Mina Chung, MD

1968 – 2020

Mina Chung, MD was born on December 1, 1968, in Westchester County, New York and was a dedicated and talented ophthalmologist and retina specialist throughout her career. Dr. Chung graduated from Yale University in 1990 and the Yale School of Medicine in 1994; she completed her ophthalmology residency at the University of Southern California Doheny Eye Institute in 1998 and a fellowship in vitreo-retinal disease at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in 2000. She then served as junior faculty at the University of Southern California where she focused on pediatric retinal care and surgery. Dr. Chung then joined the faculty as an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York.  She brought to Flaum invaluable expertise in adult and pediatric retinal surgeries and was a key member of their pediatric artificial corneal transplant team. She and Dr. Ajay Kuriyan worked together to implant the first retina prosthesis in New York. Dr. Chung served as Vice Chair of Women in Retina and was a member of several organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), and the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

Friend and colleague, Steven Feldon, MD, recounted that “Mina was an inspiration for medical students, residents, fellows and junior faculty. Her patients definitely experienced ‘and director the highest order’ from her, day in and day out.” He described “her relationships with patients as unsurpassed.” David A. DiLoreto, MD, PhD, Chair of Ophthalmology and Director of the Flaum Eye Institute, praised Dr. Chung for her dedication to patients, saying that “Mina was one of the most dedicated and hardworking physicians I have ever known.” Raj Maturi, MD believed Dr. Chung “stood out not only for her tremendous surgical talent and skill, but also her deep humanity and caring.”  David Williams, PhD, former Director of the Center for Visual Science, characterized Mina’s pivotal role in research at Rochester: “For many years, Mina was an essential member of a team of research faculty and students, providing much-needed and always insightful mentorship on the myriad diseases afflicting the retina, and how best to deploy new high-resolution imaging technologies to study them.”

Indeed, in addition to her superlative clinical contributions, Dr. Chung pursued an innovative research program on two complementary fronts.  First, she was dedicated to understanding the genetic basis for inherited retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. While at the Flaum Eye Institute, Dr. Chung was so committed to the molecular aspect of her work that for over three years, she spent one week per month at the University of Iowa, where she maintained a long-standing collaboration with some of the most innovative experts in this field.  To permanently recognize her contributions to inherited retinal disease, the University of Iowa established the Mina Chung Fellowship in Inherited Retinal Disease in 2022.

Second, Dr. Chung’s research program combined her interest in genetics with the use of retinal imaging to characterize the impact of genetic defects on the retina.  She was particularly interested in bringing the extraordinary adaptive optics capabilities of the University of Rochester to bear on the pathophysiologic mechanism of these conditions. She partnered with world-class engineers and vision scientists at Rochester, bringing to the team critical clinical wisdom based on her extensive experience with vision-threatening diseases. Together they obtained some of the first high-resolution adaptive optics images of the retinas of patients with retinal degeneration, developing novel ways to image cone photoreceptors in-vivo of patients with age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in older patients, and Stargardt disease, the most common form of macular degeneration in children and young adults. Supported by funding from the National Eye Institute and the National Institute of Health, Dr. Chung’s research advanced the field by illuminating changes to the cells responsible for vision that had not previously been visible in living eyes. Dr. Chung contributed important papers on a wide range of inherited retinal conditions including Best disease, cone-rod dystrophy, tritanopia, retinitis pigmentosa, Batten disease, macular telangiectasia, Leber congenital amaurosis, fundus albipunctatus, and Stargardt disease. As a testament to her dedication to research and patient care, the Flaum Eye Institute established Dr. Mina M. Chung Endowed Professorship in 2021.

In addition to her passion for medicine, Dr. Chung was an accomplished pianist and a graduate of The Juilliard School Pre-college division, as well as an avid marathon runner, with her last marathon in Greece when she turned age 50. Dr. Chung is survived by her husband, Edward P. Lin, MD, MBA, an associate professor in neuroradiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Imaging Sciences. The couple lived with their Samoyed, Nika, in Canandaigua, NY, where Dr. Lin still resides.  

Dr. Chung passed away on February 13, 2020, in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Dolomites, Italy due to a skiing accident.

Contributions from Drs. Steve Feldon, Dave Diloreto, Raj Maturi, Ed Stone, Jacque Duncan, David Williams, and Aravindh Nirmalan.

