Steven E. Wilson, MD was born in Oklahoma City and grew up in Whittier, California. He received a B.A in biology from CSU Fullerton in 1974 and an M.S in molecular biology and biochemistry from the UC Irvine in 1977. He was instructor of biology and chemistry at Rio Hondo College in Whittier from 1977 to 1980. He received his MD from UC San Diego in 1984. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in 1988 and was a fellow in cornea and refractive surgery at LSU Eye Center in New Orleans from 1988 to 1990.
Dr. Wilson was assistant/associate professor at UT Southwestern in Dallas from 1990 to 1995. He was professor of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy and medical director of refractive surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland from 1995 to 1998. From 1998 to 2003, he was chair of ophthalmology and Grace E. Hill Endowed Chair in Vision Research at University of Washington in Seattle. Since 2003, he has been professor of ophthalmology and staff cornea and refractive surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, and has been cornea and refractive fellowship director there since 2006. Dr. Wilson’s laboratory is focused on cellular and molecular interactions involved in homeostasis, wound healing, and diseases of the cornea, and has been funded by NEI from 1992 to 2021, DOD from 2019 to 2022, and supported by several awards from RPB, including the William and Mary Greve International Research Scholar from 1992 to 1994. He also has research interests in corneal topography, dry eye disease and corneal surgical procedures.
Dr. Wilson has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. His most cited work was the first description of keratocyte apoptosis occurring in response to corneal epithelial injury (Exp Eye Res 1996;62:325-8) that initiated the field of corneal cellular responses to injury and surgery. He was ARVO trustee and vice-president from 2001 to 2006 and a member of the ISRS-AAO executive board from 1999 to 2008 and ISER North American councilor from 2010 to 2014. He has received numerous other awards, including a Senior Honor Award from AAO in 2004, Lans Distinguished Lecturer Award from ISRS-AAO in 2006, ARVO Gold Fellow in 2009, Lifetime Presidential Award from ISRS-AAO in 2009, the Jose Ignacio Barraquer Award from International Congress of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in 2010, and the Richard L. Lindstrom CLAO Award Lecture at ASCRS in 2013, and the Barraquer Award and Lecture for 2020 from ISRS-AAO. Dr. Wilson’s fellows have won the Troutman Award and Lecture from ISRS-AAO four times (Marcelo Netto 2006, Marcony R. Santhiago 2012, Brian K. Armstrong 2014, and Carla Medeiros 2019). He has served on the editorial boards of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Experimental Eye Research (section editor), the Journal of Refractive Surgery, the journal Cornea and Translational Vision Science and Technology.
Dr. Wilson is married to Jennifer Wilson and they have three children, Remington Grey, Hailey Loraine and Contessa Elise. He has authored three novels, including Winter in Kandahar, 2003 Benjamin Franklin Awardee for Best New Voice in Fiction and The Ghosts of Anatolia, 2010 Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award Gold Prize in fiction. His fourth novel, the third instalment of the Stone Waverly Trilogy, "The Benghazi Affair," was published in 2019 and was an Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize Finalist and won the Benjamin Franklin Audio Book of the Year Gold Award in 2020. His memoir "The Making, Breaking and Renewal of a Surgeon-Scientist: A Personal Perspective of the Physician Crisis in America" was published in 2020 on Amazon.com.