Women Professors of Ophthalmology

WPO Logo

Established in 2021 by Dr. Rukhsana Mirza and Dr. Misha Syed (both AUPO members), WPO’s mission is to foster the professional growth and advancement of women in academia through the creation of a non-gender specific peer mentoring network of Professors and supporters in our field with the goal of enhancing the professional development and equity of women in academic Ophthalmology during all phases of their career.

The WPO initiative is intended to help academic ophthalmologists and vision scientists connect and build relationships to guide and advance their careers in academia through a variety of platforms including a peer mentorship program, podcasts, webinars, and live networking events.  

Please check back regularly for updates!

Questions? Email: womenprofs.ophtho@gmail.com

Connect Me to the WPO Network

The 2024 Women Professors of Ophthalmology program is sponsored by Sponsored by AbbVie

Upcoming Events - 2024-2025

Career Networking Program 2024 - 2025 (Application period opens July 8 and closes August 1)
5:00 pm Pacific / 6:00 pm Mountain / 7:00 pm Central / 8:00 pm Eastern Time for 90-minutes

Sept 26, 2024 - Developmental Network Kick off (open to all full professor members - meet WPO cohort 4 and learn about WPO-Net)
Oct 10, 2024 - Mentee presentations of developmental network maps (with prior cohorts)
Nov 21, 2024 - "Next steps" (with prior cohorts) 
Jan 16, 2025 - CV Review & Biosketches - Led by Christina Flaxel, MD and  Kim Winges, MD
Feb 27, 2025 - Leadership - Led by Sandra Masur PhD and Lynn Gordon MD, PhD 
April 17, 2025 - Research - Led by ME Hartnett, MD and Susan Culican, MD, PhD
May 22, 2025 - Reflections and Reciprocity Exercise

WPO Member Events

Oct 18, 2024 - Reception at AAO Annual Meeting, Chicago - Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
Nov 7, 2024 - Webinar - Leading With Influence & How to Build Your Influence (open to all)
Jan 31, 2025 - Reception at AUPO Annual Meeting, Fort Lauderdale - Marriott Harbor Beach


Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Mentee cohort on the completion of the WPO Mentoring Program:

  • Jessica Chang, MD - University of Southern California
  • Shu Feng, MD - University of Washington
  • Shruthi Harish, MD - Wills Eye Hospital
  • Eliesa Ing, MD - Oregon Health Sciences University
  • Minjy Kang, MD, MA - Northwestern University
  • Yin Allison Liu, MD, PhD - University of California, Davis
  • Lilian Nguyen, MD - University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio
  • Sally Ong, MD - Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
  • Shameema Sikder, MD - Johns Hopkins
  • Nurhan Torun, MD - Harvard Medical School
  • Melanie Truong-Le, DO - UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Qing Wang, MD, PhD - Columbia University
  • Alexis Warren, MD - University of Chicago
  • Amy Zhang, MD - University of Michigan

2022-2023 Mentee Cohort

  • Tahira Scholle, MD - Baylor College of Medicine
  • Christine Shieh, MD - Vanderbilt Eye Institute
  • Mary Champion, MD - The University of Kansas Medical Center
  • Annie Wishna, MD - University of Kansas
  • Grace Sun, MD - Weill Cornell Med
  • Sangeeta Khanna, MD - University of Michigan
  • Mary Daly, MD - BUSM
  • Merina Thomas, MD - OHSU Casey Eye Institute
  • Amanda Henderson, MD - Wilmer/Johns Hopkins
  • Afshan Nanji, MD, MPH - OHSU Casey Eye Institute

2021-2022 Mentee Cohort

  • Jennifer Lindsey, MD - Vanderbilt
  • Meghan Berkenstock, MD - Johns Hopkins
  • Aakriti Shukla, MD - Columbia
  • Jessica Randolph, MD - Virginia Commonwealth
  • Nisha Chadha, MD - New York Eye & Ear Infirmary
  • Ujwala Saboo, MD - University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio
  • Divya Srikumaran, MD - Johns Hopkins
  • Lucy Shen, MD - Mass Eye and Ear
  • Kim Winges, MD - Oregon Health & Sciences University

Podcasts – WPO Academia

Welcome to the "WPO Journey into Academia" podcast series. In this inaugural episode, our WPO co-hosts, Thasarat and Cat, interviewed WPO co-founders Drs. Rukhsana Mirza and Misha Syed. Our guests shared their personal and professional journeys and how they collaborated to create WPO as a way to ensure that current and future colleagues could reach their highest potential in their academic careers, no matter the pathway or the phase of one’s journey.

Episode #1: Drs. Rukhsana Mirza and Misha Syed, Co-founders of WPO – Our Journey

In the second episode, our WPO co-hosts, Thasarat and Cat, had the privilege of interviewing two distinguished women professors, Lynn K Gordon, MD, PhD, and Sandra Kazahn Masur, PhD. Our guests shared their journeys, how they overcame the unique challenges they faced and the aspects they have enjoyed the most about being women in academia. As distinguished scientists, they also shared insightful strategies on how to establish successful and fulfilling research careers, while navigating work-life balance as a woman in a demanding profession. Enjoy our highlight video and/or watch the entire interview via the below link.

Episode #2: Drs. Lynn K. Gordon and Sandra Kazahn Masur Highlight Video
Episode #2: Drs. Lynn K. Gordon and Sandra Kazahn Masur Full Interview

Webinar Recordings

The Legacy Mindset: Leaving Your Profession Better than You Found It - October 18, 2023

My Journey to Chair: The Why, The How, and the What Next - October 20, 2022

CV Building and Our Journey in Academia: What We Wish We Had Known Along the Way - October 14, 2021

Recent Events

AUPO Annual Meeting Reception - Feb 2, 2024 - Austin, TX

WPO Fort Lauderdale, FL 2024

AAO Annual Meeting Reception - Nov 3, 2023 - San Francisco, CA

WPO Reception at AAO 2023

AUPO Annual Meeting Reception - Jan 26, 2023 - San Diego, CA

WPO Reception at AUPO 2023


WPO Mentees 2022-2023


AAO Annual Meeting Reception - Oct 1, 2022 - Chicago, IL

WPO at AAO 2022

WPO at AAO 2022