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Faculty and Physicians

Timothy W. Olsen, MD

Professor of Ophthalmology
Chairman Emeritus
Section of Vitreoretinal Surgery and Diseases


Timothy W. Olsen MD is chair emeritus of Ophthalmology at Emory University, and completed his duties as chair in 2016 in his ninth year, serving as the F. Phinizy Calhoun Sr. Professor and director of the Emory Eye Center.

Dr. Olsen graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kansas and then from the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, AOA.  He completed his residency training at the University of Minnesota, and fellowship in Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery at Emory University in Atlanta in 1996. 

His first academic appointment was at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and was then asked to found and direct the Minnesota Lions Macular Degeneration Center at the University of Minnesota where he was promoted to professor on the tenure track and was supported by the William H. Knobloch Endowed Chair for Retina (1998-2008). 

Dr. Olsen’s primary area of research is age-related macular degeneration or AMD.  The macular vision program at the Emory Eye Center focuses on both early mechanisms in the pathogenesis of AMD and also on novel and high-risk interventions for late-stage disease.  He is the founder of iMacular Regeneration, LLC, and has expertise in the novel drug delivery system, pharmacokinetics of drug delivery to macula, as well as device and surgical instrument design. 

During his career, he has been awarded over $7.5M in direct research support as a principle investigator.  He has been awarded the Young Investigator Award by the Macula Society, won the Love of Sight Visionary Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness in Washington, DC, in 2015, and the 2015 Research and Innovation Award by the Lions Eye Institute for Transplantation and Research (LEITR) in Tampa, FL.

Dr. Olsen is a mentor; has been designated a “Top Doctor” for 9 years in 4 cities (Madison, WI; Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN; and Atlanta, GA); has 6 distinguished teaching awards from 3 universities; has trained 145 resident physicians and 27 retinal fellows; mentored 87 residents in vision research; and 11 post-doctoral scholars, 16 graduate students, 24 medical students, and 5 undergraduates in research. During his chairmanship, he recruited 58 key faculty.

His publication record includes over 141 peer-reviewed articles, monographs and 25 book chapters. He has delivered 255 national or international lectures, 2 inaugural named lectures, 12 named lectures, 31 keynote addresses and 32 visiting professorships. He is a member of the Millipub Club (article with greater than 1000 citations) at Emory.

National & International Recognition

Dr. Olsen is the secretary for Quality and chairs the Retina Preferred Practice Patterns (PPP). He also chaired the retina Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and Practicing Ophthalmologist Committees (POC) and served on the Skills Transfer Committee for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). 

Dr. Olsen serves on the executive committee for the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS). He has served as executive editor for 11 years with the American Journal of Ophthalmology (AJO) and currently serves on the editorial board for IOVS, RETINA, Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS) and Yonsei Medical Journal (Seoul, South Korea). 

He has been awarded the Senior Achievement Award and the Secretariat Award by the AAO.  He is a Silver Fellow and Gold Fellow of ARVO, and a member of the Macula and Retina societies.

Tim mostly enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Recent awards include:

2015 Inaugural “Frederick C. Blodi Lecture” at the AOS, Newport, RI
2015 Delivered the “Paton Medal Lecture” 30th Cullen Course, Houston, TX
2015 Research and Innovation Award, LEITR, Tampa Bay, FL
2014 For the Love of Sight Visionary Award, FFB, Washington, DC
2013 Emory Millipub Club (article with > 1000 citations)
2013 American Academy of Ophthalmology Secretariat Award
2012 ARVO Gold Fellow
2011 Becker's ASC Review, "135 Leading Ophthalmologists in United States"
2011-14 Atlanta magazine, "Top Doctors"
2011 American Academy of Ophthalmology Senior Achievement Award
2010 Young Investigator Award (Rosenthal Award), Macula Society
2010 ARVO Silver Fellow

Areas of Clinical Interest

• Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
• Macular surgery
• Diabetic retinopathy

Publications

Timothy W. Olsen, MD, Publications (updated 12.07.2016)

Timothy W. Olsen, MD

Medical School: University of Kansas, 1989

Residency: University of Minnesota, 1993

Fellowship in Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery : Emory Eye Center, Atlanta GA, 1994-96

Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and the National Board of Medical Examiners

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