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Dr. James C. Lai

Dr. Lai earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with Summa Cum Laude honors. He received his M.D. from the University of Michigan where he graduated at the top of his class with Alpha Omega Alpha distinction. During medical school, he conducted research for a year at the National Institutes of Health through the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institutes Research Fellowship Program and was awarded the Dean’s Award for Research Excellence.

Dr. Lai completed his ophthalmology residency at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions where he also was chosen to serve as Chief Resident. He completed his Vitreoretinal fellowship at the nation’s top retinal program, Duke University Eye Center. There, he was selected by the Duke residents as the Teaching Fellow of the Year. In addition, Dr. Lai was awarded the Heed Fellowship, and designated as the top Heed Fellow in the country. During his fellowship, he also received the Knapp Ophthalmic Foundation Award. He was also chosen to receive the most prestigious honor given to a retinal fellow, the Ronald G. Michels Foundation Award. Dr. Lai then returned to Johns Hopkins Hospital where he served as the Assistant Chief of Service and Director of the Ocular Trauma Service. Prior to joining Retina Consultants of Hawaii, Dr. Lai was in practice in Long Island, NY where he held clinical appointments at both New York University and the Long Island Jewish/North Shore University Hospital systems. There he was awarded Teaching Attending of the Year.

Dr. Lai is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Retinal Specialists, Retina Society, and Hawaii Ophthalmological Society. He specializes in the latest techniques for the medical and surgical management of macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, macular holes, retinal vascular disorders, and macular puckers. He is also an investigator in several national clinical trials for new treatments for macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Lai has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has been invited to lecture nationally and internationally on diseases of the retina. He is actively involved in teaching medical students, residents and fellows as Assistant Clinical Professor for the University of Hawaii, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine. He has been recognized as Best Doctor in Honolulu and Best Doctor in the US since 2009.

Dr. Lai currently serves as Principal Investigator for the BALATON and COMINO trials (Genentech) and is a sub-investigator for all other HMRI Clinical Trials.