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Brian Zaugg, 2012 ARCS Utah Scholar, Joins John A. Moran Eye Center Faculty

Posted on Friday, April 24, 2020

Brian E. Zaugg, MD, received the ARCS scholarship in 2012. He joined the Moran Eye Center as a faculty member in 2016, specializing in the medical and surgical treatment of corneal and anterior segment eye diseases, including LASIK, cornea transplantation, and complex cataract surgery.

Zaugg mentors medical students and residents in a research group involving technology for cataract surgery, the most common procedure performed in the U.S. The research group studies the safety and efficacy of phacoemulsification, the primary machine technique used to remove cataracts.

Aiming to improve patient care, the group identifies gaps in knowledge about the processes involved in fluidics and power settings used during phacoemulsification. Zaugg works with other faculty members in an ongoing effort to increase the literature published in medical journals to help others navigate the complexities of these settings. To date, his group has published 30 original articles on the subject.

Zaugg actively participates in many clinical trials, including studies on dry eye and refractive surgery. He also collaborates with the Huntsman Cancer Institute in research related to new cancer drugs. Many of these drugs have ocular effects that need monitoring and input on treatment intervals, requiring collaboration with clinicians around the country that stretches from bench to bedside.

ARCS funding allowed him to follow his passion for clinical research.

“ARCS launched my desire to work in academic medicine to educate those who come after me, and to advance the knowledge of medicine to all while still providing the best care possible to patients in need,” said Zaugg. “I have found great rewards in helping with these studies as an ongoing part of seeing patients in a clinical setting.”

Zaugg earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees at the University of Utah. Following his residency, he completed a fellowship in cornea and refractive surgery at Moran.