Ophthalmic Advisory Board

Amr Kouchouk

Amr Kouchouk, M.D. was born in Cairo, Egypt and moved to the US at a young age. He grew up in McLean, Virgnia – a suburb of Washington D.C. He attended McLean High School where he played soccer, was captain of the track team, and went on to run Division I Track at the University of Virginia.

He graduated “magna cum laude” with a degree in Economics. He went on to medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine – MCV (Richmond, VA), and completed his internship at Christiana Care Hospital (Newark, DE). He completed his ophthalmology residency at George Washington University (Washington, DC) – he was chosen as Chief Resident, and had the distinction of performing the highest number of cataract surgeries by any resident in the program’s history. He then went on to complete an elective 1-year Cornea/Refractive Surgery Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) with Dr. Deepinder Dhaliwal, MD LAc – who is widely regarded as one of the top cornea/refractive surgeons. He holds the distinction as being the only fellow at the University of Pittsburgh to become certified in Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) surgery – one of the newest refractive surgeries available, and was again amongst the highest in total number of surgeries performed in the program’s history, a testament to his surgical skills. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), and the International Society of Refractive Surgery (ISRS).

Dr. Kouchouk enjoys providing a variety of surgical services including cataract surgery (including laser-assisted cataract surgery with the Catalys femotsecond laser) with the full spectrum of lens implants (e.g. monofocal, Toric, Tecnis® multifocal, Restor multifocal, Crystalens and Trulign®), refractive surgery (e.g. all-laser PRK/LASIK using the AMO Intralase and Star S4 IR Excimer Laser, Implantable Collamer Lens – ICL), the full spectrum of corneal transplantation (e.g. PKP/DALK, DSAEK), collagen crosslinking, Intacs, ocular surface surgeries (e.g. pterygium, conjunctival tumors), iStent, anterior chamber reconstruction, and IOL repositioning (e.g. iris-fixated and glued-IOLs). In addition to providing excellent surgical care – Dr. Kouchouk is an expert at treating dry eye disease and blepharitis. He has established a Dry Eye Center of Excellence, where he provides the latest dry eye treatments available (Lipiflow, MiBo Theromoflo).

He has published multiple manuscripts in peer-reviewed medical journals, and has given podium talks of his research at national meetings. He is enthusiastic about education, and will continue to be involved with resident education, research, and provide CE lectures for colleagues.

Dr. Kouchouk is passionate about providing the best possible care for his Orange County patients, personable and treats patients the same way he would treat his own family. He is fluent in Arabic, and conversational in Spanish. In his free time – he enjoys playing soccer, tennis, golf, and traveling.

John Aljian

Dr. John Aljian is a Fellowship-trained, Board-Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in Cataract/New Technology Intraocular Lens Surgery, Cornea Transplantation, Severe Eye Trauma Surgery, and Laser Surgery. He is Chief of the Eye Trauma Service of The NY Eye & Ear Infirmary which serves the NY Metro Area. He is a dedicated medical educator and instructs Resident Physicians in cataract, corneal, eye trauma, and laser surgery. He has received numerous awards for his surgical teaching including the prestigious John Herman, MD Award. Dr. Aljian holds an academic appointment as Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the New York Medical College. Dr. Aljian serves on the Board of the New York Society for Clinical Ophthalmology, and is an active fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.

Laura Periman

Doc With Heart” who goes the extra mile to bring top line clinical science and services to her patients. Care is delivered with equal measures passion and compassion. Eyes are part of a whole person.

Laura Periman, MD is a board-certified ophthalmologist, fellowship-trained cornea and refractive surgeon and Ocular Surface Disease Expert. She knew she wanted to be a doctor since the age of 12 and always seen eyes as the key defining feature of every person. Her interests in molecular biology began with winning the Terry Spies Memorial Scholarship at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center as an undergraduate at Willamette University in Salem, OR.

Her interests in immunopathophysiology took root during her work in Research and Development at Immunex Corporation in the Molecular Biology Department prior to attending medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. During medical school, she received the Rex and Arlene Garrison Oncology Fellowship, the Western Medical Student Research Committee Award for Excellence and was elected to the honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha. Upon graduation with honors, she also received the Georgianna Kirby Award for outstanding patient dedication and compassion.

Dr Periman completed her Ophthalmology Residency as well as Cornea/Refractive Fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. She has nine peer reviewed publications and has written extensively on the topic of Ocular Surface Disease. Her unique and passionate perspective on OSD stems from her work in immunopathophysiology. She is an innovator and enthusiastic speaker who loves bridging the gap between basic science, clinical practice and patient compassion. Whether delivering top line care in the sacred 1:1 patient encounter or expanding awareness on the world wide impacts of Dry Eye Disease, Dr Periman thrives on contributing to the greater good.

As Director of Dry Eye Services and Clinical Research in Seattle, WA she combines her clinical care passion, scientific drive and innovative creativity to provide first class Ocular Surface Disease management.

