Welcome to ophthalmology


Eye Specialists

Our success depends on the quality of the clinical care we provide our patients, training outstanding future ophthalmologists & scientists, and developing new knowledge and innovative therapies for vision threatening diseases.

two eyes from two people




The North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System is a comprehensive and integrated health care delivery system that provides quality clinical programs and services to Veterans. The System includes two hospitals, two large satellite outpatient clinics, and several small community-based outpatient clinics. Primary health care services, as well as highly specialized, technologically advanced surgical services are provided. Ophthalmology, a section within the Surgical Services is one of the most active in the VA system, and is well supported with state-of-the art technology and dedicated personnel. The affiliation with the University of Florida Health Science Center is mutually beneficial and exposes trainees to a model system, and participation in large volumes of surgical experience and patient encounters. The resident rotations occur during every year of training and provide graduated levels of participation and responsibility.The Veterans Administration Chief of Ophthalmology is Michael Wiggins, M.D.

VA Hospital


Vision Research

Vision research at the University of Florida crosses the boundaries of nine departments in the College of Medicine and six colleges at the University of Florida. Because of this diversity, the Center for Vision Research was established in 1996 to help build a cohesive core of vision researchers. Specifically, the Mission of the Center for Vision Research is to:Integrate a campus-wide, multi-college group of faculty interested in different aspects of vision research; Promote communication, academic courses and other educational activity that will enhance vision-oriented research at the University of Florida; Develop and coordinate multidisciplinary collaborative approaches to solve vision-related research problems; Provide a focused unit to enhance collaborative research with external research labs, industry and other centers

Jijing Pang, M.D., Ph.D.



When the College of Medicine at the University of Florida was established in 1956, a Division of Ophthalmology was created. This Division was headed by Dr. Ernest Casey, a well-regarded Gainesville ophthalmologist. By 1962, the Eye Clinic had grown to 5 rooms and there were already 3 residents, one at each level. Dr. Herbert Kaufman, from the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, was appointed Associate Professor and Director of the Division. Over the next several years, under Dr. Kaufman’s able stewardship, the Division expanded, particularly after the Veterans Administration Hospital was built across the road and its service of Ophthalmology was integrated with that of the College of Medicine. Ophthalmology became a separate department in 1965, when it became the first surgical division to gain its independence from the Department of Surgery. After a nationwide search, Dr. Kaufman was appointed the first Chairman of the Department. Two years later, in 1967, major expansions of the clinical facilities were begun.

past department chairs

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The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Florida is committed to the pursuit of excellence in all its missions. We believe that the success of our department depends on the quality of the clinical care we provide our patients, training outstanding future ophthalmologists and scientists, and developing new knowledge and innovative therapies for vision threatening diseases.

Our clinical site at  UFHealth Eye Center – The Oaks sees approximately 32,000 patients for routine eye care as well as very complex ocular problems. The department also boasts a state-of-the-art iLASIK refractive suite at The Oaks location. The faculty of the department pride themselves on providing compassionate, skilled, and cutting-edge care to these patients covering all the ophthalmic subspecialties. We serve a large referral base and patients travel long distances to benefit from the expertise provided by our ophthalmologists.

The residency-training program is one of the most highly sought-after ophthalmology training programs in the country. The residents rotate primarily at the clinical sites at UF Health as well as the adjacent Veterans Hospital. The program has one of the highest surgical numbers and volume of clinical pathology in the country. The exceptional training that the residents receive is demonstrated by the significantly higher than average Ophthalmology Board pass rate as well as choice fellowship placement in top subspecialty programs in the country. In addition, the department trains clinical ophthalmology fellows and graduate and post-doctoral students. The clinical and research faculty are frequently invited to lecture and educate at national and international conferences.

Faculty members in the Department of Ophthalmology conduct groundbreaking research in basic and translational arenas. Key research areas include the development of gene therapy for retinal and macular degenerations, retinal neuroprotection, photo-transduction, wound healing, and herpetic eye infections. This research is funded by grants from the NIH and other organizations, as well as privately endowed funds. The department also conducts clinical research and recently completed a clinical gene therapy trial for treatment of Leber Congenital Amaurosis, based on treatment modalities developed by our scientists. Our Vision Research Center provides support to nine departments and six colleges involved with vision research.

Please navigate through our website to learn more about our clinical, educational, and research programs as we continue to build on our achievements to reach even greater excellence in all our endeavors.

Sonal Tuli, MD

Sonal Tuli, M.D., M.Ed.
Professor and Chair