, although the absolute risk for this condition was small.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 04/2012; 307(13):1414-9. · 29.98 Impact Factor
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    Mahyar Etminan, Farzin Forooghian, David Maberley
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    ABSTRACT: There have been several published reports of inflammatory ocular adverse events, mainly uveitis and scleritis, among patients taking oral bisphosphonates. We examined the risk of these adverse events in a pharmacoepidemiologic cohort study. We conducted a retrospective cohort study involving residents of British Columbia who had visited an ophthalmologist from 2000 to 2007. Within the cohort, we identified all people who were first-time users of oral bisphosphonates and who were followed to the first inflammatory ocular adverse event, death, termination of insurance or the end of the study period. We defined an inflammatory ocular adverse event as scleritis or uveitis. We used a Cox proportional hazard model to determine the adjusted rate ratios. As a sensitivity analysis, we performed a propensity-score-adjusted analysis. The cohort comprised 934,147 people, including 10,827 first-time users of bisphosphonates and 923,320 nonusers. The incidence rate among first-time users was 29/10,000 person-years for uveitis and 63/10,000 person-years for scleritis. In contrast, the incidence among people who did not use oral bisphosphonates was 20/10,000 person-years for uveitis and 36/10,000 for scleritis (number needed to harm: 1100 and 370, respectively). First-time users had an elevated risk of uveitis (adjusted relative risk [RR] 1.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25-1.68) and scleritis (adjusted RR 1.51, 95% CI 1.34-1.68). The rate ratio for the propensity-score-adjusted analysis did not change the results (uveitis: RR 1.50, 95% CI 1.29-1.73; scleritis: RR 1.53, 95% CI 1.39-1.70). People using oral bisphosphonates for the first time may be at a higher risk of scleritis and uveitis compared to people with no bisphosphonate use. Patients taking bisphosphonates must be familiar with the signs and symptoms of these conditions, so that they can immediately seek assessment by an ophthalmologist.
    Canadian Medical Association Journal 04/2012; 184(8):E431-4. · 6.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To describe the safety and efficacy of very minimal fluence photodynamic therapy (PDT) for chronic central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC). Retrospective case series. Five patients with chronic CSC. Two had previously failed alternative therapies, and one was taking concomitant corticosteroids. Patients were treated with very minimal fluence PDT (12 J/cm(2), 150 mW/cm(2), for 80 seconds). Median follow-up time after PDT was 100 days (range, 51 to 154). All patients experienced an improvement in visual acuity and symptoms, as well as complete resolution of subretinal fluid. Very minimal fluence PDT appears to be a safe and effective treatment for chronic CSC. Based on these preliminary findings, a randomized controlled trial is warranted.
    Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology 02/2012; 47(1):42-4. · 1.15 Impact Factor
  • Archives of ophthalmology 01/2012; 130(1):113-5. · 3.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a leading cause of blindness in the developed world. Sirolimus has been shown to inhibit the production, signaling, and activity of many growth factors relevant to the development of diabetic retinopathy. This phase I/II study assesses the safety of multiple subconjunctival sirolimus injections for the treatment of DME, with some limited efficacy data. In this phase I/II prospective, open-label pilot study, five adult participants with diabetic macular edema involving the center of the fovea and best-corrected ETDRS visual acuity score of ≤74 letters (20/32 or worse) received 20 μl (440 μg) of subconjunctival sirolimus at baseline, month 2 and every 2 months thereafter, unless there was resolution of either retinal thickening on OCT or leakage on fluorescein angiography. Main outcome measures included best-corrected visual acuity and central retinal thickness on OCT at 6 months and 1 year, as well as safety outcomes. Repeated subconjunctival sirolimus injections were well-tolerated, with no significant drug-related adverse events. There was no consistent treatment effect related to sirolimus; one participant experienced a 2-line improvement in visual acuity and 2 log unit decrease in retinal thickness at 6 months and 1 year, two remained essentially stable, one had stable visual acuity but improvement of central retinal thickness of 1 and 3 log units at 6 months and 1 year respectively, and one had a 2-line worsening of visual acuity and a 1 log unit increase in retinal thickness at 6 months and 1 year. Results in the fellow eyes with diabetic macular edema, not treated with sirolimus, were similar. Subconjunctival sirolimus appears safe to use in patients with DME. Assessment of possible treatment benefit will require a randomized trial.
    Albrecht von Graæes Archiv für Ophthalmologie 05/2011; 249(11):1627-33. · 1.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of uveitic complications such as cystoid macular oedema (CMO), choroidal neovasularisation (CNV) and retinal neovascularisation (RNV). The use of intravitreal anti-VEGF therapies, namely bevacizumab and ranibizumab, has recently been described in the treatment of these complications. Evidence describing the use of intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy for these complications consists of case reports and case series, most of which are retrospective and have limitations in design and analysis. As such, the current level of evidence supporting the use of intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy for these complications of uveitis would be rated as very low. Furthermore, blockage of VEGF has not been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Thus, treatment of the underlying inflammatory disease should play a central role in the management of uveitic CMO, CNV and RNV. A two-pronged treatment regimen that focuses on achieving disease quiescence through the use of corticosteroids and/or immunosuppressive agents, while treating complications that arise despite adequate disease quiescence with intravitreal anti-VEGF agents, may be useful. However, further data from prospective controlled trials are needed before the therapeutic role of anti-VEGF therapy in the uveitis treatment regimen can be fully determined.
    The British journal of ophthalmology 02/2011; 95(2):162-5. · 2.92 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

318 Citations
173.65 Total Impact Points


  • 2011–2014
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2013
    • St. Paul's Hospital
      Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 2012
    • Emory University
      • Emory Eye Center
      Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • National Institutes of Health
      • • Branch of Clinical and Translational Epidemiology
      • • Laboratory of Immunology
      • • Division of Clinical and Epidimiological Research
      Bethesda, MD, United States
    • University of Alberta
      • Department of Ophthalmology
      Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 2010
    • Mount Sinai School of Medicine
      • Department of Ophthalmology
      Manhattan, NY, United States
  • 2009
    • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      Maryland, United States
  • 2008–2009
    • National Eye Institute
      Maryland, United States
  • 2007
    • SickKids
      • Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2005–2007
    • University of Toronto
      • • Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences
      • • Hospital for Sick Children
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada