The University of Virginia School of Medicine has named Albert S. Jun, MD, PhD, a leader in revolutionizing how corneal transplants are performed, to chair its Department of Ophthalmology. He will begin May 6, 2024.
Jun comes to UVA from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he has served as chief of the Division of Cornea, Cataract, and External Diseases in the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute since 2015.
“Dr. Jun’s career as an ophthalmologist has expertly blended our missions of patient care, research and education,” said Melina R. Kibbe, MD, dean of the UVA School of Medicine and chief health affairs officer for UVA Health. “When combined with his leadership experience at the Wilmer Eye Institute, that makes Dr. Jun an ideal chair for our Department of Ophthalmology.”
Jun has played a significant role in the development of partial thickness corneal transplants – which have become the standard approach over the past 20 years – and performs eye surgeries for patients from across the country. Jun has co-authored more than 100 research papers and his research spans from basic science breakthroughs to clinical trials to founding innovative biomedical start-up companies.
Jun’s experience as an educator at Johns Hopkins includes six years as director of medical student education in ophthalmology and five years as the Wilmer Eye Institute’s vice chair for education. He has also served as a mentor for more than 50 medical students, residents and faculty members.
During his tenure as chief of the Division of Cornea, Cataract, and External Diseases, he has overseen a renovation of the division’s patient-care areas while hiring nine new faculty members to expand research and improve access for patients.
“Dr. Jun is a dynamic, nationally renowned physician-scientist, who is committed to discovery and innovation,” Kibbe said. “As we look to build on the strengths of our ophthalmology team, Dr. Jun has the knowledge and vision to guide the department to a bright future.”
Jun earned his medical degree and his PhD in genetics and molecular biology from Emory University. He then completed an internship in internal medicine and a residency in ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins. Following his residency, he went on to complete a fellowship in cornea and external disease at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, a fellowship in corneal gene therapy at the Imperial College School of Medicine in London and a clinician-scientist fellowship at Johns Hopkins.
Jun is excited to join UVA and help the Department of Ophthalmology reach even greater heights in the years ahead.
“I believe the commitment to excellence in all aspects of academic medicine held by UVA, particularly as outlined in the 10-year strategic plan, forms an ideal foundation on which to build a nationally renowned and impactful ophthalmology program,” Jun said. “My hope is to be a leader with broad and deep experience, energy, vision and integrity to drive the department toward a dynamic and successful future.”
Jun will succeed Peter A. Netland, MD, PhD, who has served as chair since 2009.
“Dr. Netland has laid the groundwork for the Department of Ophthalmology to be a premier destination for world-class eye care,” Kibbe said. “Everyone at the School of Medicine is grateful for his dedication and stewardship of the Department of Ophthalmology over the past 15 years.”