Up Close and Personal with 2014 Award Winners

Mrinali Patel Gupta, MD

After finishing fellowship and more recently, five years on faculty on the Vitreoretinal Surgery service at Weill Cornell Medical College, I recently relocated to California and am very excited and honored to be joining Retina Associates of Orange County. I look forward to building a busy medical and surgical retina practice here. In addition to patient care, I continue to be involved in research, including clinical research and extracellular vesicle research (through a collaboration with a biotech startup). I enjoy staying active in our field and in retina education through my roles as Vice President of Education on the Executive Committee of the Vit-Buckle Society and on several education committees of the ASRS. Outside of work, I can be found cooking or chasing around my 4 year old and 8 month old sons.

Samuel K. Steven Houston, III, MD

I am currently a partner with Florida Retina Institute (FRI) and actively involved in research and innovation at Wills Eye Hospital Department of Telemedicine. At FRI, I have a busy medical and surgical retina practice. I was active in starting our clinical trial unit which is now one of the fasting recruiting new sites.

Outside of clinical practice, I have a passion for innovation in healthcare. I am currently working with several start-ups on digital health solutions, including remote home vision monitoring and tele-ophthalmology. Partnered with my wife, Jessica (a healthcare innovation consultant), we started a company, Houston Global Group, and are excited about numerous projects and collaborations with start-ups and established healthcare companies.

Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our son, Jackson. We enjoy traveling and anything outdoors. In my spare time, I am an avid triathlete and ironman, enjoying swimming, biking, and running.

Ehsan Rahimy, MD

After completing my fellowship at the Wills Eye Hospital in 2015, I joined the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I am currently in my fifth year of practice. In addition to building a preeminent retina service within the organization and providing excellent care for my patients, I have had the opportunity to explore numerous clinical research endeavors with various collaborators in Silicon Valley.

My primary research interests revolve around the growing interplay between technology and medicine, with the emergence of machine learning, telemedicine, and other digital health applications; as well as how integration of these will transform healthcare delivery in the future. As a separate, but potentially related area of interest, through philanthropic grants within my organization, I am leading several potential global initiatives for surgical and medical retina skills transfer programs in countries abroad.

In my spare time, I enjoy playing recreational sports and staying active outdoors in Northern California.

Damien C. Rodger, MD, PhD

After finishing my retina fellowship at USC, I was an Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the USC Roski Eye Institute and Research Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at USC. I was also a Visiting Associate in Medical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. I have now moved on to the Southern California Permanente Medical Group at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center where I focus on vitreoretinal surgery and uveitis for our often complex patient population.

I hold more than 20 patents in the field of microelectronics for ophthalmic implantation, am a reviewer for multiple prestigious engineering and ophthalmology journals and conferences, and continue to publish actively and present at conferences throughout the world.

My amazing wife, Grace Richter, is a member of the glaucoma faculty at the USC Roski Eye Institute. In our spare time we surf and snowboard. Our boy/girl twins were born in 2017 and are our pride and joy. Their boundless energy, and our sweet dog Pluto, keep us young at heart!

Sumit Sharma, MD

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic, Cole Eye Institute. My clinical practice includes medical and surgical vitreoretinal disease as well as complex posterior segment uveitis.

My research focuses on the development of objective measures of disease activity in ocular inflammatory diseases using both currently available imaging techniques and new imaging modalities that we are developing. Additionally, I am the principal investigator for various industry sponsored clinical trials in both retinal diseases and uveitis.

I enjoy spending time with my wife, our family and friends. We both love to travel to new and exciting places around the world. In my spare time I enjoy tinkering with electronics, watching football, obsessing over my fantasy football team, playing ice hockey and watching movies.

Attention former
award winners!

Have you recently moved? Did you start or join a new practice or change academic institutions? If you would like your information to appear on this News page, please email karen.baranick