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Peter McDonnell III, M.D.

is the William Holland Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins University. He has served as Director of the Wilmer Eye Institute since July 1, 2003, having previously served as the Irving H. Leopold Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of California-Irvine since 1999. He received his B.S. degree from Dartmouth and his M.D. degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he completed an internship in pathology and emergency medicine and a residency in ophthalmology. He conducted a fellowship in cornea and external disease at the University of Southern California's Doheny Eye Institute before returning to Wilmer to serve as Chief Resident. He was recruited back to USC, where he rose to full professor in just six years, prior to being recruited by UC-Irvine in 1999.

In the 1990s, Dr. McDonnell was the first physician to use excimer ("cool") lasers in the treatment of astigmatism and led the national clinical trials of the technology, which generated high-power, ultraviolet pulses that strip electrons from the nucleus of an atom, vaporizing tissue with shock waves.