Sheila West, PhD, PharmD, is the El-Maghraby Professor of Preventive Ophthalmology and Vice Chair for Research at the Wilmer Eye Institute, with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research interests include trachoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and vision and function in older persons. She has published extensively on visual impairment in different populations, including on disparities in visual impairment and eye care seeking behaviors, and the risk factors for the major blinding eye diseases. She has authored the section on Eye Diseases and Smoking for the last two US Surgeon General Reports on Smoking.
Dr. West’s research has informed all aspects of the present World Health Organization guidelines for trachoma control. Her research continues to have multiple avenues, including the natural history of progression of retinal dystrophies, surveillance methods for trachoma control, and interventions to improve outcomes of trichiasis surgery. She currently has over 350 publications, and has mentored over 40 students in her career.
Dr. West and her staff in Tanzania
Dr. West has served on the Special Technical Advisory Group on Neglected Tropical Diseases for the Director General of World Health Organization, chaired many of the special advisory groups for WHO, served on the scientific review committee for Alcon Research Institute, and on the Scientific Advisory Panel for Research to Prevent Blindness. She was on the Board of Trustees and served as the first female President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and won the JoAnn Angle award from ARVO for her service.
Dr. West received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her PharmD from the University of California, San Francisco. She joined the Wilmer faculty in 1984. She and her family live in Baltimore city, where they enjoy the symphony, repertory theaters, and world-class museums.