Medicine in Our Backyard

Join us for the continuation of this popular series featuring internationally known UC Irvine Health physicians who will discuss research and cutting edge technology in their various fields of expertise.

Lectures scheduled for the fourth Monday of each month beginning September 2017 through May 2018.


  • 6:30pm doors open
  • 7:00–8:30pm lecture, Q&A
  • 949.717.3818
  • Newport Beach Central Library
  • No charge to attend

March 26

Customizing Cataract Surgery—Choosing the Right Technology for You
Sumit Garg, MD

Medical Director, UC Irvine Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute

Dr. Sumit Garg is a board-certified ophthalmologist. He is a highly-skilled clinician, surgeon and teacher and has particular expertise in cataract surgery and complication management, corneal, conjunctival and refractive surgery. He is actively participating in research related to the use of lasers in corneal transplantation, collagen cross-linking for keratoconus and using intraoperative aberrometry to improve outcomes in cataract surgery.

What You Need to Know Before Cataract Surgery
Marjan Farid, MD

Director, Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Ocular Surface Disease Program
UC Irvine Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute

Dr. Marjan Farid is a board-certified ophthalmologist. Farid performs all forms of corneal transplantation, femtosecond enabled and lamellar keratoplasty (DSEK and DALK), with her research interests focusing on corneal surgery, specifically in the use of the Femtosecond laser for corneal transplantation. She is the founder of the Severe Ocular Surface Disease Center at UC Irvine Health. Farid is director of the cornea fellowship program at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute.

April 23

Back Pain
Shalini Shah, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Anesthesiology

Dr. Shah is a fellowship-trained physician who specializes in the management and treatment of adult and pediatric pain.  She has extensive training in chronic pain disorders in children, specifically in oncologic pain, head and neck pain, abdominal pain, scoliosis and spasticity disorders. Shah started and developed the Pediatric Pain Program, Cancer Pain Program and the Women’s Pain Program with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UC Irvine Health.

Amer Khalil, MD
Director, Comprehensive Spine Neurosurgery Program

Dr. Amer Khalil is a fellowship-trained UC Irvine Health neurosurgeon who specializes in spine surgery. As director of the neurosurgery spine program, he seeks to provide innovative therapies and technologies that will improve the health of his patients. Khalil is an active member of several professional societies, including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the AOSpine Foundation and the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves. Khalil also received the Top Gun Award at the AANS meeting.

May 21

Is a Clinical Trial Right for You?
Daniela A. Bota, MD, PhD

Medical Director, UC Irvine Health Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program

Dr. Daniela A. Bota is a board-certified neuro-oncologist who specializes in the treatment of primary and metastatic brain and spinal cord tumors, as well as in the neurological complications of cancers. Bota is a lead investigator on several clinical trials, including novel treatments using brain tumor vaccines and the use of electrical fields to inhibit the growth of gliomas.

Using Stem Cells to Cure Blindness
Henry John Klassen, MD, PhD

Director, Stem Cell & Retinal Regeneration Program
UC Irvine Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute

Dr. Henry Klassen serves as research director for the Retinal Regeneration Program at the UC Irvine Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and is affiliated with the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. He has focused on regenerating damaged retinal tissue to restore sight to people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration. In addition to his medical degree, Klassen holds a doctorate in neurobiology and has delved into the retina’s unique architecture to understand how to repair the neural system.