VIT-BUCKLE SOCIETY

The Vit-Buckle Society provides an open forum that mentors developing vitreoretinal surgeons, nurtures innovative surgical technologies and therapeutic approaches for retinal diseases, and fosters best practices.

ABOUT THE VIT-BUCKLE SOCIETY

The Vit-Buckle Society provides an open forum that mentors developing vitreoretinal surgeons, nurtures innovative surgical technologies and therapeutic approaches for retinal diseases, and fosters best practices.

Click here to learn more about the Vit Buckle Society on Youtube 

Click here to learn more about the Vit Buckle Society on Eyetube

VBS EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

Thomas Albini, M.D.

 

President

Dr. Albini received a Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Princeton University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed an ophthalmology residency at Doheny Eye Institute of the University of Southern California. He then completed a uveitis clinical and research fellowship with Narsing Rao, MD at the Doheny Eye Institute and a vitreoretinal fellowship at Cullen Eye Institute of the Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Albini currently is an Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL. He is a member of numerous professional and honorary societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), The Retina Society, the Macula Society, the American Uveitis Society and the International Uveitis Study Group. He currently serves on the writing committee for the Basic and Clinical Science Course Uveitis section for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the ASRS website for 4 years, and now sits on the ASRS Research & Therapeutics Committee. Dr. Albini has received numerous awards including an Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a Senior Achievement Award from the ASRS. He has authored over 110 peer-reviewed articles on clinical and experimental topics in vitreoretinal disease and uveitis. On good days he plays with his three children, jogs with his wife, Frances, and watches historical documentaries. On good nights he can be found enjoying the camaraderie of fellow ophthalmologists and maybe even sitting in on the drums.

Audina “Nina” Berrocal, M.D.

 

Chair, Annual Meeting

Audina “Nina” Berrocal, MD received her undergraduate education at Princeton University followed by medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine. She stayed at Tufts/New England Eye Center, where she completed her ophthalmology residency. Dr. Berrocal subsequently received vitreoretinal surgery and uveitis training at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She has since remained on the faculty at Bascom Palmer, where she holds currently the rank of Professor. She also serves as Director of the Pediatric Retina service at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Berrocal hails from Puerto Rico and comes from a family of retina specialists. Her sister, Maria Berrocal, practices in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their late father, Jose Berrocal, was the first vitreoretinal fellow at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute--under the direction of Ed Norton. Dr. Berrocal is internationally recognized for her approach to pediatric retinal diseases with a special emphasis on retinopathy of prematurity. Additionally, she maintains a robust adult vitreoretinal surgical practice. Dr. Berrocal is an active member of The Retina Society, The Macula Society, Club Vit, and holds leadership positions in many of these groups including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Retina Specialists. On good days, she enjoys spending time with family and friends in Miami. On good nights, Dr. Berrocal explores new places around the world.

R.V. Paul Chan, M.D.

 

Vice President, Education

R.V. Paul Chan, MD is a Vitreoretinal specialist, with an expertise in pediatric retinal disease, at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Dr. Chan received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MD from the Temple University School of Medicine. After completing Ophthalmology residency at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, he went on to a Fellowship in Vitreoretinal Surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Chan spent nine years on faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College before moving to Chicago in 2015. He currently serves as Director of the Pediatric Retina and ROP Service, and is Professor and Vice Chair for the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary at UIC.

Dr. Chan is committed to global ophthalmology initiatives with a focus on both surgical training and education for the diagnosis and management of adult and pediatric retinal disease. He works with a multi-disciplinary group of investigators with expertise in neonatology, ophthalmology, biomedical informatics, international health, and medical education. Together, they have established clinical, teaching, and research collaborations in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Dr. Chan is an assistant editor for the journal, Retina, and remains active in a number of major ophthalmic societies as a member of the American Eye Study Club, the American Ophthalmological Society, the Retina Society, the Macula Society, the Association of Pediatric Retina Surgeons, and the American Society of Retina Specialists. Dr. Chan serves on the Global ONE Advisory Board and the Ethics Committee for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). He is also on the Executive Committee for the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology and is a member the Board of Trustees for Helen Keller International. Dr. Chan has won numerous awards including a Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship, the Ronald G. Michels Foundation Fellowship, the Paul Kayser International Fellowship, the Excellence in Ophthalmology Vision Award (XOVA), the American Society of Retina Specialists Senior Honor Award, the Achievement Award and two Secretariat Awards by the AAO. He has authored over 70 peer-reviewed articles and has given over 200 invited national and international lectures on adult and pediatric vitreoretinal disease.

On good days he spends his time with his family and his wife, Ann-Marie, is traveling internationally, and reading ROP images. On good nights he’s eating a high calorie meal with family and friends.

Jorge Fortun, M.D.

 

Chair, Communications

Dr. Fortun is an assistant professor of Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, where he serves as director of the vitreo-retinal service, ambulatory surgery center and medical retina fellowship at BPEI of Palm Beach. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University and went on to receive his M.D. degree with AOA honors from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his ophthalmology residency and served as chief resident at the Cullen Eye Institute of the Baylor College of Medicine, after which he went on to complete a vitreo-retinal fellowship at the Emory Eye Center.

Dr. Fortun is an active member of the AAO, ASRS, ARVO, and PAAO where he is chairman of the young ophthalmologist committee. He is actively involved in the training of medical and surgical retina fellows and is principal investigator on several clinical trials. He has authored multiple book chapters and publications in the peer-reviewed literature, presently serving as editor of the retina section for Current Ophthalmology Reports and as an editorial board member of Retina CME. He is also actively involved in peer education through invited lectureships domestically and internationally at scientific meetings.

On a good day Dr. Fortun can be found in the company of family and friends in South Florida or setting off on a travel adventure to discover a new destination. On a not so good day he can be found fronting the infamous and sometimes entertaining band The Puckers.

Following his residency, Dr. Kitchens received his vitreoretinal fellowship training at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. After hisfellowship, he served as Chief Resident and Instructor at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. While at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Dr. Kitchens served as the co-editor of the Ophthalmology Times “Grand Rounds”. He was also nominated for the Golden Stethoscope Award, a state-wide award for outstanding service during training.

Dr. Kitchens has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s Mystery Diagnosis television program. He has also been selected to Best Doctors. Dr. Kitchens' practice focuses on medical and surgical diseases of the retina. His research interests include macular hole surgery, retinal detachment, ocular imaging, and ocular histoplasmosis syndrome.

Dr. Kitchens is Past President of the Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians & Surgeons and is a graduate of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Leadership Development Program. Dr. Kitchens serves on the editorial board of OSLI Retina and is a frequent invited lecturer at national and international symposium, especially on the topic of novel surgical techniques. On good days, Dr. Kitchens can be found hiking with his family. On good nights, he is up late editing surgical videos and finding just the right amount of humor to include in them (that last part is a joke in and of itself).

John W. Kitchens, MD

 

Derek Kunimoto, M.D., J.D.

 

Vice President, Governance

Derek Y. Kunimoto, M.D., J. D. graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude, and Harvard Medical School with honors. He received his law degree with honors from Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. He was a medicine intern at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed his residency at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, where he served as co-chief resident.Dr. Kunimoto completed a 2-year vitreoretinal fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital. He was recognized as both a Heed Foundation Fellow and a Ronald G. Michels Fellow. Dr. Kunimoto has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and 2 major ophthalmology textbooks, The Wills Eye Video Atlas of Ocular Surgery, and the 4th edition of The Wills Eye Manual. Dr. Kunimoto has been very active in the clinical research of retinal diseases, acting as Principal Investigator in over 25 clinical trials, and as sub-investigator in over 100 clinical trials.

Dr. Kunimoto has been awarded numerous fellowships for scientific and medical studies. Some of these include the Fulbright Scholarship for the study of infectious eye diseases in India; the Peace and Friendship Scholarship, awarded by the Japanese Government; the Frederick T Sheldon Scholarship, awarded by Harvard University. He was the first recipient of the Ann Sullivan Scholarship, awarded by the Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, for ophthalmology research in India.

Dr. Kunimoto served as Chair of the Medical Student Governing Council in the Massachusetts Medical Society, and as a member on the Council on Constitution and Bylaws of the American Medical Association. Dr. Kunimoto served as President of the Phoenix Ophthalmological Society, and serves on the Board of the Arizona Ophthalmological Society.

Outside of medicine, Dr. Kunimoto serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars. On good days, he enjoys playing with his 2 children and watching movies with his wife, Lubna. On good nights, he enjoys grilling and having a good scotch with friends.

Rohit “Ross” Lakhanpal, M.D.

 

President Elect
Vice President, Membership

Dr. Lakhanpal is one of the founding members of VBS. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Franklin & Marshall College and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed an ophthalmology residency at Greater Baltimore Medical Center under the guidance of C.P. Wilkinson, MD. He then completed a research and medical retina fellowship with Mark Humayun, MD PhD and Eugene de Juan, Jr. MD at the Doheny Eye Institute where he published numerous seminal publications as first author on 25-gauge Vitrectomy. He then completed a vitreoretinal fellowship at Cullen Eye Institute of the Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Lakhanpal is currently Managing Partner at Eye Consultants of Maryland and is Principal of Timonium Surgery Center, LLC. He is a member of numerous professional and honorary societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), and The Retina Society. He currently serves on several committees for the AAO and ASRS. Dr. Lakhanpal has received numerous awards for his surgical video presentations from the AAO and ASRS. His interest in surgical video presentation and discussion was one of the driving forces in the formation of VBS. He is considered an expert in 25-gauge surgical management of complex retinal detachment and PVR and has lectured throughout the country on this topic. He has recently helped develop and refine new 27-gauge instrumentation. Overall, Dr. Lakhanpal has published over 100 peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed articles on clinical topics in vitreoretinal disease, with over 50 as first author. On good days, Dr. Lakhanpal enjoys participating in Sprint Triathlons and enjoys traveling with his wife, Mia. On good nights, Dr. Lakhanpal is found enjoying fine dining.

