Esen K. Akpek, M.D., is recognized as a world-renowned leader in advanced corneal transplantation, stem cell transplantation, and ocular surface reconstruction procedures. She is the Bendann Professor of Ophthalmology and Rheumatology at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Active in many professional organizations, Dr. Akpek’s appointments include serving as the director of the Ocular Surface Disease and Dry Eye Clinic at Wilmer and the associate director of the Jerome L. Greene Sjögren’s Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She is the medical director for CorneaGen, member of the Clinical Trials Consortium-Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation/SSF, member of the Medical & Scientific Advisory Board of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS), and president of the Foster Ocular Immunology Society. Dr. Akpek is an associate editor with the journal Cornea and the American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports and serves on the editorial board of 6 other scientific journals. She also led KeraLink’s International Medical Advisory Board between 2014 to 2019.
Dr. Akpek has many contributions to the field of cornea and external diseases, including holding a patent in the field of keratoprosthesis devices, is involved in major dry eye initiatives including TFOS DEWS II in 2017 and the International Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Workshop in 2011, and has trained numerous ophthalmologists who have become leaders in the field. She also has led many clinical trials funded by industry as well as the Department of Defense and the National Eye Institute evaluating advanced treatments and diagnostic options for patients with dry eye disease. Dr. Akpek has lectured extensively nationally and abroad, is involved in the organization of multiple online and in-person educational activities including Sonoma Eye, International Ocular Inflammation Society, the Foster Ocular Inflammation Society, and Wilmer Dry Eye. She has published over 170 articles in peer-reviewed journals, many book chapters, editorials, and review articles.
Her previous appointments include serving as director of Wilmer’s Cornea and External Disease Fellowship, director of Wilmer’s Ophthalmology Clerkship, and member of the Board of Directors for the Cornea Society. She currently serves on the Preferred Practice Patterns Committee for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, where she received its Senior Honor Award. She also received numerous other awards including the Cora Verhagen Immunology Prize, and a scholarship from the Research to Prevent Blindness.
- M.D.: Hacettepe University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
- Residency: Ophthalmology, Ankara Numune Hospital, Ankara
- Clinical fellow: Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Service, Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston
- Clinical fellow: Cornea and External Disease Service, Wilmer Eye Institute Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore