The Basic Science Course

Basic Science Course in Ophthalmology - Class of 2017

Since 1941, the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at the Columbia University Department of Ophthalmology has offered an ophthalmology basic science course. While the focus of the course is resident training, it has also proven useful for the visual sciences community as a whole. Coursework examines the fundamentals of vision and emphasizes how these basic principles relate to patient care.

The curriculum is developed by a committee of active scientists, practicing clinicians and the chief academic resident, and is updated annually to include the most recent scientific advances as well as any controversial developments in the field. It is also continuously revised in response to feedback from previous course evaluations. An international faculty of more than 80 clinicians and scientists is chosen based on expertise, clarity of presentation, and visual aids. In addition to over one hundred hours of lecture, the course includes a two-day orbital dissection, ocular anatomy and histology laboratories, an oculoplastics workshop for fillers and facial rejuvenation, two days of instruction in retinoscopy and refraction, a hands-on imaging workshop including ultrasound, Pentacam and keratography, and a Phaco wet-lab.

The background reading text for the course is The Basic and Clinical Science Course from The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, San Francisco, CA.

Click here to view the 2018 BSCO Program Video, produced by G. Chang (2017).


  Celebrating More than 75 Years of Basic Science 


2019 Basic Science Course Information

Course Dates: January 7 - February 1, 2019


*Discounts are available for groups of 6 or more students.



Please contact for full details and additional information.

For information on Housing, please click here


Past year program document (for reference ONLY)

Click here to download the BSCO 2018 Brochure and Registration Form.


Click here to download the BSCO 2018 Program Schedule at a Glance.

2018 Weekly Schedules by Day: 

International participants should apply for a visa as soon as possible. Columbia University and Columbia University Medical Center do not provide assistance in obtaining visas for this program. However, applicants are encouraged to contact the United States embassy to obtain an appropriate visa.  After you have registered and paid for the course, we will be happy to provide a personalized letter of invitation upon request as a supporting document.  Please send an email to with your request.

2018 Basic Science Course Faculty

From Columbia University Medical Center:

Visiting Lecturers:

Gary J. Lelli, Jr., MD: Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Weill Cornell Medical College, NY

Suzanna Airiani, MD: Clinical Assistant Professor, NYU Langone Health Center

Graham Holder, PhD:  Director of Department of Electrophysiology and Consultant, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London; Honorary Professor, Institute of Ophthalmology; Honorary Professor, University of Sydney Medical School

Alan C. Bird, MD:  Emeritus Professor at London University and Honorary Consultant

Jasmine H. Francis, MD:  Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmic Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

David L. Guyton, MD:  Zanvyl Krieger Professor of Pediatric Ophthalmology, Professor of Ophthalmology, Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus, The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Kristina Irsch, PhD: Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Anthony T. Moore, BMBCH: Professor of Ophthalmology, UCSF School of Medicine

Irene Maumenee, MD:  Research Professor of Ophthalmology, Pediatric & Adult Strabismus Service, Director, Ocular Genetics Laboratory, Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago

Gennifer J. Greebel, MD:  Assistant Attending, Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute

R.V. Paul Chan, MD:  Professor and Vice Chair, Director, Pediatric Retina and ROP Service, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

Grace Sun, MD:  Director of the Ophthalmology Clinical Practice at Weill Cornell Eye - Lower Manhattan; Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College; Program Director for the Ophthalmology Residency at Weill Cornell Medical College

John Danias, MD, PhD:  Professor of Ophthalmology and Cell Biology, Co-Director of the Glaucoma Service, Department of Ophthalmology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Rachel Kuchtey, MD, PhD:  Associate Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Janet B. Serle, MD:  Professor of Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY

Elias Traboulsi, MD:  Chairman of the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology, Director of the Center for Genetic Eye Diseases, Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute

Joseph L. Demer, MD, PhD:  Leonard Apt Professor of Pediatric Ophthalmology, Chief, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Division, Director, Ocular Motility Laboratory, Jules Stein Eye Institute

Ralph C. Eagle, Jr, MD:  Director, Pathology Department; Director, Continuing Medical Education at Wills Eye Hospital; Professor of Ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA.

Ronald Gentile, MD:  Co-Director, Ocular Trauma Service, Department of Ophthalmology, The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary

Douglas R. Lazzaro, MD:  Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology; Richard C. Troutman, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Microsurgery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Christopher E. Starr, MD:  Director of Ophthalmic Education. Director of the Fellowship Program in Cornea, Cataract & Laser Vision Correction Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center; Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Weill Cornell Medical College, NY

John Aljian, MD:  Chief of the Eye Trauma Service, NY Eye & Ear Infirmary; Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, New York Medical College

Robert M. Schwarcz, MD:  Associate Professor and Director of Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Associate Professor, Montefiore Medical Center, NY

Scott E. Brodie, MD, PhD:  Professor of Ophthalmology, Director Clinical Electrophysiology Laboratory. Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Douglas Jabs, MD, MBA: Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Dan Z. Reinstein, MD:  Medical Director, London Vision Clinic; Professor of Ophthalmology, Columbia University Medical Center.

Gaetano R. Barile, MD: Director of Ophthalmology Research, MEETH Ophthalmology; Professor of Ophthalmology, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine

Irene A. Barbazetto, MD:  Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants; Clinical Instructor, Department of Ophthalmology, NYU Langone Medical Center

Michael Engelbert, MD, PhD:  Attending Physician and Research Assistant Professor, NYU School of Medicine, Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York, P.C.

Andrew G. Lee, MD:  The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX; Professor of Ophthalmology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University

Hillary Beaver, MD:  Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Institute for Academic Medicine; Associate Clinical Member, Houston Methodist Research Institute

Lawrence A. Yannuzzi, MD:  founder of VRMNY, Vice–Chairman and Director of the LuEsther T. Mertz Retinal Research Center, Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat

James Hurley, PhD: Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley

Graham Quinn, MD: Professor of Ophthalmology at University of Pennsylvania; Director of Research and Attending Surgeonin the Division of Pediatric Ophthlamology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Steven Mansberger, MD, MPH: Vice-Chair, Director of Glaucoma Services, Deavers Eye Institute; Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University

Ann-Marie Lobo, MD: Assistant Professor of Ophthlamology, Co-Director, Uveitis Service, Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kapil Bhart, Ph,D: Stadtman Investigator, Uniton Ocular stemCells & translational Reseach, NEI.