George J. Florakis, MD

Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology
Director, Cornea Clinic

George J. Florakis, M.D. is currently a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the Columbia University Medical Center and director of the Cornea Clinic of the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute in New York. His areas of expertise are in Cornea and External Eye diseases including: corneal transplants, endothelial keratoplasty, corneal dystrophies and degenerations, ectasias (keratoconus), infectious diseases such as herpetic (viral) and bacterial keratitis, and anterior segment trauma and reconstruction.

A graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University in New York, Dr. Florakis attended medical school at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his residency training at the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. His fellowship in Corneal and External Eye Diseases was conducted with Dr. Jay Krachmer at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Florakis is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a member of the national Eye Bank Association of America, a long time member of the medical advisory board of the Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration in New York, the New York Ophthalmological Society, New York State Medical Society and the Northeast Cornea Society, as well as many other professional organizations. Dr. Florakis is the author and editor of several publications, including book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Florakis enjoys actively teaching medical students, residents, and fellows at Columbia University. He brings over twenty five years of experience to the department. He has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally.

Presently, Dr. Florakis is reviewing his approximately 3,000 corneal transplants as well as newer procedures such as DSAEK (Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty), DMEK (Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty), and DALK (Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty). He also participates in clinical research projects such as collagen crosslinking for the treatment of keratoconus.

Dr. Florakis has been instrumental in organizing and participating in the cornea clinic lectures series. He previously organized the Cornea and Refractive Section of The Greater New York Clinical Lecture Series and has directed the cornea clinic for over ten years. He was recently one of the authors of the Basic and Clinical Science Course in the Cornea and External Eye Disease Section of the American Academy of Ophthalmology whose target audience is both national as well as international ophthalmologists and ophthalmologists in training.

The are numerous medical students, residents, fellows and observers both domestic and international who have been positively influenced by Dr. Florakis’ contribution to their education whether it was through lectures, surgeries or even how to approach and evaluate a patient.

Board Certification

  • Ophthalmology 1989

Areas of Expertise

  • Corneal Transplants
  • Endothelial Keratoplasty
  • Corneal Dystrophies
  • Keratoconus
  • Anterior Segment Reconstruction

Education and Training

  • 1979: Columbia College B.A.
  • 1983: Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons M.D.
  • 1987: Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute - Ophthalmology Residency
  • 1988: University of Iowa - Cornea and External Eye Disease Fellowship

Academic Honors

Medical School

  • Alvin Behrens Award "Outstanding Graduate" entering Ophthalmology
  • Fourth Year Research Elective
  • Fellowship Award
  • Rudin Foundation Scholar
  • Hellenic Medical Society of N.Y. Scholarship
  • Philip Knapp Memorial Teaching Award - 1995
  • Edward S. Harkness Ophthalmology Resident Appreciation Award - 1997
  • Edward S. Harkness Nurses First Annual “Physician of the Year” – 2000
  • Election to New York Ophthalmological Society
  • Election to Best Doctors in America (multiple years) including Castle Connelly
  • Docs on Top: Westchester and Greenwich’s Leading Physicians (multiple years)
  • Awarded New York City Council Proclamation – 2007
  • New York Times “Super Docs” 2008 - 2014
  • Foundation Fighting Blindness Man of Vision Award - 2009
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award – 2010
  • Williford Distinguished Visiting Professor – Hamilton Eye Institute 2010
  • Tom Casey Memorial Lecture – Joint Irish and UKISCRS – 2012
  • Visiting Professor – Yale University Department of Ophthalmology 2014




Harkness Eye Institute
635 West 165th Street, Suite 303
New York, NY 10032

Fax: 212-781-1188


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