Dr. Steven Brooks, chief of pediatric ophthalmology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, has been named chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
Brooks also will be named William S. Hagler, MD Chair in Ophthalmology, pending approval by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. He also will co-direct the AU James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute, along with vision scientist Dr. Sylvia Smith, chair of the MCG Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy.
Brooks, who was an associate professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at MCG from 1994-2001 before leaving to establish a private practice in Augusta, then joining the faculty at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2013, returns to the medical school in January.
“I am happy to welcome Dr. Brooks back to Augusta and to campus,” says Dr. David Hess, MCG dean. “It is sometimes challenging to navigate between the worlds of private practice and academic medicine, but he has done so with ease and has continued to make significant impact in his field. Many of our faculty, ophthalmologists in the community and alumni already know and admire Dr. Brooks and are excited to see him return to MCG. I also want to express my appreciation to 1996 MCG graduate Dr. Lane Ulrich who has skillfully led the department on an interim basis since December.”
Brooks, the Anne S. Cohen Professor of Pediatric Ophthalmology at Columbia, also serves as medical director of Jonas Children’s Vision Care, an integrated effort between Columbia University Medical Center and Jonas Philanthropies to prevent and treat blindness and other serious eye disorders in children.
An expert in the treatment of strabismus, or crossed eyes, he also has published research about a variety of other vision issues that affect children, including retinopathy of prematurity, pediatric glaucoma and new ocular surgery techniques to treat strabismus.
Brooks is a member of the Research Committee of the American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and serves on the editorial board of that group’s journal. He is a member of the American Board of Ophthalmology’s Exam Development Committee and is part of the Scientific Review Committee for Fight for Sight, Inc., a nonprofit organization in the United States which funds medical research in vision and ophthalmology and was the first nonprofit in the United States to fund vision research.
An honored educator, he was the 2019 recipient of Surgical Teacher of the Year in Ophthalmology at Columbia University and a 2016 recipient of the university’s Phillip Knapp Resident Teaching Award in Ophthalmology. He is an associate examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology.
Brooks received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Southern California-Los Angeles County Medical Center and a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at the University of Michigan W. K. Kellogg Eye Center.