Geeta Lalwani, M.D.

 

Vice President, Corporate Relations

After receiving her dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry and Japanese from Smith College, Dr. Geeta Lalwani attended Hahnemann Medical School, Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA where she graduated with AOA honors. She completed her residency at Case Western Reserve in Ohio, where she was elected as chief resident by her peers, followed by a surgical retina fellowship at the world-renowned Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. She was honored to join their faculty, focusing her clinical research on macular degeneration, diabetic retinal disease and surgical diseases of the retina for 4 years before deciding to return to her Colorado roots.

Dr Lalwani is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmlology. She is an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmologists, American Society of Retina Specialists, the Vit-Buckle Society and the prestigious Retina Society. Dr. Lalwani has published several important articles in prestigious ophthalmology journals and serves as the Vice President of Corporate Relations for the Vit-Buckle Society.

On good days, along with her husband, Geeta enjoys trying to keep up with her 3 daughters, running, and spending time outdoors. On good nights, Dr. Lalwani is found cooking her favorite meals and traveling with family & friends.

Charles Mango, M.D.

 

Treasurer

Dr. Charles W. Mango is a Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. He is a board-certified ophthalmologist whose clinical practice involves the medical and surgical management of complex vitreo-retinal disorders. Dr. Mango completed a residency in Ophthalmology at the Weill Cornell Medical College – New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He has also completed a two year fellowship in vitreo-retinal surgery at the Jules Stein Eye Institute - University of California Los Angeles.

Dr. Mango is actively involved as a teaching faculty member in the retina fellowship program at the Weill Cornell Medical College / New York Presbyterian Hospital. He has published and contributes as a reviewer to the major scientific journals. He has authored multiple textbook chapters. He is involved in several scientific research projects, which include robotic ocular surgery, retinal imaging modalities, and evaluation of electronic advances in the field of retina.He has participated as a principal investigator and co-investigator in numerous clinical trials. Dr. Mango is a founder of the Vit-Buckle Society where he currently serves as an officer and executive board member.

On good days, Dr. Mango can be found birdwatching in Central Park. On good nights, he enjoys dinners out with his wife, occasional lightsaber battles with his son and daughter, and watching college basketball.

Andrew A. Moshfeghi, MD

 

Charles Wykoff, M.D., Ph.D.

 

Chair, Annual Meeting Scientific Program

Charles Wykoff, MD, PhD, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from MIT, received his PhD from Oxford University in England while on a Marshall Scholarship, and his MD from Harvard Medical School. As a medical student he co-authored the book Fighting Global Blindness. While pursuing vitreoretinal training at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute he was awarded a Heed Fellowship, the Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Award, and served as Chief Resident/Co-Director of Ocular Trauma.

Dr. Wykoff is Director of the Greater Houston Retina Research Foundation associated with Retina Consultants of Houston and has extensive expertise in clinical trial design and coordination. His research interests pertain to angiogenesis and retinal vascular diseases including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and venous occlusive diseases, as well as vitreoretinal surgery topics such as retinal detachment and macular surgery. Dr. Wykoff has written and published more than 120 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, book chapters, national meeting presentations and abstracts. Dr. Wykoff is the elected, Deputy Chair for Ophthalmology and the Blanton Eye Institute at the Houston Methodist Hospital, was awarded the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award in 2015 and is an elected member of the Retina Society and the Macula Society. He also serves as the Academic Program Director for the Vit-buckle Society Annual Meeting, and is a member of the AAO, ARVO, ASRS and FACS.

VBS Committees

  • VBS Executive Committee

    • R.Ross Lakhanpal MD, FACS: President
    • Thomas Albini, MD: Immediate Past President
    • Nina M. Berrocal, MD: VP, Social Events
    • Royce W.S. Chen, MD: VP, Site Planning
    • Jorge Fortun, MD: VP, Social Media 
    • Mrinali Gupta, MD: VP, Education
    • Derek Kunimoto, MD, JD: VP, Governance/Compliance
    • Geeta A. Lalwani, MD: VP, Corporate Relations
    • Charles W. Mango: Secretary and Treasurer
    • Anton Orlin, MD: Assistant Treasurer
    • Aleksandra Rachitskaya, MD: VP, Membership
    • Andrew Schimel, MD: VP, Diversity & Wellness
    • Jay Sridhar MD: VP, Website 
    • Charles C. Wykoff, MD: VP, Annual Meeting Scientific Program
    • Yoshi Yonekawa, MD: VP, Annual Meeting Academic Planning 
  • VBS Finance Committee

    • Charles W. Mango, MD (Chair)
    • Geeta A. Lalwani, MD
    • Derek Kunimoto, MD, JD
    • Andrew Schimel, MD
    • Anton Orlin, MD
    • R.V. Paul Chan, MD, MSc, FACS
  • VBS Bylaws Committee

    • Thomas Albini, MD (Chair)
    • Ajay Kurijan, MD, MS
    • Charles C. Wykoff, MD
    • Derek Kunimoto, MD, JD