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Dr. Deborah M. Costakos appointed Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

This memo is from Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, Dean of the School of Medicine, Provost and Executive Vice President

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Deborah M. Costakos, MD, MS, as Chair and Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences for the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), effective Jan. 1. Dr. Costakos currently serves as Interim Chair and Associate Professor of MCW’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. She also will be named the R.D. & Linda Peters Professor in Ophthalmology, pending approval by the MCW Board of Trustees.

Dr. Costakos was identified as the top candidate for this role after a comprehensive national search process. I would like to extend my gratitude to John S. Rhee, MD, MPH, Chair of the search committee – as well as to the full committee membership – for their unwavering dedication of time, insights and thoughtfulness in undertaking this key recruitment effort.

Dr. Costakos has served as Interim Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences since Feb. 15, 2019. She succeeded John S. Rhee, MD, MPH, John C. Koss Professor and Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, who had served as Interim Chair of the Department since Dec. 1, 2018, following the retirement of Dale Heuer, MD, as Chair Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Dr. Costakos holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from The Ohio State University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and received her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from the University of South Carolina in 1988. From 1988-1992, she was employed at the Genetics and IVF Institute in Fairfax, Va., serving as a genetic counselor.

Dr. Costakos received her MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1998, where she was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha. Following completion of her ophthalmology residency and fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, she entered private practice with Lakeshore Eye Care Specialists in Mequon, WI.

Dr. Costakos joined the MCW faculty in 2009 as Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. Dr. Costakos served as the Medical Director for pediatric ophthalmology and sees patients at Children’s Wisconsin (Milwaukee Campus and the Mequon Clinic). She also sees infants in the neonatal intensive care unit at Columbia St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s hospital. Her research interests include genetic disorders affecting the eye, retinopathy of prematurity and macular development in infants. She has published 30 scholarly journal articles, books, chapters, reviews and abstracts.

Dr. Costakos is board-certified in Ophthalmology and also holds a certification from the American Board of Medical Genetics. She is a member of the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (where she serves on the Genetic Eye Disease Committee), American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Medical Society and Milwaukee Ophthalmology Society. She was a board member for the Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children (now Vision Forward) and is now a consultant for Vision Forward. She also serves on MCW’s Resident Education Committee.