2018 Symposium


The 67th Annual Symposium was held February 23rd – 25th, 2018 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.

Participants learned from the brightest ophthalmologists from around the country on the topics of  Cornea, Refractive and Oculoplastics.

Click the image to view the 2018 program brochure:



2018 Faculty Speakers

Steven C. Dresner, M.D., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

James C. Fleming, M.D., University of Tennessee, Hamilton Eye Institute, Memphis, TN

David Hardten, M.D., Minnesota Eye Consultants, Minneapolis, MN

John Holds, M.D., Ophthalmic Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery, Inc., St. Louis, MO

Thomas John, M.D., Thomas John Eye Institute, Oak Lawn, IL

Robert Kersten, M.D., University of California San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, CA

Michael Snyder, M.D., Cincinnati Eye Institute, Cincinnati, OH

Doyle Stulting, M.D., Ph.D., Woolfson Eye Institute & Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Geoffrey Tabin, M.D., Stanford University, Byers Eye Institute, Palo Alto, CA

Elizabeth Yeu, M.D., Eastern Virginia Medical School, Virginia Eye Consultants, Virginia Beach, VA

Speaker Biographies

Steven C. Dresner, MD is a fellow of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, (ASOPRS) and the Director of the fellowship in Oculofacial and Cosmetic Surgery at Eyesthetica and Associate Preceptor of the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute, both sponsored by ASOPRS. He is also a Clinical Professor at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine.

Dr. Dresner earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed an internship in general surgery at the University of California at San Francisco and was a resident in ophthalmology at Louisiana State University at New Orleans.

He subsequently served as a fellow in Neuro-ophthalmology and Orbital Surgery under John S. Kennerdell, M.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. Following that, he received his fellowship training in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at McGill University in Montreal with Francois Codere, M.D.

Dr. Dresner is the recipient of the Honor Award and Senior Honor Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has published over thirty peer-reviewed articles in major journals and numerous book chapters in Oculplastic text books. He lectures nationally and internationally and is the developer of the Medpor MCOI implant and the co-developer of the Medpor SST implant.


James C. Fleming, MD, is the Lewis Professor of Ophthalmology and Chair of the Hamilton Eye Institute, University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is the Division Head of the Oculoplastic Department, Director of the HEI Orbit Center, and is a former President of ASOPRS.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Fleming has authored more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented more than 100 talks nationally and internationally. He has served as president of the Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology (TNAO), the Tennessee Medical Association, the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and the Reconstructive Surgery and the Tennessee Medical Association. He is also on the council of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and chair of the American Medical Association’s southeast delegation. Dr. Fleming is currently a member of the TNAO’s Board of Directors.

David Hardten Photo

David R. Hardten, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist and founding partner of Minnesota Eye Consultants, is one of the nation’s most prominent leaders in the treatment of the cornea, external disease, anterior segment, cataract, refractive and laser surgery – as well as in research and education.

As director for Minnesota Eye Consultants’ Clinical Research Department, Dr. Hardten leads research projects surrounding LASIK Eye Surgery, refractive surgery, complex case management, cataract surgery, natural lens replacement surgery, glaucoma management, corneal transplantation, iris reconstruction, surgical instrumentation and drug therapies.

Dr. Hardten entered private practice in 1993 with Drs. Richard L. Lindstrom and Thomas W. Samuelson, also founding partners of Minnesota Eye Consultants. He is an attending ophthalmologist at Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well. In addition to an active clinical and surgical practice, Dr. Hardten has focused on education throughout his career. He is an adjunct associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota Department of Ophthalmology. Additionally, he is an instructor for VISX/AMO and TLCVision, where he teaches ophthalmologists from around the world to perform LASIK.

John Holds, MD is an Ophthalmic Plastic Surgeon who has practiced in St. Louis since 1990 and a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Saint Louis University.

