WuDunn chosen as new chair of ophthalmology

Image: Darrell WuDunn, MD, PhD, will become the new chair of ophthalmology at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville.
Darrell WuDunn, MD, PhD, will become the new chair of ophthalmology at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville.

Darrell WuDunn, MD, PhD, will become the new chair of ophthalmology at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville. He comes from Indiana University, where he served as a professor of ophthalmology and director of the ophthalmology residency program. His first day at UF Health is Oct. 1, 2018.  

WuDunn brings more than 20 years of glaucoma-focused clinical experience. From 1995 until this year, he held appointments in Indianapolis at IU Health University Hospital, Riley Hospital for Children, Eskenazi Health and the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Over the past seven years, he also saw patients at Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute.

At Indiana University, WuDunn oversaw a residency program that has grown significantly over the past decade. With 18 residents a year, it stands as one of the largest ophthalmology residency programs in the country. During his tenure there, WuDunn trained more than 130 residents and 20 fellows in the care of glaucoma and related diseases.

He now looks forward to leading UF COMJ’s department of ophthalmology.

“I am excited about joining the UF Health family. My vision for this department is to innovate, cultivate new ideas and methods and apply them to improve eye care,” WuDunn said. “We want to expand the department in a financially responsible manner. The small size of the faculty presents a challenge, yet a great opportunity for much growth.” 

WuDunn earned his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and a PhD in molecular and cellular virology, also from the University of Chicago. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles County Medical Center and the Doheny Eye Institute. He then completed a fellowship in glaucoma at the University of Miami and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in South Florida.

His research covers both the clinical and basic science of ophthalmology, especially relating to glaucoma, with a recent move toward translational research. He has extensive experience in industry-sponsored clinical trials and has had dozens of journal articles published on glaucoma surgery outcomes.

WuDunn is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, for which he served eight years as the glaucoma section editor of its multifaceted Ophthalmic News and Education Network. He also serves on the Scientific Grants Review Committee for the BrightFocus Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports research and provides public education on brain and eye diseases. It’s one of the largest funding programs devoted to glaucoma research. 

“We are pleased to have Dr. WuDunn join our campus as the new ophthalmology chair,” said Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA, dean of UF COMJ and CEO of UF Health Jacksonville. “We are looking to grow this department and believe he is the right person to guide those efforts. I want to thank Dr. Sandeep Grover for leading the department during this transitional phase.”  

WuDunn’s wife also coming to UF Health

WuDunn’s wife, Susanne Ragg, MD, PhD, is also coming to the UF Health Jacksonville campus as director of cancer integration, a newly created position. Ragg, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, will work with Pradeep Kadambi, MD, MBA, senior associate dean for clinical affairs, to better integrate cancer programs and improve the experience of patients seeking cancer care on campus. Like WuDunn, Ragg was an Indiana University faculty member whose first day at UF Health is Oct. 1.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Ragg,” Haley said. “Her position will be critical as we look to enhance the patient experience and further our vision of becoming the region’s most valued health care asset.”