Martin Heur, MD, PhD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, effective immediately.

Keck School Dean Carolyn Meltzer, MD, announced the appointment on Oct. 17, noting that Heur was selected from an impressive cohort of candidates following a comprehensive national search.

Reporting directly to Meltzer, Heur will lead education, research and clinical care of the Department of Ophthalmology. He will also oversee day-to-day operations and advance the department’s mission to end vision loss and blindness.

Heur has served as interim chair of the department since Sept. 2020. Prior to his interim appointment he was the vice chair of ophthalmology. He is also the Charles Manger III, MD, Chair in Corneal Laser Eye Surgery and a professor of clinical ophthalmology.

A USC faculty member since 2009, Heur is well-regarded as an active mentor and advocate for faculty development and advancement. He teaches residents and fellows, is director of the Cornea, External Diseases & Refractive Surgery Fellowship and was voted Teacher of the Year by ophthalmology residents in 2017.

On the clinical side, Heur serves as the USC Roski Eye Institute’s director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service and was the institute’s medical director from 2018 through 2020.

“Heur has demonstrated excellence in attention to all missions — education, research, clinical practice,” Meltzer said in the announcement.

She added that under Heur’s leadership, the Department of Ophthalmology is one of the largest and most selective in the country and ranks fifth in NIH funding.

Heur earned his MD and PhD from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, completed an internship in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati and his residency at the Cole Eye Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and serves on the editorial boards of Cornea Open and Frontiers in Ophthalmology.

— Kate Faye