Dr. Holds’ practice focuses on cosmetic and reconstructive issues surrounding the eye and middle face. Dr. Holds was one of the original researchers in Botox therapies in the 1980s, and he has developed a number of innovative techniques in cosmetic eyelid surgery. He regularly lectures physicians in courses on topics in cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid and facial surgery, and has been listed in “Best Doctors in America” since 1994.  He is also an endurance race car driver.

Thomas John, MD is the director of the Thomas John Eye Institute in Illinois, where he specializes in LASIK, PRK surgery, no-stitch corneal transplant, DMEK surgery, DALK surgery, artificial cornea, cataract surgery, pterygium surgery, glaucoma surgery, amniotic membrane transplant, and other advanced surgeries.  He is also a Clinical Associate Professor at Loyola University at Chicago.

Dr. John won one of only two clinical cornea surgery fellowships at Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, having earned his MD, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from St. John’s Medical College in Bangalore and his Bachelor of Science and PUC from the University of Madras. 

He is the editor of several surgical textbooks and the editor of the Chicago Eye and Emergency Manual.  Dr. John is also the first in the world to perform amniotic membrane transplant for toxic epidermal necrolysis.  He is a patent holder, and the inventor of many advanced corneal surgery instruments for lamellar keratoplasty procedures.

Robert Kersten, MD is a Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.  His research interests are orbital surgery, especially minimally invasive surgery, for the removal of orbital tumors and decompressions for thyroid-associated eye disease; cosmetic facial surgery, including blepharoplasty, eyelid lifts, forehead lifts, midface lifts, fillers for under-eye hollows and facial wrinkles and Botox injections; and post-cancer reconstruction, including Mohs surgery.

Dr. Kersten received his medical degree at the University of Iowa, where he also completed his residency and a fellowship in Orbital and Reconstructive Surgery.  He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and the International Journal of Craniomaxillofacial Trauma. In 2003, he received the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Michael E. Snyder, M.D. specializes in cataract and corneal surgery. His special interests include traumatic cataract surgery, iris repair and prostheses, corneal transplantation, and clinical research. Dr. Snyder has, with Dr. Robert Osher, pioneered artificial iris prosthesis use in the United States, aiding in the rehabilitation of acquired traumatic iris defects or congenital iris defects such as aniridia and ocular albinism. Dr. Snyder has developed extensive expertise with presbyopia-correcting intraocular implant lenses.

He completed both his undergraduate degree in Psychology and his Medical Degree from University of Michigan, followed by his Internship in Internal Medicine and General Surgery at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center of Denver, Colorado. Dr. Snyder served as Resident and Chief Resident in Ophthalmology at Krieger Eye Institute of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. He then pursued subspecialty training in cataract, anterior segment & refractive surgery, corneal & external diseases, and ocular immunology at New England Eye Center and Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston. Following his Fellowship, Dr. Snyder cultivated a referral practice in cataract and corneal surgery in Albany, New York where he also taught Residents as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Albany Medical College. He then joined the growing and internationally recognized Cincinnati Eye Institute in 1997.

Dr. Snyder is a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and a member of the International Intraocular Implant Club and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. 

 Dr. Snyder is actively involved in developing new devices for intraocular implantation and new ophthalmic applications for pharmaceuticals including FDA studies. Dr. Snyder was the first in the US to implant an artificial iris custom-matched to the uninjured eye and is the medical monitor for the FDA IDE trial of this device.


Doyle Stulting, MD, PhD, is the Director of the Stulting Research Center at Woolfson Eye Institute in Atlanta, Professor of Ophthalmology Emeritus at Emory University, and Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at the Moran Eye Institute in Salt Lake City, UT.

Dr. Stulting is regarded as one of the foremost experts on LASIK and corneal disease in the world, having chaired the Ophthalmologic Devices Panel (an advisory group to the FDA), and served as president of the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery.  He has performed more than 3000 LASIK cases, published often-cited papers in the field, and is sought as a consultant for patients with questions about their refractive surgery outcomes.  In 2016, he delivered the Binkhorst Lecture at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in New Orleans, an honor that recognizes outstanding contributions in the understanding and practice of anterior segment surgery.

