Rochester, Minnesota Clinical Profile


John J. Chen, M.D., Ph.D., specializes in neuro-ophthalmology and has research interests in idiopathic intracranial hypertension, optic neuritis, ischemic optic neuropathy, imaging and neuro-immunology. He undertakes both clinical and translational research in the pathogenesis and treatment of neuro-ophthalmic diseases.

Focus areas

  • Optic neuritis. Dr. Chen evaluates the epidemiology and clinical and radiologic features of optic neuritis and related disorders. These include neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein autoantibody-associated demyelinating diseases. He is collaborating with a Mayo Clinic neuroimmunology lab to describe the clinical phenotype of novel glial autoantibodies that can affect the optic nerve.
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Dr. Chen is investigating novel tools to detect raised intracranial pressure, including magnetic resonance elastography.
  • Imaging. Dr. Chen has established a reputation as an expert in optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging of the optic nerve. He is exploring the use of OCT, hyperspectral camera and other imaging modalities as biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Chen's research strives to provide improvements in the diagnosis of neuro-ophthalmic conditions by advancing the applications of imaging for various diseases, and on improving understanding of glial autoantibodies and how they affect the optic nerve.

Professional highlights

  • Fellow, Academy of Educational Excellence, Mayo Clinic, 2018
  • Fellow, North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society, 2018
  • Recipient, Leonard and Mary Lou Hoeft Career Development Award in Ophthalmology Research, Mayo Clinic, 2018
  • Recipient, Achievement Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2017
  • Best Original Paper Presentation for Neuro-Ophthalmology, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2017
  • Teacher of the year, Mayo Fellows Association, 2016
  • Recipient, Fellow Teaching Award, University of Iowa, 2014
  • Recipient, Heed Fellowship Award, The Heed Ophthalmic Foundation, 2014
  • Recipient, Residency Teaching Award, University of Iowa, 2013


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Ophthalmology

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Neurology
  2. Professor of Ophthalmology


  1. Fellow - Neuro-ophthalmology Department of Ophthalmology, University of Iowa
  2. Resident - Ophthalmology Department of Ophthalmology, University of Iowa
  3. Internship Carilion Clinic
  4. MD/PhD - Doctor of Medicine School of Medicine, University of Virginia
  5. Ph.D. - Neuroscience University of Virginia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  6. BA - Biology and Cognitive Science: Graduated with highest distinction College of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia

Clinical Studies

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