Kimberly E. Stepien, MD

Kimberly E. Stepien, MD

Associate Professor, Medical Retina

Advanced Ocular Imaging Program
Eye Institute
Department of Ophthalmology
Medical College of Wisconsin
925 N 87th St
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
Phone: (414) 955-7840
Fax: (414) 955-6300

Current Research Interests

As a retinal physician, I see many patients who are loosing their sight as a result of retinal disease, trauma, and inherited retinal degenerations. My ultimate motivation is to help people see and keep people seeing. My current research interests include using high resolution advanced ocular imaging to observe retinal structure at resolutions not usually possible in a clinical setting, giving the opportunity to better understand and diagnosis retinal disease. Specifically I am interested in identifying imaging biomarkers in retinal diseases that could lead to earlier interventions to prevent vision loss, and using high resolution imaging to better understand inherited retinal degenerations and other retinal pathology.


Undergraduate:  BS, Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Medical School:  MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI
Internship:  Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse, WI
Residency:  Ophthalmology, Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY
Fellowship:  Medical Retina, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute/Ann Bates Leach Eye Hospital, Miami, FL  

Brief Biographical Information

I was born into a very artistic family; my father a brilliant woodworker, my mother a great artist, and a younger brother who is a professionally trained oil painter and gifted art teacher. I have always had a great appreciation for the beauty in the world, but I tended to steer more towards the sciences, wanting to know the “how” and “why”. The first time I saw the human retina, I knew I was hooked. Looking at the retina is like looking at a magnificent landscape, a magical landscape that through intricate processes allows an individual to see the world - to me the perfect combination of art and science. I’ve had the privilege of training with several exceptional ophthalmologists who have given me a great foundation and appreciation of retinal disease with it's many complexities. After fellowship, I joined the faculty at Medical College of WI where I fortuitously met another junior faculty member, Dr. Joe Carroll. Many discussions and meetings have resulted in wonderful collaborative research as we, along with other members of the AOIP, work to better understand retinal structure and disease. Ultimately though, it is my patients who give me the inspiration and drive to pursue my research and work to prevent vision loss.

My favorite structure in the eye

The pupil – without it I would not be able to see my beloved retina. In it’s nothingness, it allows visualization of everything.


Advanced Ocular Imaging Program
Eye Institute
925 North 87th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Phone: 414-955-AOIP (2647)
Fax: 414-955-6690
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