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ALEXANDRA CASTILLEJOS, MD

Duke University, Glaucoma Fellow, Durham, NC

CLINICAL INTERESTS: Medical & Surgical Glaucoma Treatment, Complex Glaucoma Surgery, Cataract Surgery & Premium IOL implants, LenSx Laser Cataract Surgery


*NOW ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS

EDUCATION

Duke University, Glaucoma Fellow, Durham, NC                                                                              07/2023-07/2024

Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Ophthalmology Resident, Boston, MA                                              07/2020-06/2023

Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Internal Medicine Prelim Year, New York, NY                                      07/2019-06/2020

Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine, Cleveland, OH    07/2015-05/2019                            

Columbia University, Columbia College, Bachelor of Arts, New York, NY                                   08/2010-05/2014                                    

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE/EMPLOYMENT

Massachusetts Eye and Ear                                                                                                                   2021-present

Department of Ophthalmology, Clinical Research Project with Dr. Lucy Q Shen, Boston, MA

  • Analyzed the incidence of OCT RNFL artifacts in KPro patients and which patient characteristics were associated with useful OCT RNFLs. Presented at the American Glaucoma Society, 2022.

  • Compared clinical assessment of glaucoma progression to that of OCT RNFL and HVF. Presented at ARVO, 2022 and received the ARVO foundation Travel Grant.

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center                                                                                2015-2018

Department of Ophthalmology, laboratory of Dr. Douglas Rhee, Cleveland, OH

  • Investigated the role of matricellular proteins and the accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins in the pathogenesis of primary open angle glaucoma.

  • Leader of multiple basic science laboratory projects with participation in various conferences.

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center                                                                                 2017-2019

Department of Ophthalmology, Clinical Research Project with Dr. Rony Sayegh Cleveland, OH

  • Sports Vision: Assessed visual parameters of NFL draftees as compared to age-matched controls.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear                                                                                                                   Summer 2013, 2014-2015

Department of Angiogenesis, laboratory of Dr. Kip Connor, Boston, MA                      

  • Explored the role of the Classical, Lectin and Alternative complement pathways in retinal detachment   and retinopathy of prematurity using the Oxygen-induced retinopathy mouse model.

Columbia University                                                                                                                                2011-2013

Department of Genetics and Development, laboratory of Dr. Virginia Papaioannou, New York, NY

  • Investigated the role of T-box genes, Brachyury and Tbx6, in the establishment of left-right asymmetry.

The Scripps Research Institute                                                                                                           Summer 2009, Summer 2010

Department of Immunology, laboratory of Dr. Michael B.A. Oldstone, San Diego, CA

  • Conducted research on the transfer of maternal cells from Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus infected mice to their offspring.

The Scripps Research Institute                                                                                                           Summer 2008

Department of Chemistry, laboratory of Dr. M. G. Finn, San Diego, CA                                                             

  • Conducted research on mutated Qβ virus-like particles in order to create an effective vehicle for drug delivery.

 

PUBLICATIONS

Castillejos AG and Chen TC. A guide to the repair of traumatic cyclodialysis clefts: medical, laser and surgical treatment. Accepted: International Ophthalmology Clinics 2023.

Castillejos AG, (…) Shen LQ. Artifacts in Optical Coherence Tomography Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Imaging in Patients with Boston Keratoprosthesis Type 1. Ophthalmology Glaucoma. 2023 Sep 30. (PMID: 37783274)

MacDonald W, Swaminathan S, Heo JY, Castillejos A, (…) Rhee DJ. Effect of SPARC Suppression in Mice, Perfused Human Anterior Segments, and Trabecular Meshwork Cells. IOVS. 2022 Jun 1. (PMID: 35671048)

Bloom JR, Castillejos AG, Jones B, Patel N, Rosenstein BS, Stock RG. Ocular Complications with the use of radium-223: a case series. Radiation Oncology. 2022 May 17. (PMID: 35581667)

Sokol JT, Castillejos A, Sobrin L. Purtscher-like retinopathy following a bowel movement. Am J of Ophthalmology Case Reports. 2022 Apr 29. (PMID: 35572612)

Belfort RN, Isenberg J, Castillejos AG, et al. Novel cost-effective approach for papillomatous conjunctival lesions using pattern scanning laser photocoagulation. The Ocular Surface. 2018 April 12. (PMID: 29655617)

Kim C, Smith KE, Castillejos A, Diaz-Aguilar D, Saint-Geniez M, Connor KM. The alternative complement pathway aids in vascular regression during the early stages of a murine model of proliferative retinopathy. FASEB J. 2015 Nov 30. (PMID: 26631482)

Sweigard JH, Matsumoto H, Smith KE, Kim LA, Paschalis El, Okonuki Y, Castillejos A, (…), Husain D, Lambris JD, Vavvas D, Miller JW, Connor KM. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway preserves photoreceptors after retinal injury. Sci. Transl. Med. 2015 Jul 22. (PMID: 26203084)

Fiedler JD, Higginson C, Hovlid ML, Kislukhin AA, Castillejos A et al. Engineered mutations change the structure and stability of a virus-like particle. Biomacromolecules. 2012 Aug 13. (PMID: 22830650)

 

POSTERS AND PRESENTATIONS

Castillejos A (presentation). How low can you go? Latin American Conference, Durham, NC, 2023.