He graduated summa cum laude from Duke University, receiving his BS degree in chemistry.  He also received his MD degree and PhD in microbiology and immunology from Duke.  He completed his internal medicine internship and residency at Washington University’s Barnes Hospital and his ophthalmology residency at the University of Miami, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.  Dr. Stulting completed a fellowship in cornea and external disease at Emory University, where he practiced, taught, and performed research from 1982 to 2010. In 2010, he left Emory University to found the Stulting Research Center at Woolfson Eye Institute, where he conducts a variety of clinical trials in cataract, refractive surgery, cornea, and external disease. 

Tabin Photo Geoffrey Tabin, MD, is a Professor of Ophthalmology and Global Medicine at Stanford University and co-founder and chairman of the Himalayan Cataract Project. He has published more than 45 peer-reviewed articles, two books, and a dozen book chapters related to his work in ophthalmology and the developing world.

He is the fourth person in the world to reach the tallest peak on each of the seven continents. His passion for mountain climbing directed him to his professional career in eye care. After summiting Mt. Everest on one of his expeditions, he came across a Dutch team performing cataract surgery on a woman who had been needlessly blind for three years. It was then that he understood his life’s calling.

Together, Dr. Tabin and Nepalese eye surgeon Dr. Sanduk Ruit established the Himalayan Cataract Project in 1995, vowing to work to eliminate all preventable and treatable blindness from the Himalayan region within their lifetime. Dr. Tabin was the distinguished recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award given by the American Academy of Ophthalmology in recognition of his international humanitarian efforts and, in 2009, he was presented with the Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award by the Dalai Lama.

Dr. Tabin graduated from Yale University, received an MA in Philosophy from Oxford University, and earned an MD from Harvard Medical School. After completing an ophthalmology residency at Brown University and a fellowship in corneal surgery in Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Tabin returned to Nepal to work with Dr. Sanduk Ruit. Currently, he spends a considerable part of the year working abroad throughout the Himalayas and Sub-Saharan Africa.

YeuPhoto Elizabeth Yeu, MD, is an assistant professor in ophthalmology and residency educator at the Eastern Virginia Medical School and a Corneal, Cataract, and Refractive Surgeon at Virginia Eye Consultants, where she specializes in advanced treatment options for keratoconus, the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye disease, surgical management of astigmatism, laser cataract surgery and complex lens-based surgery.

Dr. Yeu earned her Doctorate of Medicine in 2003 at the University of Florida. She then trained in an ophthalmology residency at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where she acted as chief resident. Dr. Yeu continued to the Cullen Eye Institute, Baylor College of Medicine to complete a fellowship in Cornea, Anterior Segment and Refractive Surgery.

She is actively involved in clinical research of new technologies and therapies to enhance overall vision and ocular health and is highly regarded for her commitment to exceptional patient outcomes by incorporating novel therapeutics and advanced surgical techniques into her practice. She has authored several industry journal publications and book chapters and is the Co-Chief Medical Editor for MillennialEYE, an all-digital publication and online community for future leaders in ophthalmology.  Dr. Yeu also serves as an examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a Governing Board member and Chair of the Young Eye Surgeons Committee of ASCRS.

“I thought it was one of the MOST WONDERFUL meetings in the world! GREAT information, lots of fun and learning and GREAT attendees.” – Kathleen Digre, Salt Lake City, Utah

“Covers clinically significant subjects, nice group size, good facility, and of course, NOLA.” anonymous, 2016 Symposium

“Excellent conference with three areas of interest, updates and new technologies discussed, 20 hours of CME credit.” -anonymous, 2016 Symposium

“Overall, one of the best meetings as far as content and speakers, a very good learning environment.” -anonymous, 2016 Symposium

“Quality of lectures, ability to personally interact with the experts” – anonymous, 2016 Symposium

“Another phenomenal meeting sponsored by the NOAO!!” – anonymous attendee, 2015 Symposium

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