Vinay A. Shah, MD, Awarded Thelma Gaylord Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology

Vinay A. Shah, MD, Awarded Thelma Gaylord
Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology

News Release

Melody Marcum
(405) 271-6005

Vinay A. Shah, MD, Awarded Thelma Gaylord Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology


OKLAHOMA CITY – The Dean McGee Eye Institute (DMEI) announces that Dr. Vinay A. Shah, Clinical Professor at DMEI and in the University of Oklahoma (OU) Department of Ophthalmology, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Thelma Gaylord Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology.

A native of India, Dr. Shah completed an extensive educational and training process there, including a residency in ophthalmology and a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery. In 2002, he moved to the United States, where he was engaged in pre-residency fellowship experiences in vitreoretinal diseases and neuro-ophthalmology at the University of Florida – Jacksonville and University of Iowa respectively.  As a resident in ophthalmology at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC), Dr. Shah performed in stellar fashion, serving as Chief Resident during his final year and being recognized with a special award as “The Best Resident Ever” for his contributions as a “Leader, Educator, Researcher, and Clinician.” 



After his fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery at the Kresge Eye Institute/Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Shah joined the faculty at DMEI/OU in 2011 and has distinguished himself as a respected leader as well as a highly productive and innovative clinician and surgeon with a particular interest in treating complex surgical retinal pathology. Dr. Shah has served as author or co-author for more than 80 publications and book chapters and has addressed a large number of topics in his scholarly work, including observations regarding vitreoretinal disease; techniques in vitreoretinal surgery; posterior ischemic optic neuropathy, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and other neuro-ophthalmologic disorders; resident surgical training in vitreoretinal surgery and refractive surgery; infections of the eye; and the use of smartphones in ophthalmology. He has published in such respected ophthalmologic journals as Retina, American Journal of Ophthalmology, Archives of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology, European Journal of Ophthalmology, Survey of Ophthalmology, Eye, Cornea, and Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers, and Imaging, along with a number of others.

As an educator, Dr Shah is widely recognized for his work as one of the creators of the Eye Handbook, a mobile comprehensive ophthalmology diagnostic reference and educational product developed for smartphones. With more than three million downloads, this has become a highly popular smartphone ophthalmology application for ophthalmologists in training and in practice.  In addition, Dr. Shah has directed a long-running, highly popular instructional course at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) annual meetings on the use of smartphones in ophthalmic practice since 2012, a nearly record run.  He also has served as Senior Editor for the International Ophthalmology Section of Pearls in Ophthalmology, an internet publication with tens of thousands of page views. Even while a fellow at the Kresge Eye Institute, Dr. Shah became the founding Section Editor for Retina/Vitreous for the AAO’s EyeWiki, which was launched in July 2010. For his Academy service, Dr. Shah was honored with an AAO Achievement Award in 2010, a Secretariat Award in 2015, and a Senior Achievement Award in 2017.  For his contributions to the scientific programs of the annual meetings of the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), Dr. Shah received its Honor Award in 2005 and its Senior Honor Award in 2007 (the latter while he was still a resident).  In 2019, Dr. Shah was the inaugural recipient of the Amalia M. Miranda, MD Special Recognition Award at DMEI /OU. He has been repeatedly named among the Best Doctors in America.

At DMEI/OU, Dr. Shah has been actively engaged with residents and vitreoretinal fellows and became the Retina Fellowship Director in 2017.  In this capacity, he is currently overseeing an expansion of the retina fellowship program from one to two fellows.  In 2018, he was the recipient of the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Faculty Honor Award. Dr. Shah was elected by his peers to serve as a Member-at-Large on the DMEI Executive Committee in 2017 and was re-elected to a second two-year term in 2019. 

“Given his exceptional skills as a clinician, surgeon, educator, scholar, innovator, and leader, we are truly delighted to honor Dr. Vinay A. Shah as the first individual to hold the Thelma Gaylord Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology,” states Dr. Gregory L. Skuta, DMEI’s President and Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the OU Department of Ophthalmology.

The Thelma Gaylord Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology, which was established in 2020 after a gift from the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation, is the second endowed chair in the Institute/Department to carry the distinguished Gaylord family name. The other is the Edward L. Gaylord Endowed Chair, which is occupied by the Chair of the OU Department of Ophthalmology. 

About the Dean McGee Eye Institute

The Dean McGee Eye Institute is dedicated to serving all Oklahomans and the global community through excellence and leadership in patient care, education, and vision research. It is one of the largest and most respected eye institutes in the United States and houses the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology. Its clinical, research, and training programs are ranked in the top 10 in the nation among public universities. Twenty-two of the Institute’s ophthalmologists are listed in Best Doctors in America and/or Castle Connolly Top Doctors. For more information, visit

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