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Sheila K. West Professorship in Ophthalmology

SHEILA WEST, PhD, was the El-Maghraby Professor of Preventive Ophthalmology and Vice Chair for Research at the Wilmer Eye Institute, with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research interests include trachoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and vision and function in older persons. She has published extensively on visual impairment in different populations, including on disparities in visual impairment and eye care seeking behaviors, and the risk factors for the major blinding eye diseases. She has authored the section on Eye Diseases and Smoking for the last two US Surgeon General Reports on Smoking. Dr. West’s research has informed all aspects of the present World Health Organization guidelines for trachoma control. Her research continues to have multiple avenues, including the natural history of progression of retinal dystrophies, surveillance methods for trachoma control, and interventions to improve outcomes of trichiasis surgery. She currently has over 400 publications, and has mentored over 40 students and young faculty in her career.

Dr. West has served on the Special Technical Advisory Group on Neglected Tropical Diseases for the Director General of World Health Organization, chaired many of the special advisory groups for WHO, served on the scientific review committee for Alcon Research Institute, and on the Scientific Advisory Panel for Research to Prevent Blindness. She currently serves as Scientific Advisor to the Research to Prevent Blindness Board of Trustees. Dr West served twice on the Technical Expert Committee of the International Trachoma Initiative. She was on the Board of Trustees and served as the first female President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). ARVO has presented her with the JoAnn Angle award for her service and the 2019 Mildred Weisenfeld award for her clinical research career. She is the 2017 recipient of the American Academy of Ophthalmology International Blindness Prevention award, and the 2018 recipient of the Kuwait Federation for the Advancement of Science Health Sciences prize for her work in Africa.

Dr. West received her PhD in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She joined the Wilmer faculty in 1984, recruited by Dr. Alfred Sommer to join the Dana Center. She and her husband live in Baltimore city, where they enjoy the symphony, repertory theaters, and world-class museums.

Contact information

Wilmer Eye Institute, Woods rm 155
600 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287
Phone: 410-955-2606
Fax: 410-955-0096
shwest@jhmi.edu