Scientific Advisory Board

  • Larry Singerman, MD
    Larry Singerman, MD
    Chairman
  • Victor H. Gonzalez, MD
    Victor H. Gonzalez, MD
  • Sunil Gupta, MD
    Sunil Gupta, MD
  • Brian Joondeph, MD
    Brian Joondeph, MD
  • David H. Orth, MD
    David H. Orth, MD
  • Alan Franklin, MD, PhD
    Alan Franklin, MD, PhD
Larry Singerman, MD
Chairman

After completing his retinal training at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Singerman established Retina Associates of Cleveland in 1974. With 8 other retinal specialists and over 130 employees, the practice sees patients throughout Northeastern Ohio.

Dr. Singerman is active in the field of clinical research and has been a principal investigator in more than 100 multicenter clinical trials sponsored by NIH and pharmaceutical companies. Many of these studies of treatments for diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and other vitreoretinal diseases have led to FDA-approval of new drugs. He attributes his interest in research studies to the great opportunity he had to participate in the original Diabetic Retinopathy Study when he was a retinal fellow with Dr. Arnall Patz. The results of this study led to a dramatic worldwide reduction in blindness from diabetic retinopathy, inspiring Dr. Singerman to devote much of his professional effort to clinical trials. His research center has been a leading recruiter for such studies nationally and internationally.

Dr. Singerman is a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals of Cleveland and a voluntary professor of clinical ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami. He was awarded the first outstanding teacher award by the ophthalmology residents at University Hospitals of Cleveland and has received other teaching awards.

Dr. Singerman serves on editorial boards for major ophthalmology journals. He is the editor of three textbooks and has authored over 300 publications. He has chaired or organized over 80 national and international courses and symposia on macular and retinal vascular disease.

In 1977, Dr. Singerman founded the Macula Society, an international association of leading investigators and clinicians in the field of retinal diseases. He has been continuously re-elected to the position of Executive Secretary of the Society. In 1999, he received the Society’s J. Donald M. Gass Medal for Outstanding Contributions in the Study of Macular Diseases, and in 2009 he was awarded the Arnall Patz Medal for outstanding contributions in the study of retinal vascular diseases.

Dr. Singerman was the Vice Chair of the Council of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a member of the Executive Committee of the Academy’s Board of Directors. He was given the Academy’s Life Achievement Honor Award in 2006. He is past President of the Ohio Ophthalmological Society, the Cleveland Ophthalmological Society, and the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland (DAGC). The DACG has named him its first Honorary Board Member for Life and has given him the Dietrich Diabetes Research Institute’s Diabetes Research Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member of over 40 professional organizations.

Dr. Singerman has been nominated every year by his peers as one of the best medical retinal disease specialists and has been included in Cleveland Magazine's annual publication of Top Doctors since 1998. He has been named 1 of 111 best ophthalmologists and 1 of the 10 best medical retina specialists in America by Ophthalmology Times.

Victor H. Gonzalez, MD

Dr. Victor H. Gonzalez, founder of Valley Retina Institute in South Texas, is an American Board of Ophthalmology certified ophthalmologist. He is a fellowship trained retinal specialist with expertise in adult and pediatric diseases and surgery of the eye.

Dr. Gonzalez received his Chemistry degree from Princeton University, a degree in medicine from Harvard Medical School, ophthalmology training at the Doheny Eye Institute in Los Angeles, California under the leadership of Steve Ryan and retinal training at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

He presently serves as Adjunct Clinical Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio and is a member of the Clinical Faculty in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Texas, Houston where his research focus is on genetic studies of diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Gonzalez has been a pioneer in the use of Anti-VEGF in diabetic retinopathy. The Valley Retina Institute has been a leader in research focused on diabetic retinopathy, uveitis and macular degeneration. Valley Retina Institute has established a comprehensive retinal fellowship program for training both national and international retina specialists.

Dr. Gonzalez is a frequent lecturer and instructor, has been influential in offering educational retinal forums both nationally and internationally, and is an advocate for diabetics as past chairman of the Texas Diabetes Council and multiple American Diabetes Association National leadership appointments. Professor Gonzalez has authored multiple scientific abstracts and papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Sunil Gupta, MD

Sunil Gupta, M.D. is a nationally recognized retinal surgeon, a successful entrepreneur, and a healthcare pioneer. He is founder and manager of one of the largest retinal research organizations in the United States, Retina Specialty Institute. His practice serves patients in 22 clinics across the Southeast with nine physicians.

Dr. Gupta works tirelessly to develop improved healthcare delivery systems built with LEAN methodology and cloud-based technologies. Dr. Gupta and his esteemed colleagues across multiple organizations are on a mission to revolutionize private practice data aggregation, to enhance productivity, and to build efficiency models inspired by Japanese manufacturing. Dr. Gupta thrives on bringing together stakeholders from across the healthcare and business landscape to solve complex challenges and deliver the triple aim of accessible, affordable, and quality patient care.

