Dr. James C. Lai trained at the renowned Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, which has been the foremost leader in ophthalmology programs for most of the history of ophthalmology. Many of the chairman at major departments across the country and leaders in ophthalmology have trained at Wilmer. Dr. Lai himself was a leader at Wilmer, being Chief Resident for the program. Dr. Lai did his retinal fellowship training at the Duke Eye Center, where modern vitreoretinal surgical techniques were pioneered, and published significant research from his work there at Duke.
Currently, Dr. Lai is the Principal Investigator (PI) for CEDAR (Allergan) at HMRI, and serves as a sub-PI for all other clinical trials at HMRI.