Richard K. Lee, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Cell Biology and Neuroscience Graduate Program

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Miami, Florida

Richard K. Lee, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida and has secondary appointments in the Department of Cell Biology and the Neuroscience Graduate Program. He is the Director of Community Ophthalmology for the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Dr Lee received his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology and his MD from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UMMSOM) through the Physician Scientist Program. He served his internal medicine internship at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital, completed a fellowship in viral oncology at the UM/Sylvester Cancer Center, completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (BPEI), and then completed fellowships in clinical glaucoma and glaucoma research at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Dr Lee has written or co-written over 100 book chapters, monographs, and journal articles on subjects relating to glaucoma pathophysiology, treatment clinical outcomes, genetics, proteomics, and cellular and molecular biology.  Dr Lee’s major research interests include neovascular and pseudoexfoliation glaucoma, ocular imaging, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of glaucoma, population glaucoma vision screening, and tele-ophthalmology. Dr. Lee’s research has been funded by the National Eye Institute and multiple foundations.

One of Dr. Lee’s main personal interests is community and international service to improve vision and prevent vision loss. He coordinates and supervises community vision screenings throughout South Florida with the Department of Community Service (DOCS) at UMMSOM aided by medical students, BPEI residents and fellows, and faculty colleagues. He has been a medical mission volunteer with a number of international eye organizations including Orbis and LifeLine Express (China). In times of natural disaster, Dr. Lee has helped displaced Japanese after the Great Tohoku Earthquake tsunami by bringing the BPEI Vision Van to be a temporary eye clinic in areas without ophthalmic facilities and ran the UMMSOM tent hospital eye services and established an eye clinic in Port Au Prince after the Haiti Earthquake in association with the Haitian Society of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and BPEI. Through his Portable Ophthalmologist Project (POP), Dr. Lee has been creating and testing portable ophthalmic instruments for eye screening on a population level.  His current Darwin Eye Project (DEP) in Ecuador, with a goal of screening an entire island for eye pathology and meeting all refractive needs in association with a local NGO and the Ecuadorian Society of Ophthalmology, is now being developed for other Latin American countries for population vision screening and tele-ophthalmology based eye care using portable eye technology in association with national eye societies.