Dr. Gupta serves on the Retina Advisory Committee for Alcon (RAC2); Executive Committee for LAMPA, Retina Advisory Board for Genentech Pharmaceuticals; and the Retina Advisory Board for Allergan.

RETINA SPECIALTY INSTITUTE

Dr. Gupta and Retina Specialty Institute are on the front lines of retina research for new class drugs, leading over 28 clinical trials for conditions such as Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy. He assists industry in designing better surgical systems, equipment and processes. Building models of efficiency without sacrificing quality for patients, Dr. Gupta is bringing Six Sigma-inspired systems to healthcare. Additionally, he has developed new medical delivery vehicles, holds multiple diagnostic and pharmaceutical patents, and is leading efforts to bring advanced new synthetic molecules to the forefront of retinal therapy.

His love for patients, whom he respects as equal partners in their care, is reflected in his compassionate, approachable manner. Whereas healthcare delivery can often be perceived as hierarchical in nature, Dr. Gupta believes that physicians today must be able to identify with what the patient is experiencing in order to improve communication and enhance delivery of care.

USRETINA

Dr. Gupta is the co-founder and chief medical officer of USRetina — one of the largest associations of retina physicians in the United States. This rapidly growing association of more than sixty member practices represents over $3 billion in revenue. This young, innovative organization is making bold moves to advance, aggregate, and advocate for the retina vitreous community. USRetina delivers clinical and operational excellence in RetinaVitreous care, benefiting patients, retina physicians, and industry partners. At its heart USRetina strives to put the patients first while preparing its constituent practices for value based medicine.

IRIS: Intelligent Retina Imaging Systems

Dr. Gupta is the founder, chairman and chief medical officer of IRIS: Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems, an FDA-cleared, cloud based, telemedicine tool for assessment of retinal eye disease in the primary care setting. The award-winning IRIS team is on a mission to end preventable blindness due to Diabetic Retinopathy and other conditions. Using state-of-the art cameras, retinal images are transmitted to a powerful cloud-based platform and evaluated in real-time by remote eye care specialists. IRIS identifies patients at risk, particularly the subset patient group that typically does not seek or have access to care.

IRIS helps to “shoot the gap” in U.S. healthcare, serving as a population health management tool for the countless patients left behind in current delivery models. Additionally, Dr. Gupta has led the development of image enhancement technology to identify sub particle pathology, as well as the automated detection of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma via advanced algorithms.

ANDREWS INSTITUTE

Dr. Gupta is the chairman of the Andrews Institute Ambulatory Surgery Center, and was a key organizer of this joint venture between Baptist Health Care and local physicians. The state-of-the-art surgery center was designed from the ground up to be optimal for outpatient procedures with eight operating rooms featuring the latest technology utilizing high definition camera and video systems.

Dr. Gupta also serves on the board of the Andrews Research & Education Institute, and was instrumental in organizing and helping to obtain funding for its adult stem cell research laboratory.

EDUCATION & APPOINTMENTS

Dr. Gupta earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He interned at Baylor College of Medicine and completed his ophthalmology residency at the Cullen Eye Institute in Houston, acting as chief resident 1991-1992. He finished a two-year fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases and surgery at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, where he focused on disorders such as uveitis and genetic retinal diseases.

He is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

He is a member of the American Ophthalmology Association, American Medical Association, Escambia County Medical Association and the Florida Society of Ophthalmology.

Brian Joondeph, MD

Dr. Joondeph is a native of northern New Jersey. He completed his training as a retina surgeon in 1990 and since then has worked both in private practice and full-time academic ophthalmology. He has been in Denver since 2003 after returning from an academic position in New Zealand, which he returns to as a locum consultant several weeks per year. Dr. Joondeph has more than 60 publications and is a current and past investigator in over 80 clinical trials, looking at new and innovative treatments for a variety of retinal diseases. He works at the Lowry, Parker and Golden offices of CRA and attends a monthly outreach clinic in Goodland, KS.

Dr. Joondeph is a Professor of Ophthalmology at the Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, CO. He has also recently completed a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Leadership at the University of Denver. Dr Joondeph is married and has three adult children. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family. His hobbies include skiing, golf and fitness.