Melanie Bennett-Sims

A native of Albany, New York, Dr. Bennett-Sims completed her medical training at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, an internship at Shands Hospital in Florida and residency at the Georgetown University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center.

She joined us from the Wilmer Institute at Johns Hopkins University where she completed subspecialty training in corneal diseases. She is Board Certified with the American Board of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.

Her professional interests are corneal diseases, corneal transplants, cataract surgery, refractive surgery, glaucoma and ocular manifestations of systemic diseases.

She lives in Stone Mountain with her husband, Marcus Sims, M.D., an interventional cardiologist, and sons Marcus, Jr. and Myles. Dr. Bennett-Sims’ hobbies include drawing, quilting, running, skiing and sailing.

Michelle Rhee

Dr. Rhee evaluates and treats individuals with diseases of the cornea. She is a clinical and surgical instructor for the Mount Sinai residency program in ophthalmology and has surgical expertise in refractive procedures such as LASIK and PRK, corneal, and cataract surgery. Dr. Rhee is the co-director of Refractive Surgery Services at Mount Sinai.

Dr. Rhee has published research on the use of antibiotic therapy for ocular infections and corneal disease in top journals, including Cornea and the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Rhee serves as associate director of Ophthalmology for Mount Sinai at the Elmhurst Hospital Center. She is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and is the medical director of the Eye Bank for Sight Restoration of New York. In addition, Dr. Rhee is the scientific program chair and accreditation board co-vice chair for the Eye Bank Association of America. She is the current president of the CLAO, The Eye and Contact Lens Association. Dr. Rhee is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Rhee completed subspecialty training in diseases of the cornea and refractive surgery at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary following a residency in ophthalmology at the Eye and Ear Institute of Pittsburgh. Dr. Rhee earned her M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine where she was part of the Humanities and Medicine Program which offered early acceptance to a selected group of undergraduates. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University. Before pursuing a career in medicine, Dr. Rhee studied piano, cello, and music composition at the Juilliard School in New York City.

Milap Mehta

Dr. Milap Mehta is a board-certified ophthalmologist with extensive sub-specialty training in oculoplastic surgery and facial plastic surgery. He specializes in eyelid lifts including blepharoplasty and ptosis repair to improve vision, cosmetic eyelid surgery including removal of the lower eyelid bags, eyebrow or forehead lifts, and mid-face or cheek- lifts. He has extensive training in taking care of tumors, both benign and malignant, on the eyelids, eyes, face and orbit. Dr. Milap Mehta also specializes in facial rejuvenation which includes non-surgical options such as Botox (Neurotoxins), Dermal Fillers, Chemical Peels, Facials, and Laser treatments. Dr. Milap Mehta has a clinical interests in dry eyes, tearing (epiphora) and tear-duct blockages and has a patent on a new tear-duct stenting system. He is an associate professor of Surgery and Ophthalmology at the University of Chicago, clinical instructor at Rush University, and clinical instructor at Rosalind Franklin University.

Pedram Hamrah

Dr. Pedram Hamrah is a clinician/scientist who has focused his research activities on antigen-presenting cells. Dr. Hamrah trained in Ocular and Transplantation Immunology at Schepens Eye Research Institute at Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary. There, he participated in research studies that resulted in findings that refuted a previous long-standing belief that the cornea is immune privileged due to the absence of bone marrow-derived cells and due to antigenic sequestration and subsequently resulted in a paradigm shift in corneal immunology.

Dr. Hamrah’s research has been supported by the NIH K12 Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program, a K08 individual award, an individual R01 from the National Eye Institute, a Career Development grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, and his appointment as the inaugural Henry Allen Cornea Scholar.

He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles, over 30 reviews, and book chapters, and has given more than 60 lectures and presentations worldwide. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Claes Dohlman Society Award, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Excellence in Research Scholarship Award, and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology/Research to Prevent Blindness Resident and Fellow Research Award, the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and was most recently awarded Silver Fellow at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Dr. Hamrah currently serves as the Section Editor for Clinical Science and Clinical Practice of the journal The Ocular Surface, Cornea Section Editor of the journal Eye, Assistant Editor of the journal Ocular Immunology and Inflammation, and Ophthalmology Associate Editor for BMC Ophthalmology. He serves on numerous additional editorial boards and is a peer reviewer for over 45 ophthalmology, immunology, and transplantation journals. He is an Instructor at the American Academy of Ophthalmology and recently served as Chair of the ARVO Members-in-Training Committee.

