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News from our full member Kellogg Eye Center

2023-09-20 20:07:47

Below an update on the travels from the inaugural international fellow, Tim Soeken, MD, a brief selection from one of his recent newsletters about a patient he saw in Burundi:

This is Josephine. When she arrived at Kibuye, she could only see light in each eye. She had to be led around with a stick by a family caretaker. Now, after surgery she sees beautifully! She was so happy! My favorite thing she said was, “before surgery I could not even see a hole in the ground while walking, but now the surgery has made me young again!”

This story illustrates the severe but simple need in Africa. Here in the United States, I have never had someone walk into see me that is legally blind in both eyes from simple cataracts. In Burundi and Kenya, I have seen it many times a day. A simple and cost-effective intervention has such life-changing results. I am beside myself to have been given the opportunity to help these wonderful people.

Introducing New Global Fellow for 2022-2023

We are pleased to introduce Dr. Miles Greenwald, our incoming fellow in Global Ophthalmology. Having just completed a Cornea fellowship at Kellogg, he will spend the upcoming year training with us and our partners around the world in order to become a leader in global eye care. We look forward to sharing with you Miles’ experiences over the year ahead. Welcome, Dr. Greenwald!

If you are interested in getting more updates about Dr. Greenwald’s work with our international partners, send an email to Donna at to be added to Dr. Greenwald’s email list.

Donating to Ukraine

We have been working with Brian True, director of Eye Care for Ukraine, in his ongoing efforts to provide basic eyecare to the people of Ukraine. Responding to his request for supplies and equipment, we found many boxes for him to take with him on his most recent trip to Ukraine.

We have welcomed Drs. Karthik Srinivasan and Divya Manohar from Aravind Eye Care System, Chennai, India, who will spend one year at Kellogg training in clinical, epidemiological, and health services research through coursework and mentored research. Their training is part of an NIH-funded (D43TW012027) research capacity building program that aims to bolster vision research in India through close collaboration with our partner institution, Aravind Eye Care System.

Introducing Researchers from Aravind Eye Hospital Studying at Kellogg

International Night was September 13th 2022

Our invited speaker for this event was Dr. Suzanne Gilbert, cofounder of Seva and currently the senior director for research and strategic opportunities.  We recorded the event and it can be found below.   

New Team Member

Meet our new team member Liz Stephens-Kozlo, who has joined our team in the international center from her position as administrative assistant within the Kellogg Eye Center. Liz brings wonderful organizational skills and a great passion for our international work.

Welcome Liz!

Kellogg International Alumni updates:

  • Kasia Samelska, MD came to Kellogg from Poland in August 2015 for a medical student rotation. She will finish her ophthalmology residency in December 2022 at the SPKSO Ophthalmic Teaching Hospital in Warsaw, Poland. She will be returning to Kellogg as an observer in Cornea in September 2022.
  • Temi Abikoye, MD came to Kellogg from Nigeria in March 2017 as an observer in Retina. She is now an assistant professor in pediatric ophthalmology at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
  • Caterina Schweier, MD and Christian Kahlert, MD came to Kellogg from Germany in May 2017. Dr. Schweier was an observer in Neuro-Ophthalmology and Dr. Kahlert was an observer in Oculoplastics. They are now at the University Hospital of Zurich. They had a baby girl in June 2021.
  • Zehra Bahar, MD came to Kellogg from Bulgaria in October 2017 for a medical Student rotation. She is now in her last year of ophthalmology residency at UMHAT Dr. Gerogi Stranski University Hospital in Pleven, Bulgaria. She was back in Michigan in May 2022 and stopped at Kellogg for a brief visit.
  • Tayyab Afghani, MD came to Kellogg from Pakistan in January 2019 as an observer in oculoplastics. He works at Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Rawalpindi which is designated as the National Center of Eye Cancer. This hospital has now started free chemotherapy services for eye cancer patients. Before this service, patient with eye cancers had to wait a considerable amount of time to get chemotherapy in general cancer hospitals in the country.
  • Thais Souza, MD came to Kellogg from Brazil in November 2019 as an observer in Neuro-Ophthalmology. She is now doing her oculoplastics fellowship at UNIFESP in Brazil and will complete the program in February 2023.
  • Erdenezul (Zula) Gantulga, MD came to Kellogg from Mongolia in January 2020 as an observer in Oculoplastics. She had a baby boy in December 2021. She has been accepted into an online master’s program in clinical ophthalmology to keep her knowledge and skills sharp during her one-year maternity leave.

We would love to bring updates of life events of alumni of the Kellogg International Center from over the years, near and far. If you have a life event that you want to share with the Kellogg international alumni community, send an email to Donna at or Liz at with the update.

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