David H. Orth, MD

David H. Orth, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a world-renowned retina specialist and the founder and president of Illinois Retina Associates, one of the most highly regarded retina practices in the United States. Dr. Orth broke new ground in the delivery of retina care when, in 1975, he opened a retina practice in downtown Chicago and in the village of Flossmoor, 30 miles south of Chicago. At the time, a highly specialized medical practice like retina was unheard of in the southern suburbs. But under Dr. Orth’s leadership, Illinois Retina Associates was established in 1981 and has flourished into one of the busiest, most respected retina practices in the nation. Today, 13 board-certified specialists practice out of 12 Illinois Retina locations throughout Chicago’s suburbs and northwest Indiana. In addition to treating patients and guiding a thriving retina practice, Dr. Orth is an esteemed clinical researcher and educator. He is Professor of Ophthalmology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where he co-founded the medical center’s highly sought-after vitreoretinal fellowship. He also serves as Medical Director of the Irwin Retina Center at Ingalls Memorial Hospital and Director of the hospital’s Ophthalmic Laser Laboratory.

A native of Pittsburgh, Dr. Orth realized a childhood dream when he became a physician. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor of science degree in bacteriology, he attended Chicago Medical School and served his internship and residency at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Orth eventually chose the field of ophthalmology and retina care. He completed a series of fellowships at the prestigious Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, including a National Institutes of Health Fellowship for the Study of Central Retinal Vein Occlusion and a Heed Foundation Fellowship. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

A prominent researcher with an international reputation in the field of retina, Dr. Orth has been principal investigator for 20 major clinical trials and studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute and several pharmaceutical companies, including the AREDS and CATT studies. He has also served as co-investigator on many other national and international research studies.

An award-winning writer and lecturer, Dr. Orth has authored or co-authored several book chapters, monographs and more than 160 peer-reviewed articles. He also serves on the editorial board of the leading journal Retina and as a reviewer for several other specialty journals. He was recognized with the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Senior Honor Award in 1994. And his book, Color and Fluorescein Angiographic Atlas of Retinal/Vascular Disorders, was honored by the American Publishers Association as the best new book in the field of medicine and science. In addition to writing and lecturing, Dr. Orth has served as board member or chairman for numerous professional societies and organizations. He is past president of the Chicago Ophthalmological Society and the Macula Society, and has served on the boards of the International Society of Ocular Trauma, the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, the Macula Foundation, the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness and many others. Dr. Orth currently serves as the Chairman of the Ingalls Health System Foundation and as a member of the Ingalls Health System Board of Directors and the board’s Executive Committee. He has been listed in the “Top 500 Doctors in Chicago” (Chicago Magazine) and the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Orth is on staff at several area hospitals and sees patients at Illinois Retina’s Harvey and Chicago Loop office locations.

When he’s not seeing patients or teaching, Dr. Orth combines his love of ophthalmology with his love of sports by serving as team ophthalmologist for both the Chicago Bulls since 1985 and Chicago White Sox since 1981. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children and five grandchildren.

Alan Franklin, MD, PhD

Alan Franklin, MD, PhD, a board-certified ophthalmologist, brings a distinguished academic and professional background to Retina Specialty Institute as the co-founder and chief medical officer of RFE Pharma Company.

Dr. Franklin’s educational experience began at Northwestern University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering and lettered in Varsity Track. He then attended the Medical College of Ohio where he received his Doctor of Medicine degree.

Having a longstanding interest in diabetes, Dr. Franklin went on to earn a PhD degree in diabetes-related research at Vanderbilt University. He completed his first year in internal medicine at Vanderbilt while writing and defending his PhD thesis.

He pursued the specialty of ophthalmology based his longstanding interests in taking care of diabetics and studies of diabetic eye disease, and fulfilled his residency at St. Louis University School of Medicine.

He then completed a two-year fellowship in vitreoretinal disease and surgery at University of Iowa Medical Center, where he was awarded the prestigious Heed-Knapp fellowship both years of his fellowship. His work on potential new treatments for diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration was awarded best research project by a physician in training for the United States during his last year of fellowship.

Dr. Franklin is the guiding force behind RFE Pharma, a research entity dedicated to the development of new treatments for such retinal diseases as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Through this research, Dr. Franklin has been instrumental in developing several patented drug formulations, and a patented drug delivery device.

He is widely published in the fields of retinal cell biology and retinal genetics. He acts as an advisor for ultra-small gauge vitrectomy surgery and retinal surgical imaging.

He also serves on the advisory committees and speakers’ boards of leading corporations in the pharmaceutical industry, including Novartis, Alcon, and QLT. He is the editor for Modern Retina, a journal directed at physician education.

Dr. Franklin has lived in Mobile since 2005 with his wife Susan and their four children: Isabel, Max, Sam and Cal. His family stays busy with community, school, and sports activities.

Dr. Franklin is devoted to the prevention and treatment of retinal diseases by bringing the best and newest technology to the region. He joined Retina Specialty Institute (RSI) in 2005. RSI, a multi-physician group practice, is one of the largest and most-respected retina research organizations in the nation, with offices in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. Besides offering state-of-the art clinical and surgical skills to patients, RSI is nationally recognized for its clinical trials, research and innovative product development, and breakthrough disease prevention protocols.