Lejla Vajzovic, MD

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology

I am an ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon with expertise in pediatric and adult retinal diseases and surgery. I specialize in complex retinal detachments, diabetic retinopathy, small-gauge surgery, macular degeneration, retinal vascular occlusion, macular edema, macular holes, epiretinal membranes, vitreomacular traction, retinopathy of prematurity, familial exudative vitreoretinopathy, Coats’ disease, incontinentia pigmenti, Stickler’s syndrome and among others.

Additionally, I am a member of the Duke Pediatric Retina and Optic Nerve Center, with specific expertise and interest in advanced pediatric retinal surgery and the director of the Duke Center for Artificial and Regenerative Vision where I implant the Argus II “bionic eye” and restore vision to individuals with total blindness. One of my Argus II “bionic eye” surgeries was featured in the September 2016 issue of the National Geographic Magazine.

I am passionate about teaching the next generation of retinal surgeons, and I organize and direct several national and international courses which include: Advances in Pediatric Retina Course, the Duke Fellows’ Advanced Vitreoretinal Surgery Course, retina surgery courses at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting, the American Society of Retina Specialists Meeting and the World Ophthalmology Congress Meeting. I am also interested in cutting edge technologies and recovery of vision in hereditary retinal diseases with retinal implants and stem cell technology.

I have received numerous prestigious honors and awards for excellence in clinical care and ophthalmology research: the Retina Society Fellowship Research Award, the Heed Ophthalmic Fellowship Award and the Society of Heed Fellows Award, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Career Starter Research Award, the PDC’s ENhanced Academics in a Basic Laboratory Environment (ENABLE) Career Development Program Award, the American Society of Retinal Specialists Honor Award and the American Society of Retina Specialists 2015 Film Festival: Rhett Buckler Award Winner.

I am married and have two daughters. My favorite activity is spending time with my family. In my free time, I enjoy downhill skiing and running.

Education and Training

  • University of Missouri, Columbia, B.S. 2002
  • Mayo Clinic, Alix School of Medicine, M.D. 2006
  • University of Miami, Ophthalmic Pathology Fellowship, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
  • Saint Louis University, School of Medicine, Internal Medicine Internship, Medicine
  • University of Miami, Ophthalmology Residency, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Selected Grants and Awards


Update on Retinal Drug Toxicities

Purpose of Review: This review aims to provide an update on the clinical presentations and diagnostic findings of drug-induced retinal toxicities.