Timothy W. Olsen, MD

Timothy W. Olsen, MD 

Dr. Olsen’s vision for the department is to ensure the best possible clinical care, educational environment and research environment for a productive and fiscally responsible academic ophthalmology program.

As a member of the Vitreoretinal Surgery & Disease service at Emory Eye Center, his clinical expertise focuses on macular diseases, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and macular surgery.

Dr. Olsen’s research is focused on age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Dr. Olsen and Dr. Xiao Feng developed the Minnesota Grading System (MGS) for AMD, a system that enables a clinical assessment of human eye bank tissue for subsequent testing of disease causing biochemical and molecular pathways.

Collaborative work at the Yerkes Primate Center is investigating an experimental surgical procedure designed to address near end-stage macular disease. He collaborates with engineers at Georgia Tech (David Rosen, PhD and Shreyes Melkote, PhD) through the department of biomedical engineering. To date, pilot phase studies are encouraging.

Dr. Olsen also collaborates with numerous drug delivery experts. He and co-workers have described novel methods of drug delivery such as the suprachoroidal route drug delivery using a small microcannulae.  Novel studies on the use of aerosolized drug delivery to control PVR (proliferative vitreoretinopathy, or scar tissue formation) also represent an ongoing pre-clinical area of funded study.

His lab is designed to replicate the current modern vitreoretinal surgical arena.  As principal investigator, he has conducted over 26 independent study projects, authored or co-authored over 120 manuscripts and received grants currently just over $6.3 million.

National Recognition

Dr. Olsen holds leadership positions in the American Ophthalmologic Society (AOS), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and serves as the chair of the Preferred Practice Patterns (PPP) of AAO. He has been selected to serve on the Board of Directors for The Emory Clinic, Board of Trustees for the Center for the Visually Impaired and is an active member of the Macula and Retina Society as well as the Society of Heed Fellows.

He serves as an executive editor for the American Journal of Ophthalmology; on the editorial board of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS); RETINA, the Journal of Retinal and Vitreous Diseases; the Yonsei Medical Journal; and Ocular Surgery News (OSN), and he is a reviewer for numerous journals.

Recent awards include:

2014 "For the Love of Sight" Visionary Award, FFB, Washington DC
2013 Emory Millipub Club (article with > 1000 citations)
2013 American Academy of Ophthalmology Secretariat Award
2012 ARVO Gold Fellow
2011 Becker's ASC Review, "135 Leading Ophthalmologists in United States"
2011,12,13,14 Atlanta Magazine, "Top Doctors"
2011 American Academy of Ophthalmology Senior Achievement Award
2010 Young Investigator Award (aka Rosenthal Award), Macula Society
2010 ARVO Silver Fellow

Areas of Clinical Interest

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Complex retinal detachment surgery
  • Diseases and surgery of the macula