Penn names Jeng chairman of ophthalmology, director of Scheie Eye Institute

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Bennie H. Jeng, MD, a corneal specialist, will assume his new role at Penn in July, succeeding Joan O’Brien, who will assume a new role as the inaugural director of the Penn Medicine Center for Ophthalmic Genetics in Complex Diseases.

Penn Medicine has named cornea expert Bennie H. Jeng, MD, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and director of the Scheie Eye Institute at Penn Medicine.

Jeng, who is currently a professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will assume his new role at Penn in July. He succeeds Joan O’Brien, MD, who served as chair for 12 years. She will assume a new role as the inaugural director of the Penn Medicine Center for Ophthalmic Genetics in Complex Diseases.

“Dr. Jeng has been a transformative leader, clinician, researcher, and educator, with a proven track record of advancing medical education, global health, and translational research, and we are proud to welcome him to Penn,” J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, dean of the Perelman School of Medicine and executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System, said in a statement.

According to the university’s news release, Jeng is a nationally recognized clinician-scientist specializing in cornea and external eye diseases and an alumnus of the Perelman School of Medicine. He began his academic career at the Cleveland Clinic in 2006 before transitioning to the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where he rose through the academic ranks, serving as co-director of the UCSF cornea service, director of the Proctor/UCSF Cornea Fellowship program, and as chief of ophthalmology at the San Francisco General Hospital.

The university noted that Jeng was recruited to the University of Maryland in 2013, where under his leadership, the Department of Ophthalmology expanded its clinical service from three to 12 sites, grew its research faculty, increased the number of endowments, and recreated its residency program.

According to the university, Jeng has had a broad institutional as well as global impact. At Maryland, he served as founding medical director of the Multispecialty Ambulatory Surgical Center as well as co-chair of the School of Medicine’s Promotions Reform Committee, and he was actively involved in medical education. Jeng is also a regular surgical instructor overseas, having taught corneal transplantation in numerous countries, including India, China, and Kuwait. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been providing international surgical instruction virtually.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Washington University, Jeng graduated from the Perelman School of School of Medicine in 1998. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the Cole Eye Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, followed by a fellowship at UCSF. He also holds a master’s degree in Clinical Investigation. Jeng has held leadership posts in many ophthalmologic societies, including serving as president of the Cornea Society, president of the Eye and Contact Lens Association, and on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Ophthalmology