Loretta Szczotka-Flynn, DO, PhD

Searle-Huang Professor and Director, Vision Research Coordinating Center
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
School of Medicine
Director
Contact Lens Service
UH Cleveland Medical Center
Director
Vision Research Coordinating Center
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Dr. Szczotka is the Director of the Vision Research Coordinating Center, a joint collaboration between the University Hospitals Eye Institute and the Case Western Reserve University Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.  She is also one of multiple Principal Investigators for the NIH funded Diabetes Endothelial Keratoplasty Study (DEKS).  

Primary appointment - Ophthalmology

Secondary appointment - Population/Quantitative Health Sciences

Research Information

Research Interests

Dr. Loretta Szczotka-Flynn is recognized as an Expertscape Expert in Contact Lenses for being in the top 1% of scholars with published work about Contact Lenses over the past 10 years. Her major research interests include contact lens associated corneal inflammation and infection, keratoconus, and corneal transplantation which have been funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She also received significant funding from the American Optometric Foundation and industry. She participated in an eight-year study on keratoconus, the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus (CLEK) Study from 1996 to 2004 where she was principal investigator for the site at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals. She was principal investigator of a longitudinal study on extended contact lens wear complications, the Longitudinal Analysis of Silicone Hydrogel (LASH) Contact Lens Study, also funded by the NEI and part of her PhD Dissertation. Her other research interests include contact lens related biofilms which were funded in part by Prevent Blindness America and the CLAO Educational Research Foundation. She recently completed, along with Dr. Jonathan Lass in the Department, the NEI funded Cornea Preservation Time Study where she was Director of the Coordinating Center. This study enrolled 1,330 participants across 40 centers in the U.S to study the effect of donor preservation time on graft success in endothelial corneal transplants. Twelve publications in high profile journal have resulted from this work changing eye banking and keratoplasty practices. In 2018-19 she was funded by NEI and Alcon Laboratories to study the genetic susceptibility to contact lens associated microbial keratitis, together with colleague Sudha Iyengar, PhD.

Awards and Honors

Ohio Young Optometrist of the Year
1997
Nissel Award
2000
British Contact Lens Association
Ezell Fellowships
American Optometric Foundation
Springer Award and Lecture
University of Alabama-Birmingham
Female Scholar
Prevent Blindness Ohio
Keynote Speaker
2015
British Contact Lens Association
Korb Award Recipient for Excellence in Contact Lens Education and Research
2015
American Optometric Association
30 Most Influential in the Field of Contact Lenses Worldwide in the past 30 year
2016
Contact Lens Spectrum
Top 250 Optometrists
Primary Care Optometry News
Distinguished Alumnus
2017
The Ohio State University College of Optometry

External Appointments

Dr Szczotka-Flynn is a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and Diplomate in the Academy’s Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies where she is past chair of the section. In order to become a Fellow in the Academy, excellence in patient care or research must be demonstrated. Fellows can be awarded Diplomate status by demonstrating exceptional skill in the area of cornea and contact lenses after rigorous testing and patient care demonstration. She is one of only 200 Diplomates in this section worldwide. She is also on the Council of the International Society for Contact Lens Research and on the Board of the International Keratoconus Academy.

Dr. Szczotka-Flynn currently serves on the editorial board for the peer reviewed journal Eye & Contact Lens. She has been a topical editor for Optometry & Vision Science (journal of the American Academy of Optometry) for 12 years. She became associate editor for Eye & Contact Lens in 2013. She is also a contributing editor for many trade journals including Contact Lens Spectrum and Review of Optometry.

Education

OD
Optometry
The Ohio State University
1992
Masters
Physiological Optics
The Ohio State University
1992
PhD
Epidemiology
Case Western Reserve University
2009

Residencies, Internships and Fellowships

Additional Information

Credentials: O.D, F.A.A.O

Dr. Szczotka's clinical interests include contact lens complications, extended contact lens wear, silicone hydrogel contact lenses, scleral contact lenses, keratoconus, post-surgical contact lens fitting, pediatric medically necessary contact lenses, corneal imaging including topography and confocal microscopy, and following and fitting patients after corneal transplantation. She has authored or co-authored more than 80 peer reviewed manuscripts, 13 book chapters, 100 scientific meeting abstracts, and has been invited to present over 200 presentations world-wide. She is a highly sought after speaker in the area of contact lenses and has traveled around the world in that regard.