Dr. Hema Ramkumar was born and raised in Los Angeles. She completed her undergraduate education at Northwestern University with dual degrees in Developmental Neurosciences and International Studies with Honors. She obtained her medical degree at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine with Honors in Research. During medical school, she received the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholarship at the National Eye Institute. Dr. Ramkumar selected the University of California, San Diego to complete her residency where she received the resident research award and was selected by peers and faculty to serve as Chief Resident. She completed subspecialty fellowship training in vitreoretinal surgery at Shiley Eye Institute and Jacobs Retina Center at UCSD, where she received the Thrasher Foundation Early Career Award.
She is a specialist in macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, complex retinal tears and detachments, floaters, ocular inflammation, macular holes, and retinal imaging. Her training also included the treatment of intraocular tumors, complex uveitis, inherited retinal diseases, and pediatric retinal diseases.
In addition to her clinical interests, Dr. Ramkumar has an extensive background in retinal research. She has over ten years of research experience investigating molecular causes, vitamin combinations, retinal imaging, and treatments for macular degeneration. Dr. Ramkumar has also published on the clinical utility of genetic testing in retinal diseases, patient experiences during retinal surgery, and ocular tumors. Her work has been published in over 29 peer-reviewed articles in the top journals in the field and presented at numerous national and international meetings. She was the principal investigator in grant-funded clinical trials evaluating omega-3 fatty acid metabolism in retinal disease and noninvasive widefield retinal imaging. As a reviewer of the most important peer-reviewed retinal journals and active investigator of clinical trials, Dr. Ramkumar critically evaluates and offers her patients the latest technology and advanced treatments.
Dr. Ramkumar is a member of several professional organizations, including American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Retina Specialists, Orange County Society of Ophthalmology, Women in Ophthalmology, and Women in Retina. She is fluent in Spanish and Tamil, in addition to English.