The Duke Pediatric Ophthalmology Division is a large, multi-site, nationally-recognized practice active in research, education and clinical care within the Department of Ophthalmology.   

Led by Sharon Freedman, MD, an internationally recognized pediatric ophthalmologist and pediatric glaucoma specialist, the division includes both clinicians and clinician-scientists. The division currently has nine faculty members, six MD faculty (three of whom are duel fellowship-trained) and three optometrists, each of whom has completed a pediatric residency in optometry.  


  • Provide the best possible care for diagnosis, treatment and surgical interventions for pediatric patients with common and complex ophthalmic conditions  

  • Discover important new knowledge about causes, mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of pediatric eye conditions and diseases 

  • Translate research innovations into new care modalities 

  • Train the next generation of pediatric ophthalmology leaders 


The Pediatric Division faculty participates in multiple active clinical research endeavors, most of which are highly collaborative with our interdisciplinary colleagues within the department and other Duke University academic departments.  The faculty publish extensively in top tier ophthalmology journals and high H-index journals to describe novel translational, and clinical research findings.  

  • Application of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging to diagnosis and monitoring of optic neuropathies (glaucoma and neuro-ophthalmic)  

  • Diagnosis and exploration of mechanisms underlying Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) in preterm infants 

  • Remote screening and diagnosis of ROP using handheld non-contact retinal photography and OCT  

  • Application of home tonometry to better manage children with known or suspected glaucoma 

  • Development of better surgical strategies to manage refractory childhood glaucoma  

  • Participation in multicenter trials (NIH-sponsored) through the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group  

  • Participation in selected multicenter sponsored studies (e.g. Retrophin study of Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis)  

  • Active at the national and international level in a number of subspecialty scientific organizations and have held numerous positions of leadership and have been recognized with prestigious awards, including senior and lifetime achievement honor awards from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS).   

  • Leadership positions include President of American Board of Ophthalmology; President, Secretary for Program, and Board member for AAPOS; Section Chair for Ophthalmology in the American Association of Pediatrics; President of the NC Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, among others.   

  • Faculty have served as Editor-in-Chief and on the editorial board of several peer-reviewed journals in the field. 

  • One of the most competitive and highly-regarded pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus fellowships in the nation, attracting fellows from a wide geographic area.   

  • Registered with the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) fellowship compliance program and meets guidelines set forth by the AUPO fellowship compliance committee.  

  • Many fellows completing clinical fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at Duke transition to faculty positions in academic programs throughout the United States.  

  • A one-year research fellowship which is especially popular among those seeking prestigious academic positions post-fellowship.  

  • Faculty regularly teach Duke medical students, residents, undergraduates, and those from other medical schools on an ongoing basis.  

  • The faculty interact with visiting professors from abroad during clinical and clinical research observerships (pre-COVID and hopefully post-COVID).   

  • Clinical fellows regularly participate in our clinical research with mentoring faculty and present their work at our annual AAPOS meeting and publish in peer-reviewed journals.  The pediatric optometry resident regularly participates in the respective AAO (American Academy of Optometry) meetings, under mentorship of our pediatric optometry faculty. 

  • International leaders in clinical care with very specialized expertise in pediatric ophthalmology, pediatric glaucoma, unique surgical techniques to treat complex strabismus in children and adults, intraocular lens disorders and implantation, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), complex childhood neuro-ophthalmic disorders, and new imaging techniques such as hand-held Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (SD-OCT).  

  • Division also works closely with pediatric vitreo-retinal specialists Cynthia Toth, Lejla Vajzovic, and Xi Chen, who see children with a wide spectrum of retinal diseases, housed in our main eye center pediatric clinic.    

  • Collaborate with other department faculty to care for children with inherited retinal diseases and ocular malignancies 

  • Provide pediatric eye care and adult strabismus care to patients across the triangle area, in Winston Salem and across the country.    

  • Pediatric Eye Imaging Center in the pediatric clinic at the main Duke Eye Center location was created in 2018 to streamline pediatric eye imaging in the clinic and improve patient satisfaction and access to cutting-edge imaging diagnostics, including hand-held OCT which can be applied to infants and small children in a calming and dedicated space.   

  • Treat patients from the local and regional area, and from remote locations for specific diagnoses such as complex adult strabismus, and pediatric glaucoma.  Our clinical practices are extremely busy, and numbers of patient visits and surgical volumes continue to grow.