Castillejos A, Devlin J, Saini C, Chodosh J, Shen, LQ (poster). Artifacts in optical coherence tomography retinal nerve fiber layer imaging in patients with Boston Keratoprosthesis type 1. MGH Clinical Research Day. Boston, MA, 2022.

Castillejos A, Saini C, Chodosh J, Shen LQ (presentation). Structural and Functional Assessment of Glaucoma Progression in Patients with Boston Keratoprosthesis Type 1. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Denver, CO, 2022.

Castillejos A, Devlin J, Saini C, Chodosh J, Shen, LQ (poster). Artifacts in optical coherence tomography retinal nerve fiber layer imaging in patients with Boston Keratoprosthesis type 1. American Glaucoma Society, Nashville, TN 2022.

Castillejos A (presentation). Roses are Red Jeans are Blue. Grand Rounds, Boston, MA, 2022.

Castillejos A (presentation). An ugly situation: UGH syndrome. Grand Rounds, Boston, MA, 2021.

Castillejos A (presentation). Into the void: Purtscher-like retinopathy. Grand Rounds, Boston, MA, 2021.

Castillejos A et al (presentation). Arts and grafts: Descemetocele. Chandler Lecture, Boston, MA 2020.

Castillejos A, Kang MH, Rhee DJ (poster). Suppression of Parvin-a in Human Trabecular Meshwork Downregulates Extracellular Matrix Components. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Baltimore, MD, 2017.

Castillejos A, (…) Rhee DJ (presentation). Chaperone activity of SPARC on MMP-mediated collagen degradation. Vision Research Scientific Forum: Prevent Blindness, Ohio, Columbus, OH, 2016.

Castillejos A, (…) Connor KM (poster). The alternative complement pathway aids in vascular regression during the early stages of a murine model of proliferative retinopathy. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Baltimore, Denver, CO, 2015.

 

AWARDS/GRANTS

American Glaucoma Society (AGS) INSPIRE sponsorship                                                                              2023

  • A program initiative for networking and support of individuals under-represented in resident education.

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Foundation Travel Grant                    2022

  • Received for presented work on structural and functional modalities of analyzing glaucoma progression in KPro patients.

Young Investigator Student Fellowship Award for Female Scholars in Vision Research                         2016

  • One of two recipients to receive grant from Prevent Blindness Ohio and be featured in local newspapers.

  • Presented research at the Vision Research Scientific Forum: Prevent Blindness Ohio, 2016.

Genentech Grant for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Columbia University                2012

  • Awarded funding and summer housing for work in the Papaioannou Lab.

  • Completed a scientific paper, lab presentation and participated in school poster session.

 

LEADERSHIP/EXTRACURRICULARS

Mass Eye and Ear Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee: President 2022-present                         2021-present

  • Provided mentorship and wet lab experiences to the Summer Harvard Ophthalmology Research Scholar Program and to Harvard medical students of underrepresented background.

  • Led quality improvement initiative to provide language resources at the Mass Eye and Ear Emergency Room.

Co-President of Ophthalmology Interest Group: Case Western School of Medicine                               2016-2017

  • Organized new ophthalmology shadowing program, medical student training sessions and monthly free vision clinics.

Doc Opera                                                                                                                                                               2016-2017

  • Sang and danced in Case Western medical school fundraising performance.

Unite for Sight: Columbia Chapter                                                                                                                    2010-2014

  • President 2013-2014, Chairman 2012-2013, Vice-President 2011-2012

  • Fundraised over $10,000 for Unite for Sight; Chapter Fundraiser of the Year Award 2011-2012

  • Organized and led Ghana trip where we conducted visual acuity exams and identified patients for surgery.

Co-Shadowing Program Chair of CU AMSA: Women in Medicine                                                             2010-2011

  • Organized medical shadowing opportunities for Columbia college students.

 

VOLUNTEER WORK

Eye, Ear and Eat Health Fair, Boston, MA                                                                                                       2021

  • Provided vision screening for patients of disadvantages backgrounds.

Vision Clinic: Free Clinic, Cleveland, OH                                                                                                        2015-2018

  • Student leader and organizer of monthly vision clinics to provide free eye care to disadvantaged populations in Cleveland in conjunction with the University Hospitals Ophthalmology Department.

Unite for Sight, Ghana                                                                                                                                        2014

  • Conducted research on the interplay between international aide and domestic health infrastructure in Ghana and wrote paper for the project.

Terrance Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center, New York, NY                                                                    2012-2014

  • Palliative Care Corp volunteer: worked closely with terminally ill patients experiencing chronic pain.

Health Leads at Harlem Hospital, pediatrics, New York, NY                                                                     2011-2012

  • Volunteered weekly to connect impoverished families to necessary resources.

Unite for Sight, Orissa, India                                                                                                                            2011

  • Volunteered in India where I went to eye camps to identify and transport potential patients for cataract surgery, witnessed small incision cataract surgeries and wrote grants for treating pediatric eye diseases.

Flying Samaritan Eye Clinic, Tecate, Mexico                                                                                               2009-2010

  • Volunteered at monthly eye clinics by taking visual acuities of indigenous patients in Mexico.

OTHER SKILLS

Foreign Languages: Spanish-advanced and Portuguese-intermediate

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