Tongalp H. Tezel, MD

Our Providers

Academic Appointments

  • Chang Family Professor of Ophthalmology

Current Administrative Positions

  • Director, Retina Division
  • Director, Vitreoretinal Fellowship Program
Tongalp H. Tezel, MD

Tongalp H. Tezel, MD leads the retina service at the Department of Ophthalmology. Dr. Tezel is an internationally known clinician-scientist and a leader in the management of vitreoretinal diseases. He was previously Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and the Kentucky Lions Endowed Chair in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Tezel received his medical degree and initial ophthalmology training in Turkey and Denmark before completing his ophthalmology residency at Washington University School of Medicine. He later trained under Dr. Stanley Chang and received his fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery here at Columbia University.

Dr. Tezel's research laboratory focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms of various retinal diseases. His main research interests include retinal cell transplantation, angiogenesis, pharmacologic vitreolysis, tissue engineering and drug development for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration, and has developed several techniques used for tissue engineering and retinal cell replacement therapies.

Board Certifications

  • Ophthalmology

Areas of Expertise

  • Detached Retina Repair
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Macular Hole
  • Retina and Vitreous Surgery
  • Retinal Detachment
  • Retinal Disorders
  • Retinal Vascular Disorders
  • Retinitis pigmentosa

Education and Training

  • Internship: 1999 St Mary's Health Center
  • Residency: 2002 Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Fellowship: 2003 Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons


  • CUIMC/Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute

    635 West 165th Street
    New York, NY 10032
    For new and current patient appointments, call:
    (212) 305-9535
  • ColumbiaDoctors - Third Avenue

    880 Third Avenue
    F 2 2/F
    New York, NY 10022
    For new and current patient appointments, call:
    (212) 305-9535

Insurance Programs

Please contact the provider's office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

  • AETNA [Aetna Signature Administrators, EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, NYP Employee Plan, NY Signature, POS, PPO, Student Health]
  • CIGNA [EPO, Great West (National), HMO, POS, PPO]
  • Emblem/GHI [Medicare Managed Care, PPO]
  • Emblem/HIP [ConnectiCare, EPO, Essential Plan, HMO, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO, Select Care (Exchange), Vytra]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [EPO, HMO, PPO]
  • Local 1199 [Local 1199]
  • MagnaCare (National) [MagnaCare]
  • Medicare [Railroad, Traditional Medicare]
  • Multiplan [Multiplan]
  • Oxford Health Plans [Freedom, Liberty]
  • Quality Health Management [Quality Health Management]
  • RiverSpring [Special Needs]
  • UnitedHealthcare [Compass (Exchange), Empire Plan, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO]

This provider accepts new patients

Appointment Phone Number: (212) 305-9535

Honors and Awards

  • 2012:  American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Achievement Award
  • 2011:  Alpha Omega Alpha Faculty Membership
  • 2007- Present:  Listed, Best Doctors in America
  • 2006: Patrick O’Connor Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • 2005: The American Society of Retina Specialists’ Honor Award
  • 2004: RPB Career Development Award
  • 2004: Patrick O’Connor Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • 2004: NEI Clinician-Scientist Development Award
  • 2002: Ronald Michels Fellowship Award
  • 2000: Rosenbaum Research Award