Message from the Chair

Welcome to the University of Washington Department of Ophthalmology website.  We invite you to learn more about our program on these pages.

The mission of UW’s Department of Ophthalmology is to alleviate suffering from eye disease.  We do this by providing state-of-the-art, compassionate care to our community, advancing the state-of-the-art through rigorous research, and sharing our knowledge with our trainees and the community.

Our faculty provide care at eight major sites of practice: the UW Medicine Eye Institute at Harborview; the Harborview Medical Center 4W Clinic (which includes our consult and trauma services); the Eyes on James optical shop; UW Medical Center Eye Center; VA Puget Sound Health Care System (Seattle and American Lake); Seattle Children’s; the Karalis Johnson Retina Center at South Lake Union, and the UW Medicine Primary Care Clinics. Last year, our faculty and trainees provided over 100,000 patient visits and performed over 4,000 surgeries.

We serve as a major referral center, seeing patients from the five-state WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) region. We continue to provide many services rare in the community, including managing eye cancer (ocular oncology), uveitis, and medical and hereditary retinal disease.

The Roger and Angie Karalis Johnson Retina Center at South Lake Union is a center of excellence for treatment of and research into diseases of the retina.  This center, supported by a very generous gift from Angie Karalis Johnson, opened in January 2019. In the past year, it supported more than 10,000 patient visits and an ambitious research program.

Our vision scientists are committed to improving diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately finding cures for diseases of the eye and visual system. Collectively, the department published 175 papers during the 2022-2023 academic year. This year our department rose to #3 in the nation in NIH funding among ophthalmology departments, and the University of Washington sits in the top 10 among universities in the US in funding from the National Eye Institute.

Our faculty remain highly committed to the educational mission of the Department. We currently train 20 residents, five fellows, and scores of medical students annually. Our residency training program remains one of the most competitive in the country.

Thank you for your interest in our department.  We hope you find our recently updated website useful.  I am happy to answer any questions you may have about our department.

Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, PhD
Boyd K. Bucey Memorial Professor and Chair
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Washington
Director, Roger and Angie Karalis Johnson Retina Center
Director, UW Vision Science Center

UW Department of Ophthalmology

908 Jefferson St.. Seattle, WA 98104 (academic offices)
Harborview Medical Center (mailing address)
Box 359608, 325 Ninth Avenue Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.543.7250
Fax: 206.685.7055


For Patients

For Medical Professionals