Dr. Brian Gilger is recognized worldwide as one of “the founding fathers” of current day equine ophthalmology. It is truly hard to overstate his influence and reputation in this field having changed both the way ophthalmologists understand and treat diseases of the equine eye and also the way they collaborate and interact with each other in this dynamic and advancing field.
Dr. Gilger completed his DVM (1987) at The Ohio State University, followed by an internship at The Animal Medical Center and then an ophthalmology residency at Auburn University. He returned to The Ohio State University as a faculty member and then subsequently moved to North Carolina State University where he rose through the ranks to his current position of professor. Brian is double boarded, being a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) and the American Board of Toxicology.
Dr. Gilger has been amazingly productive as a researcher. He has been awarded over $1.8 million in research contracts and grants and has authored or co-authored over 140 manuscripts, 150 scientific abstracts, 39 book chapters, and 5 books including two seminal textbooks – Equine Ophthalmology and Methods in Ocular Pharmacology and Toxicology. His research focus has been in ocular drug development and delivery. Equine recurrent uveitis is one of the most economically impactful diseases and the most common cause of blindness in horses. Brian’s development and multicenter clinical trials of a sustained-release cyclosporine implant for the treatment of this common and devastating condition has revolutionized the manner in which this disease is treated throughout the world and preserves long-term vision in these patients.
During his career, Dr. Gilger has committed substantial time and energy to serve in a broad range of leadership positions within the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO). He has also provided significant service to the veterinary ophthalmology profession and field through the creation of the International Equine Ophthalmology Consortium and his service on numerous committees, editorial and review boards, and exam committees in both human and veterinary ophthalmology.
His clinical and teaching acumen, along with his approachability, have led to him being sought out as a worldwide as a mentor and educator, evidenced by an extensive list of trainees. He not only participates in clinical and didactic teaching, he successfully creates an environment that facilitates active learning for both veterinary students and residents alike. Brian has served as a mentor for 28 residents, 23 of whom are currently diplomates of the ACVO and the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. His impact on the veterinary profession through both his own work and the work of those he has trained is far-reaching and long-lasting.