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Edward Chaum

Margy Ann and J. Donald M. Gass Professor of Ophthamology
Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

Research Focus

Dr. Chaum’s research focuses on translational biomedical and tissue engineering, telemedicine, and the application of biosensors and nanotechnology to clinical medicine and surgery and has been the Principal Investigator or co-Investigator on over $18M in federal grants since 1997. He is the author of over 80 basic science papers, 5 book chapters, and a recent textbook in the fields of molecular biology, biomedical engineering, image analysis, anatomy, and clinical medicine and is a listed co-author on 135 national clinical trials publications in Retinal diseases. He has 7 issued bioengineering patents and is a serial entrepreneur.

As the Margy Ann and J. Donald M. Gass Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Chaum brings over 25 years of diverse clinical, basic science research, and mentorship expertise to a broad range of investigations including; the cellular and molecular biology of the retina, treatments for age-related macular degeneration and proliferative vitreoretinopathy, point-of-care diagnostics and bioengineering, the development of novel drugs for eye diseases, and clinical trials medicine. Trained as a molecular biologist, his work over the past decade has been focused on innovating and building research collaborations at the interface between engineering and medicine, between the lab and my patients in the clinic, to translate novel drugs and device concepts into transformative clinical care and launch new clinical paradigms to improve ocular health.

Dr. Chaum has 9 issued bioengineering patents and is a serial entrepreneur. He is the founder and chief medical officer of several angel/venture-backed startup companies including; Nanophthalmics, Infusense (medical devices), Ipax Pharmaceuticals, and Focal Point Pharmaceuticals. Hubble Telemedical, a medical services company was acquired by Welch Allyn in 2015 and is now a national telemedical network, RetinaVue. 



Dr. Chaum is a clinician scientist who specializes in all aspects of the medical and surgical management of retinal diseases, with particular interests in macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and telemedicine. Dr. Chaum is the former University of Tennessee Hamilton Eye Institute, Plough Foundation Professor of Retinal Diseases (2000-18; emeritus) and the inaugural Margy Ann and J. Donald M. Gass Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute. His obtained his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and both an MD and PhD from Cornell University. He completed residencies in Pediatrics (Harvard) and Ophthalmology (Boston University) and received his Retina surgical training at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Harvard). He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions throughout his academic career including; AΩA Honor Medical Society; National Eye Institute Research Career Award; Best Doctors in America®; Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientist Award; an R&D 100 Award, an American Telemedicine Association Innovation Award and others.