Dr. Van Gelder was born and raised in and around New York City. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University. He remained at Stanford for the MD/PhD program, earning his PhD in Neurosciences studying the molecular biology of circadian rhythms. Following internal medicine internship at Stanford, he completed his residency in ophthalmology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, and his medical retina and uveitis fellowship at the Barnes Retina Institute.

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Undergraduate Education: BS, Biological Sciences, 1985
Medical School: MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1994
Graduate Education: PhD, Neurosciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1994
Internship: Internal Medicine, Stanford University Hospital and VA Hospital, 1995
Residency: Ophthalmology, Washington University,1998
Fellowship: Uveitis and Medical Retina, Washington University School of Medicine, 1999
Board Certification: American Board of Ophthalmology
Memberships: American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO); Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (WAEPS); Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO); Washington State Medical Association Sub Specialty Societies; American Uveitis Society; American Association for the Advancement of Science; Society for Research on Biological Rhythms; Macula society

Academic Interests

Clinical Interests

Dr. Van Gelder specializes in uveitis, including iritis, pars planitis, retinitis, choroiditis and scleritis, medical retinal disease, and also in hereditary retinal disease and macular dystrophies

Research Focus

Dr. Van Gelder's laboratory is interested in the mechanisms of uveitic disease, including discovery of novel pathogens and understanding the role of auto-antibodies in uveitis. His laboratory is also interested in how the eye can sense light without seeing, and how these mechanisms can be used to treat blindness.

Awards & Honors 

2018: President, Washington Academy of Eye Physician and Surgeons
President, Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology
2010-2017: Inclusion in 'Top Doctors', in Seattle Magazine and/or Seattle Met Magazine
2017: Bressler Award, Lighthouse Guild
2015: President, American Academy of Ophthalmology
Editorial Board, Ophthalmology

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Lee CS, Lee AY, Akileswaran L, Stroman D, Najafi-Tagol K, Kleiboeker S, Chodosh J, Magaret A, Wald A, Van Gelder RN  .Determinants of Outcomes of Adenoviral Keratoconjunctivitis.  Ophthalmology. 2018 Mar 27. pii: S0161-6420(17)32895-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2018.02.016.

Laprell L, Tochitsky I, Kaur K, Manookin MB, Stein M, Barber DM, Schön C, Michalakis S, Biel M, Kramer RH, Sumser MP, Trauner D, Van Gelder RN. Photopharmacological control of bipolar cells restores visual function in blind mice.  J Clin Invest. 2017 Jun 30;127(7):2598-2611.

Doan T, Akileswaran L, Andersen D, Johnson B, Ko N, Shrestha A, Shestopalov V, Lee CS, Lee AY, Van Gelder RN.  Paucibacterial Microbiome and Resident DNA Virome of the Healthy Conjunctiva.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Oct 1;57(13):5116-5126.

Buhr ED, Yue WW, Ren X, Jiang Z, Liao HW, Mei X, Vemaraju S, Nguyen MT, Reed RR, Lang RA, Yau KW, Van Gelder RN.  Neuropsin (OPN5)-mediated photoentrainment of local circadian oscillators in mammalian retina and cornea.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Oct 20;112(42):13093-8.

Lee AY, Akileswaran L, Tibbetts MD, Garg SJ, Van Gelder RN.  Identification of torque teno virus in culture-negative endophthalmitis by representational deep DNA sequencing.  Ophthalmology. 2015 Mar;122(3):524-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2014.09.001. Epub 2014 Nov 24.



Primary Clinical Office

Eye Institute at Harborview

Harborview Medical Center
908 Jefferson St., 7th Floor
Seattle, WA
Clinic Phone: 206-744-2020
Clinic Fax: 206-897-4320

Mailing Address:
Box 359608
325 Ninth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
Academic Phone: 206-543-7250

Additional Offices

Vision Science
Van Gelder Lab

South Lake Union

Mailing Address:
University of Washington
Van Gelder Lab, E 510
750 Republican St.
Seattle, WA 98109-8058

Main Reception Tel: 206-897-1327
Phone: 206-221-3262


Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation






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