Srinivas Kamalakara RAO (India)

Dr. Srinivas Kamalakara Rao is currently director of the Darshan Eye Clinic and Surgical Center in Chennai, India. He holds the post of visiting professor at Sri Ramachandra Medical University in Chennai and visiting consultant at the Madras Medical Mission Hospital, Chennai; Sankara Eye Hospital, Chennai; and Sunetra Family Care Center, Kolkata. He is also an honorary associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, Chinese University of Hong Kong; visiting professor, Shantou Medical University, China; and professor at the Muthusamy Virtual University of Post Graduate Medicine.

After receiving his MBBS from Madras University in 1989, he completed his diploma in ophthalmology at the Dr. MGR Medical University in 1991, his national boards in 2002 and passed the fellowship of the Royal College of Edinburgh in 2002. He was awarded 4 gold medals for his performance on his MBBS exams and the Muthusamy Gold Medal for best performance on the FRCS exam. Dr. Rao is an outstanding clinician who spent 15 years at the best center for ophthalmic medicine in India: Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai. He was senior consultant in the cornea service and was responsible for many firsts in the treatment of blinding corneal disorders in India. He introduced conjunctival autografts for pterygium surgery and limbal stem cell auto- and allografts for the treatment of limbal stem cell deficiencies. He also pioneered the use of osteo-odonto keratoprosthesis for the treatment of end-stage corneal blindness and performed the first such procedure in India in 2003, with the help of Prof. Falcinelli. Since then, he performed the procedure for the first time in Hong Kong and China along with Prof. Dennis Lam. After his return to India in 2006, he helped popularize and disseminate the concept of lamellar corneal transplants for anterior and posterior corneal pathologies.

He is currently conducting research projects involving the cultivation of cheek mucosal epithelial cells in a thermomodulated gel and endothelial cell cultures. He has over 175 peer-reviewed publications, mostly in the field of corneal diseases. He is a sought after speaker and teacher and has attended more than 150 national and 40 international meetings as faculty, in which he has presented more than 325 lectures.

Currently, Dr. Rao is section editor for cornea in Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, reviewer for 10 international journals and has authored chapters in 19 books on cornea and external diseases. He was awarded the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Prevention of Blindness Award in 2006, the IMA Oration in 2006, the Rustom Ranji Gold Medal and Oration by the Andhra Pradesh Ophthalmic Society in 2008, the IAOH Oration in 2009, the APAO Special Achievement Award in 2011 and the Madan Gopal Oration from the Vidharba Ophthalmic Society in 2011.