Malik Y. Kahook, MD, professor of ophthalmology and the Slater Family Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has been named chair of the Orbis Medical Advisory Committee. A global non-profit, Orbis International focuses on prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness through training, education, and advocacy, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Volunteering with the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital since 2018, Kahook, who is also vice chair of translational research and chief of the glaucoma service at the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center, views this new opportunity as a merging of his passions for global ophthalmology and education.
"It is a great honor to serve as the next chair of the Orbis Medical Advisory Committee. Orbis has a long history as a leading non-profit dedicated to preventing and treating eye diseases around the globe,” Kahook says. “The Orbis telemedicine platform, Cybersight, has set the standard for online teaching of medical professionals, and the Orbis artificial intelligence team is leading the way in implementing innovative technology to enhance eye care around the world. I look forward to continuing to serve these groups across all clinical platforms. The opportunity to assist Orbis in its mission is one of the biggest privileges of my career."
As chair of the committee, Kahook will focus on compliance of the Flying Eye Hospital while providing direction for best medical practices and enhancing ophthalmic education globally. He will also continue lecturing on the Cybersight platform, an online community where he offers his digital textbook, Kahook's Essentials of Glaucoma Therapy, as a free tool to support ophthalmic professionals.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Kahook as the next chair of our Medical Advisory Committee,” says Dr. Hunter Cherwek, Vice President of Clinical Services and Technologies at Orbis International. “His longstanding commitment to our mission, combined with his expertise as a leader in global ophthalmology, will strengthen our achievements for the people we treat and train.”
Malik Y. Kahook, MD, operates while teaching on the Orbis plane in Barbados (2018).
Kahook’s international ophthalmic influence reaches beyond his work with Orbis. He also serves as a director of the Sidra Tree Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to achieving equity in global eye care. Throughout his 15-year ophthalmology career, he has filed for over 120 patents, with more than 40 patents granted to date. Several of his patents have been licensed by companies including New World Medical, ShapeTech, Alcon, Aurea Medical, ClarVista Medical, SpyGlass Ophthalmics, and SpyGlass Pharma for development and commercialization. Six of his devices are currently in human trials or have been brought to market for clinical use. He is most notably known for his creation of the Kahook Dual Blade, which is one of the most commonly used tools for the minimally invasive treatment of glaucoma around the world. His inventions have raised over $130 million for development and commercialization since 2008 and have been used to treat hundreds of thousands of patients globally since 2012.
“Dr. Kahook has been a valuable part of our department and leader of our glaucoma service for the last 15 years. He has been a leading voice in global ophthalmology, both through educational outreach and innovating tools that can be accessible to physicians and patients around the world,” says Naresh Mandava, MD, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center. “The department is proud of our long collaboration with Orbis, and we look forward to continuing to support its mission with our dedicated faculty and leading epidemiology researchers.”
The Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center is proud of the numerous faculty members who work with Orbis and remains dedicated to improving access and quality of patient care in the U.S. and across the world.