Read additional personal reflections on Dr. Chung in this Retina Times article: ASRS Remembers Women in Retina Vice Chair Mina Chung, MD.



Joins the Advance Retinal Imaging Alliance, group dedicated to developing optic technologies in studying macular diseases

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Joins American Society of Retina Specialists, where she will later become Vice Chair of Women in Retina

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Accepts position as Associate Professor in Ophthalmology at the University of Rochester Flaum Eye Institute

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Academic Appointment

2002 – 2020

  • Ophthalmologist and Vitreoretinal Surgeon, University of Rochester Flaum Eye Institute

Education & Training

Medical School: Yale School of Medicine, 1994

Residency: University of Southern California, 1998

Chief Resident: University of Southern California, 2002

Fellowship: University of Iowa, Carter School of Medicine, 2000

L to R, Dawn Oh, Dr. Kean Oh, Mina, Dr. Eddie Lin, Dr. Nancy Christmas, Tom Howe. Photo Courtesy: Nancy Christmas, MD

Nancy Christmas, MD

Even at the beginning of her medical career, Mina was a team player and well-loved by both her peers, teachers, staff, and patients. Her genuine humbleness and compassion were what greeted all. We were partners on our first 3rd year medical student clinical rotation, general surgery. Her patience showed through even then when we would start our pre-rounds before 5 am…I never heard her complain then, during our vitreoretinal fellowship, or 30-year friendship about anything related to her work which she loved. She was thoughtful and kind and would go above and beyond, finding my housing for fellowship in Iowa and flying across the country for one day to attend my wedding. She loved to have fun, connect people, and organize social gatherings from fabulous dinners to Korean karaoke. She helped me mentor my Women in Retina mentees at meetings multiple times. She was a meaningful mentor to both young women and men in ophthalmology in all phases of her training and career. She wore the elite badge of being the 2nd female retina fellow at the University of Iowa and continued to be a strong and professional female presence as a Women in Retina Board member. She was slated to be the President this year. An avid runner, she celebrated turning 50 by running the real Athens marathon, one of the many accomplishments she would not boast about. Mina had the best smile and best laugh and looking back on our times together, I was always smiling with her.

Raju Maturi, MD

My first memory of Mina is her brilliant smile when she first arrived for fellowship at the University of Iowa.  In the world of retina, she stood out not only for her tremendous surgical talent and skill, but also her deep humanity and caring. She saw the worth and beauty of every individual with whom she was associated with.   I remember fondly visiting her in Rochester one crisp fall morning when she and Eddie put on an impromptu violin/piano concert.  Because of her profound humility, those meeting her might never have known that she'd performed at Carnegie Hall.  More recently, Mina and our spouses embarked on a one week sail on the Adriatic, a memory I will treasure always. Our retina world has lost an outstanding member, one committed to improving our understanding of genetic diseases through advances in adaptive optics.

Photo Gallery

Dr. Mina Chung with her husband, Dr. Eddie Lin, in Madeira Portugal, 2013. Photo Courtesy Dr. Eddie Lin.
Drs. Ed Stone and Mina Chung at the University of Iowa Carter School of Medicine. Photo Courtesy Dr Ed Stone.
Flaum Eye Institute colleagues (L to R) Drs. Rajeev Ramchandran, Mina Chung, Vamsi Gullapalli, David Kleinman and David Diloreto. Photo Courtesy Flaum Eye Institute.
Dr. Mina Chung and Center for Visual Science post-doctoral fellow Dr. Hongxin Song imaging a patient with an adaptive optics ophthalmoscope. Photo Courtesy Flaum Eye Institute.
Women in Retina Board in 2017 (L to R): Drs. Alice Lyon, Jessica Randolph, Camille Palma, Nancy Holekamp, Diana Do, Judy Kim, Jenny Lim, Elizabeth Atchison, Mina Chung, Pauline Merrill and Zelia Corea. Photo Courtesy Women in Retina.


  1. University of Rochester Medical Center 2020, accessed 13 February 2022,
  2. University of Rochester Medical Center 2020, accessed 13 February 2022
  3. University of Rochester Medical Center 2020, accessed 13 February 2022
  4. RetinaLink 2020, accessed 13 February 2022

(Tribute published 2022)