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KKESH/Wilmer Professorship in Ophthalmology

School of Medicine

Established in 2010

KKESHThe KING KHALED EYE SPECIALIST HOSPITAL (KKESH) is the largest eye hospital in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is one of the top-ranked medical facilities in the Middle East. KKESH’s mission is to serve as the center of excellence for tertiary eye care, educate and train professionals, conduct research, enhance community awareness of ophthalmic diseases and their causes through health education, and develop outreach programs. KKESH prides itself in offering the highest standards of ophthalmic patient care to the people of Saudi Arabia. KKESH has played a major role in starting and developing the first residency program in ophthalmology in the country. It has provided training for all the Saudi ophthalmologists who graduated from this program (an average of 11 ophthalmologists per year) every year since 1988. Moreover, KKESH’s subspecialty fellowship, which started in 1995, has graduated most of the Saudi ophthalmic subspecialists who are presently delivering care to the Saudi population. These activities have changed the landscape of eye care delivery in the country. (Pictured at the dedication are, L to R (first row): Abdulaziz Alssagher, Khalid Al-Gharzi, (second row): Mohammed Alomar, Abdul-Elah Abad Al-Towerki, Mansour bin Nasser Al-Hawasi, Amal Sharbatly, Suliman Alshuaibi, Ashley Behrens, MD, Basil Al-Abbasi, (third row): Patricia McLean, Lloyd Minor, MD, Peter McDonnell, MD, Edward Miller, MD, Ibrahim Al-Musaitir, Ronald Peterson, (fourth row): Richard Thomas)

Held by Ashley Behrens

BehrensAshleyASHLEY BEHRENS, MD, is the inaugural KKESH/Wilmer Professor of International Ophthalmology and chief of the comprehensive ophthalmology division at the Wilmer Eye Institute. He specializes in the medical and surgical management of cataracts and corneal diseases, including corneal transplantation techniques for Fuchs’ dystrophy and keratoconus, as well as LASIK, PRK, and refractive lens exchange surgical techniques.

Dr. Behrens received his medical degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas and completed his ophthalmology residency and fellowship training at the Francisco Risquez Hospital. He completed additional fellowships at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, where he obtained his German Doctorate with Magna Cum Laude Distinction, and then at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Behrens joined the Wilmer faculty in 2003 and served as executive medical director at the King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital (KKESH), Wilmer’s affiliate hospital in Saudi Arabia, from July 2010 through August 2014.