Department of Ophthalmology Chair Co-Publishes A Definitive Textbook on Cornea

WASHINGTON -- Dr. Robert A. Copeland, professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Howard University College of Medicine and Howard University Hospital, has published a definitive textbook on the cornea, in conjunction with a Duke University professor.

The book, Copeland and Afshari's Principles and Practice of Cornea, was published on Sept. 4 and debuted four days later at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons meeting in Milan, Italy.

Copeland was approached by Indian publishers Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers nearly two years ago to write the work.  He recruited Dr. Natalie Afshari, professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Cornea Fellowship Program in the Department of Ophthalmology at Duke, to help him produce the work.

It took the two 18 months to complete the project.

The two-volume work is made up of over 1,500 pages, includes 119 chapters and weighs over 14 pounds. Volume one delves into the common cornea topics of structure and anatomy, while the second volume focuses on corneal surgery. In addition, this extensive textbook explores innovative advances in the field of ophthalmology.

The book, which comes with three surgical DVDs, will be followed with the 2013 release of a color atlas and a surgical atlas, Copeland said.

Copeland and Afshari recruited over 300 contributors from across the globe from countries such as the United Kingdom, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Sweden, Chile, Canada, the Virgin Islands and Singapore.

The book includes numerous contributors from Howard University College of Medicine and Howard University Hospital.

Dr. Earl Kidwell and Dr. Leslie Jones, both associate professors in the Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Janine Smith-Marshall, an assistant professor in the Department, and  Dr. Rebat Halder, professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology, all contributed chapters.

Dr. Claude Cowan Jr., former chief of the Division of Ophthalmology at Howard University and nine ophthalmology residents and one dermatology resident were included among the contributors.

Copeland said he was appreciative of the support he received from everyone, but he particularly wanted to single out one group.

“I want to thank my family for supporting me through this whole process,” Copeland said.

For more information on how to purchase the text book, visit

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