2023 Casebeer Award: Karolinne Maia Rocha MD, PhD

Karolinne Maia Rocha MD, PhD is a professor of ophthalmology and the director of Cornea & Refractive Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina, Storm Eye Institute in Charleston, South Carolina. She also serves as program director of the Cornea & Refractive Surgery fellowship program and as associate program director for the Storm Eye Institute Residency Program. 

Dr. Rocha received her medical degree from the State University of Londrina (UEL), Brazil, in 2002, followed by residency training in ophthalmology at Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP-EPM), and she was certified by the Brazilian Council of Ophthalmology in 2005. Subsequently, she completed her fellowship and PhD thesis also at UNIFESP. She completed her second ophthalmology residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cole Eye Institute, in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Rocha completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Cornea & Refractive Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in 2009. She then pursued a second postdoctoral fellowship in Cornea & Refractive Surgery at Emory University in 2010. Her research continues to focus on IOLs, aberrations, ectasia, pseudoaccommodation, and presbyopia. 

Dr. Rocha serves on the program committee for the American Academy of Ophthalmology Refractive Surgery Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC) and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Cornea Clinical Committee. She is active in teaching at national and international conferences and has served as a course instructor at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Laser Refractive Skills Transfer Course since 2009, as well as teaching courses on optics, presbyopia, corneal topography, and complex cataract surgery. Dr. Rocha is an associate editor for the Journal of Refractive Surgery (JRS) and the Journal of Refractive Surgery Case Reports (JRSCR)

Dr. Rocha has received awards and distinctions for excellence in ophthalmology, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Senior Achievement Award in 2019, the Pierre Gautier Jenkins teaching award in 2021, the International Society of Refractive Surgery Waring Memorial Award in 2016, and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Teaching Excellence Recognition Award in 2013.