Brief Biography of Christopher Sales, MD, MPH

Christopher S. Sales, M.D., M.P.H. is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Dr. Sales specializes in minimally-invasive corneal transplant surgery, vision correction with LASIK/PRK and Intraocular Contact Lenses (ICLs), intraocular lens implant exchange and iris reconstruction, and the medical and surgical treatment of corneal and external disease, including Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy and Keratoconus. Having been a patient himself when he was a medical student, he strives to provide compassionate care to all of his patients, whether they see him for a general eye checkup or for cutting-edge, minimally invasive corneal transplant surgery.

Dr. Sales studied International Relations at Brown University in Providence, RI as an undergraduate, where he received the Richard Smoke Fellowship for his work with children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Tanzania, East Africa. After working in healthcare policy at Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York, he studied medicine and public health at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA, where he completed an additional year of ophthalmic epidemiologic research, for which he was awarded Research Honors. As a medical student at Tufts, Dr. Sales also received the Academic Achievement Award from the Department of Public Health & Family Medicine and was inducted into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha national honors society for his “excellence in scholarship” and pursuit of the “highest ideals in medicine.” After serving as an intern in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA, he completed his ophthalmology residency training at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, where he received the Resident Consultant of the Year Award on two separate occasions from the County and University Hospitals for his commitment to patient care, collegial service, and bedside teaching. Dr. Sales completed his training in advanced corneal transplant surgery, reconstructive ocular surgery, and laser vision correction under world-renowned ophthalmic surgeons Mark Terry and Mike Straiko, at the Devers Eye Institute in Portland, OR, where he also worked closely with the Lions VisionGift Eye Bank in translational and clinical corneal transplant research. After completing fellowship training, Dr. Sales practiced at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston in MA, where he taught Corneal Fellows as part of a training program shared with Tufts University Medical Center.

Dr. Sales joined the faculty at Weill Cornell/New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City in 2016 as Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology. At Weill Cornell, he collaborated with Cornell’s Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering to develop a novel surgical device for corneal transplant surgery, receiving more than $400,000 in grant support from the Daedalaus Fund for Innovation and the Clinical & Translational Science Center, as well as completing Weill Cornell’s Accelerating Bioventure Innovation program. After his promotion to Associate Professor on the tenure track, Dr. Sales joined the faculty at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, where he continues his work in collaboration with the Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering, the College of Pharmacy, the Iowa Lions Eye Bank, and the Institute for Vision Research.

Dr. Sales’ clinical expertise is in Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy, Keratoconus, Laser Vision Correction, and Cataracts. He is honored to be one of a select few physicians endorsed by the Corneal Dystrophy Foundation and the Fuchs’ Friend Network.

Dr. Sales’ area of surgical expertise is in partial-thickness corneal transplant surgery techniques that target the diseased layers of the cornea and preserve as much of the healthy cornea as possible. He is highly trained and experienced in the most cutting-edge, minimally invasive form of endothelial keratoplasty (EK) known as Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK). He has authored four textbook chapters and numerous medical journal articles on DMEK, given scientific presentations on the technique, taught the procedure to established surgeons from around the world as both a surgical instructor and regular lecturer at national meetings, and developed specialized DMEK instruments, innovative surgical techniques, and novel training tools.

Dr. Sales is experienced in other forms of corneal transplant procedures as well. He performs partial-thickness Descemet membrane stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK), the Descemet membrane preserving surgery known as deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK), conventional full-thickness penetrating keratoplasty (PK), and laser-enabled keratoplasty. Dr. Sales also performs Corneal Collagen Crosslinking, a newly FDA-approved procedure that can, in some cases, prevent the need for corneal transplant surgery for patients with certain corneal diseases, such as keratoconus.

An expert in the field of corneal transplant surgery and eye banking, Dr. Sales serves on the Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE) Network Cornea Committee for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Accreditation Board and the Medical Advisory Board for the Eye Bank Association of America, as an Emeritus Associate Medical Director for the Lions VisionGift Eye Bank, and as a Medical Advisor for the Iowa Lions Eye Bank. Additionally, he was nominated to the Eye Bank Association of America’s Physician Leadership Program.

In addition to his contributions to the field of corneal transplant surgery, Dr. Sales has published a number of medical journal articles and given scientific presentations on laser vision correction. He has authored scientific articles on the benefits of wavefront guided laser vision correction and all-laser, bladeless LASIK, and published an extensive review as well as given an online seminar for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS) on laser vision correction after cataract surgery. In the fields of medical education and public health, he has focused on microsurgical instruction, curriculum reform, and medical decision making with the use of advanced statistical modeling. He also takes a personal interest in the mentorship of fellows, residents, medical students, and undergraduates as part of his service to the medical profession.

Dr. Sales is a diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons, and the Paton Society for Corneal Transplant Surgery and Eye Banking, among other professional societies.

Drawing on his background in Public Health and International Relations, as well as his Filipino heritage, Dr. Sales enjoys volunteering with ophthalmic missions in the developing world, most recently in Mauritius to perform cornea transplant surgery and in Guatemala to perform cataract surgery. The father of an adorable daughter and son, and husband to a beautiful, accomplished wife, he also enjoys cooking, traveling, exercising, and photography.

Dr. Sales is accepting new patients and participates in many insurance plans. Appointments can be made by calling the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics at (319) 356-3166.

Personal Statement

"Patients are at the center of our world at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. They are our lifeblood, our family. It is our privilege not only to take care of them and to educate them about their health, but most of all, to get to know them as people."