Renee Bovelle

Dr. Renee Bovelle, a board-certified ophthalmologist, has performed thousands of LASIK, laser, ophthalmic, cataract and BOTOX® procedures. Her commitment to excellence in ophthalmic training and surgical technique, coupled with her expertise with state-of-the-art technology, has enabled Dr. Bovelle to earn her patients’ confidence and trust. Dr. Bovelle offers both non-surgical and surgical treatments to enhance and rejuvenate her patients. Dr. Bovelle’s practice emphasizes disease prevention, overall wellness, and patient education. Dr. Bovelle is committed to treating all of her patients with compassion and caring. She offers each patient an individualized treatment plan, and she is dedicated to helping patients make informed decisions about medical, surgical, and aesthetic treatments.

Throughout her career, Dr. Bovelle has distinguished herself in the field of ophthalmology. She served as assistant professor of Ophthalmology at Louisiana State University, and has worked at the National Institutes of Health. Her work in ophthalmology includes clinical research on the latest devices used in modern refractive surgery. Dr. Bovelle’s work has been published in medical textbooks and ophthalmology journals in the United States and internationally. She lectures locally and across the country. Dr. Bovelle donates her time to caring for the poor both locally and internationally by participating in health fairs and medical mission trips. She has volunteered in Prince George’s County, Washington DC, Louisiana, Jamaica, Africa and India.

Dr. Bovelle earned her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and her medical degree from Drew-UCLA School of Medicine. She completed her internship at a Johns Hopkins-affiliated hospital and her residency in ophthalmology at Yale University, where she served as chief resident. Following her residency, Dr. Bovelle completed a Cornea and Refractive Surgery fellowship at the Louisiana State University Eye Center under the direction of Dr. Herbert Kaufman, one of the world’s leading corneal and refractive surgeons. She continues to augment her education with additional training in the disciplines of oculo-plastics and aesthetics. Dr Bovelle has been performing surgery since 1993.

Dr. Bovelle is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Her professional affiliations include the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and the Ocular Nutrition Society. Her practice is located in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, where she resides.

Wendy Lee

Dr. Lee is a Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Dermatology, Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Orbit and Oncology, at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, in Miami, Florida.

Dr. Lee was born and raised in northern California by her mother, a retired nurse, and her father, a retired high school teacher, alongside two older sisters and two younger brothers. She received my undergraduate degree in biological sciences at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She then moved to Washington, DC, to complete my Master of Science in Physiology from Georgetown University.

William Trattler

William B. Trattler, MD is a refractive, corneal and cataract eye surgeon at the Center For Excellence In Eye Care, who lectures extensively across the US on improving visual outcomes with various eye surgeries and procedures. Dr. Trattler focuses on making a positive difference for each of his patients.

Dr. Trattler received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Dartmouth College and his Doctorate of Medicine degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine where he graduated in 1992 with Distinction in Research. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, Scheie Eye Institute and then spent an additional year for subspecialty training in Cornea and Refractive Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. During his Corneal Fellowship, Dr. Trattler performed research on dry eye and oil gland problems of the eye. He is able to apply a variety of techniques to help those individuals with significant dry eye problems.

Dr. Trattler performs a wide variety of cataract and refractive surgeries, including PRK, all-laser LASIK, and no injection, sutureless cataract surgery as well as laser cataract surgery. He has been an investigator for a number of next-generation technologies, including the Tetraflex accommodating intraocular lens, which provides patients with both distance and near vision following cataract surgery. Dr. Trattler is also involved in treating corneal diseases such as keratoconus and post LASIK Ectasia with Corneal Collagen Crosslinking and other procedures. His involvement in the FDA-approval study for CXL led to its approval in 2016. Dr. Trattler has been a leader in Epithelial-On CXL, which he has performed as part of the CXLUSA study since 2010, and he lectures nationally on the topic. In 2012, Dr. Trattler was certified to provide femtosecond laser cataract surgery by the Lensar system at the Medical Arts Surgery Center in Baptist Hospital.

Dr. Trattler has been invited to lecture across the U.S. on various topics such as: Optimizing visual results with both cataract and laser vision correction, therapeutic options for patients with dry eye and blepharitis, femtosecond laser cataract surgery, corneal collagen crosslinking for keratoconus and post LASIK ectasia and the latest treatments in ocular allergy and infections. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Trattler is on the Volunteer Faculty at the Florida International University Wertheim College of Medicine, as well as the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Dr. Trattler is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has been an author of many articles and abstracts, including Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple, a textbook he helped co-author, which is used by medical, nursing and veterinary students throughout the world. In 2002, Dr. Trattler received the “Outstanding Young Ophthalmologist Leadership Award” from the Florida Society of Ophthalmology (FSO). In 2006, Dr. Trattler was recognized by his peers as one of the top 50 Cataract and Refractive Surgery Opinion Leaders in a survey conducted by the publication Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today. In 2016, he was recognized by the publication Ocular Surgery News as a Premier Surgeon 300 Innovator in Refractive Cataract Surgery. Also in 2016, Dr. Trattler was named by the publication “The Ophthalmologist” as one of the “Top 100 most influential people in the world of ophthalmology.”