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by tony di martino | photo by bill barrett

BRAIN TRUST]

Top thinkers &their work

NAME: Dr. Jay Pepose, medical director, Pepose Vision Institute; founder, Lifelong Vision Foundation; professor of clinical ophthalmology at Washington University School of Medicine. FOCUS: Pioneered laser eye surgery to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, and was the first to introduce LASIK vision correction to the St. Louis region, beginning with clinical trials in 1988. One of the original 10 eye surgeons nationwide to participate in clinical trials of lasers to correct mild to severe degrees of astigmatism and myopia. Also internationally recognized as an authority on cataract and cornea surgery and diseases of the eye.

[q&a]

WHY EYES? Ophthalmology is one of the few areas in medicine where we can actually cure people and make a dramatic impact in their quality of life. LIFE LESSONS: Patients aren’t impressed that my colleagues and I perform intricate surgeries that require tremendous skill and years of study. What means the most to them is that we listen to them and answer their questions, and we always follow up to see how they’re doing. It’s the personal touch that counts. GOAL: When I was starting out, cataract surgery was an in-patient procedure with a five-day hospital stay. Now it takes 20 minutes in a doctor’s office. We’ve made amazing progress in such a short time, but there’s so much more to be done. For example, the accuracy of LASIK surgery is extremely high, and I’d like to see us reach that point with cataract surgery. REWARD: I once did a lens transplant on a week-old infant who was blind in both eyes. The baby wouldn’t look at her mother and wouldn’t nurse. But the minute we took the patch off after surgery, her eyes were riveted to her mom’s face, and she immediately began to thrive. I saw her a few weeks ago. She recently graduated from college and wants to be a vet. Knowing that I helped her along the way is immensely gratifying.

RESEARCH UPDATE: Currently participating in studies on macular degeneration, treatment for dry eyes, the newest generation of multifocal lens implants for cataract patients, new treatments for age-related weakening of near vision, and more precise measurement devices for glaucoma. ETC.: Holds two patents; ophthalmic consultant for ABC-TV’s 20/20; associate editor of The American Journal of Ophthalmology; lectures extensively throughout the world, including Australia, England, Israel, Japan and Korea. EDUCATION: Received his medical degree and Ph.D. from UCLA; completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Wilmer Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Completed his subspecialty training in cornea and external diseases at Georgetown University Medical Center. KUDOS: Recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Wilmer Institute at Johns Hopkins. Consistently chosen by peers and patients as one of the best doctors in St. Louis and the nation. His work on laser vision correction has been featured at the Frontiers of Medicine pavilion at Epcot Center. FAMILY: Lives in Town & Country with his wife, Susan Feigenbaum. They have four children, including a set of triplets. 24 |

TOWN&style

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february 6, 2013

Profile for St. Louis Town & Style

Town&Style St. Louis 02.06.13  

[ town talk ] 7 Cover story – JDRF 8 Talk of the Towns 10 On the Page 11 Charlie’s Town 12 The Insider Enterprising Women 14 StoreFront 15 C...

Town&Style St. Louis 02.06.13  

[ town talk ] 7 Cover story – JDRF 8 Talk of the Towns 10 On the Page 11 Charlie’s Town 12 The Insider Enterprising Women 14 StoreFront 15 C...