Sandra Rocio Montezuma, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences

Sandra Rocio Montezuma

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-9600

Fax 612-626-7882

Office Address:
University of Minnesota
Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Neurosciences
420 Delaware St. SE, MMC 493
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0501

MD, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, School of Medicine

Residency, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School

Fellowships, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School

Internship, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School


Dr. Montezuma has subspecialty expertise in providing medical and surgical care for all retina diseases in adults and children, including macular degeneration, retina dystrophies, diabetic retinopathy, retina detachments, and retinopathy of prematurity.

Dr. Montezuma's research interest focus on retina prosthesis, age related macula degeneration, retina imaging and angiogenesis.

Awards & Recognition

  • “Champion of Care” Fairview Foundation gift as part of Celebration of Doctor’s Day 2016
  • “Champion of Care” Fairview Foundation gift as part of Celebration of Doctor’s Day 2015
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award Nomination 2014
  • Board Certification by ABO, 2010
  • Harvard Medical School Fellow of the Year Teaching Award 2010
  • The Gilligham Fellowship Award at The Pan-American Association 2010 
  • of Ophthalmology (PAAO)
  • The New England Ophthalmological Society (NEOS). Poster award 2010
  • The 13th Fellowship Research Award at the Retina Society, Retina Congress 2009
  • The New England Ophthalmological Society (NEOS). Poster award 2009
  • The New England Ophthalmological Society (NEOS). Poster award 2007


  • Spanish


Research Summary/Interests

  • Retinal implants
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Angiogenesis research


Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Gregori NZ, Callaway NF, Hoeppner C, Yuan A, Rachitskaya A, Feuer W, Ameri H, Arevalo JF, Augustin AJ, Birch DG, Dagnelie G, Grisanti S, Davis JL, Hahn P, Handa JT, Ho AC, Huang SS, Humayun MS, Iezzi R Jr, Jayasundera KT, Kokame GT, Lam BL, Lim JI, Mandava N, Montezuma SR, Olmos de Koo L, Szurman P, Vajzovic L, Wiedemann P, Weiland J, Yan J, Zacks DN. Retinal Anatomy and Electrode Array Position in Retinitis Pigmentosa Patients After Argus II Implantation: An International Study. Am J Ophthalmol. 2018 Sep;193:87-99. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2018.06.012. Epub 2018 Jun 27.
  • Huang N, Montezuma SR. Cataract, Vitritis, and Diffuse Hypofluorescent Retinal Dots on Fluorescein Angiography. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018.
  • White RJ, Watson D, Koozekanani D, Montezuma SR. Association of Optic Nerve Head Drusen with Best Vitelliform Macular Dystrophy: A Case Series. Case Reports in Ophthalmology 2018, 9: 76-86.
  • Huang N, Summers G, McCafferty B, Koozekanani D, Areaux R, Montezuma, SR. Retinal Management in Incontinentia Pigmenti: A Systemic Review and Update. Accepted. Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases (JVRD), 2018, Vol 2(1) 39-47.
  • Lee B, Drayna P, Maltry AC, Mason CM, Montezuma SR, Koozekanani D. Endogenous Nocardia Endophthalmitis Presenting as a Mass Lesion in a Patient with Metastatic Nonsmall Cell Carcinoma of the Lung. Retin Cases Brief Rep. 2017
  • Lee A, Montezuma SR. A 61-year-old man with cystoid macular edema and chorioretinal folds after cataract surgery. Digital Journal of Ophthalmology : DJO. 2017;23(3):81-84. doi:10.5693/djo.03.2017.02.002.
  • Lee B, Drayna P, Montezuma SR. Combined femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery and Pars Plana Vitrectomy, Using the Catalys® system. Vision Pan-America, The Pan-American Journal of Ophthalmology. Vis Pan-Am. 2017; 16(3):71-73.
  • Ferrington DA, Ebeling MC, Kapphahn RJ, Terluk MR, Fisher CR, Polanco JR, Roehrich H, Leary MM, Geng Z, Dutton JR, Montezuma SR. Altered bioenergetics and enhanced resistance to oxidative stress in human retinal pigment epithelial cells from donors with age-related macular degeneration. Redox Biol. 2017 Jun 1;13:255-265.
  • Huang N, Lee A, Rivera S, Montezuma SR. Chorioretinal lesions and old vasculitis- associated macroaneurysms. Case Reports in Ophthalmology. 2017;8:390-395.
  • Montezuma SR, Tang P, Van Kuijk F, Drayna P, Koozekanani, D. Implantation of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis in an Eye with Short Axial Length. Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers and Imaging Journal. 2016 Apr 1;47(4):369-71.
  • Abel AS, Suresh S, Hussein HM, Carpenter AF, Montezuma SR, Lee MS. Practice patterns after acute embolic retinal artery occlusion. Asia-Pac J Ophthalmol. 2017;1:37-39.
  • Geng Z, Walsh PJ, Truong V, Hill C, Ebeling M, Kapphahn RJ, Montezuma SR, Yuan C, Roehrich H, Ferrington DA, Dutton JR. Generation of retinal pigmented epithelium from iPSCs derived from the conjunctiva of donors with and without age related macular degeneration. PLOS ONE. 2017 Mar 10.
  • Ma B, Jing M, Villalta P, Kapphahn R, Montezuma SR, Ferrington DA, Stepanov I. Simultaneous Determination of 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine and 8-oxo-2'-deoxyadenosine in Human Retinal DNA by Liquid Chromatography Nanoelectrospray-tandem Mass Spectrometry. Scientific Reports 2016 Mar 16;6:22375 (from the publishers of Nature)
  • Ferrington DA, Terluk MR, Karunadharma P, Atilano S, Chen GK, Montezuma SR, Kenney C. Increased Retinal mtDNA Damage in the CFH Variant Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Experimental Eye Research. 2016 Feb 12; 145, 269-277.
  • Dar S, Grajewski A, Bitrian E, Montezuma SR. Retinal Interventional Management of Blind Painful and Non-painful Eyes at Risk for Neovascular Glaucoma: Four Cases and Literature Review. Vision Pan-America, The Pan-American Journal of Ophthalmology. Vis-Pan-Am Vol 14(4): 104-107, 2015
  • Rageh AA, Ferrington DA, Roehrich H, Yuan C, Terluk MR, Nelson EF, Montezuma SR. Lactoferrin Expression in Human and Murine Ocular Tissue. Current Eye Research. 2015; 2:1-7.
  • Terluk M, Kapphahn R, Soukup, Gong H, Gallardo C, Montezuma S, Ferrington D. Investigating Mitochondria as a Target for Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Journal of Neuroscience. 2015; 35(18): 7304-7311.
  • Montezuma SR, Dolezal L, Rageh A, Mar K, Jordan M, Ferrington DA. Lactoferrin Reduces Chorioretinal Damage in the Murine Laser Model of Choroidal Neovascularization. Current Eye Research. 2015; 2: 1-8.
  • Jordan M, Montezuma SR. Septo-optic Dysplasia Associated with Congenital  Persistent Fetal Vasculature, Retinal Detachment and Gastroschisis. Retinal Cases & Brief Reports. 2015; 9(2): 123-126.
  • Mitchell J, Lee M, Montezuma SR. Birdshot Retinochoroidopathy in the Absence of Typical Chorioretinal Lesions. Vision Pan-America, The Pan-American Journal of Ophthalmology. Vis-Pan-Am. 2014; 13(4): 116-118.
  • Breunig A, Lee M, Montezuma S. Autoimmune Retinopathy in a Patient with Autoimmune Polyendocrine Syndrome Type I. Ocular Immunology and Inflammation. 2013; 21 (2): 153-157.
  • Trichonas G, Manola A, Morizane Y, Thanos A, Koufomichali X, Papakostas TD, Montezuma S, Young L, Miller JW, Gragoudas E, Vavvas D. A Novel Non-radioactive Method to Evaluate Vascular Barrier Breakdown and Leakage. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 2010; 51(3):1 677-82.
  • Montezuma SR, Vavvas D, Miller JW. Review of the Ocular Angiogenesis Animal Models. Seminars in Ophthalmology. 2009; 24(2): 52 – 61.
  • Montezuma SR, Gopal H, Savar A, Turalba A, Cestari D, Torun N. Silent Sinus Syndrome Presenting as Enophthalmos Long After Orbital Trauma. Journal of Neuro-ophthalmology. 2008; 28(2): 107-110.
  • Papaliodis G, Montezuma SR. Pseudo-hypopyon as the Presenting Feature of Recurrent B-cell Lymphoma. Ocular Immunology and Inflammation. 2008; 16(3): 121-122.
  • Montezuma SR, Pineda R, Lessell, S. Optic Neuropathy after Epi-LASIK. Journal of Refractive Surgery. 2008; 24 (2): 204-208.
  • Montezuma SR, Sobrin, L, Seddon JM. Review of Genetics in Age Related Macular Degeneration. 2007. Seminars in Ophthalmology. 2007; 22(4): 229-240.
  • Montezuma SR, Loewenstein J, Scholz C, Rizzo JF. Biocompatibility of Materials Implanted into the Subretinal Space of Yucatan Pigs. Investigative Ophthalmology Visual Science. 2006; 47 (8): 3514-3522.
  • Shah HG, Montezuma SR, Rizzo JF. In Vivo Electrical Stimulation of Rabbit Retina: Effect of Stimulus Duration and Electrical Field Orientation. Experimental Eye Research. 2006; 83 (2): 247-54.
  • Sweitzer R., Scholz C, Montezuma S, Rizzo JF. Evaluation of Subretinal Implants Coated with Amorphous Aluminum Oxide and Diamond-like Carbon. Journal of Bioactive and Compatible Polymers. 2006; 21: 5-22.
  • Montezuma SR, Rizzo JF, Ziv OR. Differential Recovery of the ERG, VECP and EECP Following Vitrectomy: Implications for Acute Testing of an Implanted Retinal Prosthesis. VA Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. 2004; 41(2): 113-120.
  • Loewenstein J, Montezuma SR, Rizzo JF. Outer Retinal Degeneration: An Electronic Retinal Prosthesis as a Treatment Strategy. Archives of Ophthalmology 2004; 122(4): 587-596.
  • Montezuma SR, Rizzo JF, Ziv OR. Combined Vitrectomy Lens and Electrode for ERG Recording During Surgery. Retina 2002; 22(6): 828-829.
  • Galvis V, Tello A, Montezuma S. Delayed Pupillary Capture and Noninvasive repositioning of a posterior Chamber Intraocular Lens after Pupil Dilation. Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2002; 10: 1876-9.
  • Galvis V, Montezuma S, Tello A. LASIK to Correct Residual Defects after Incisional Surgery. Revista de la Sociedad Colombiana de Oftalmología. 2001; 34(4): 112-122.
  • Montezuma SR, Varon CL, Villareal E, Romero JM. Diabetic Retinopathy: Role of the Physician on its Control. Medicas UIS. 2000; 14: 121-127.
  • Montezuma SR, Serrano JS. Pediatric Glaucoma in the Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander. Med UNAB. 1999; 2(4): 5-13. 

Peer-Reviewed Collaborator on National Clinical Publications 2015

  • DCCT/EDIC Research Group. Effects of Prior Intensive Insulin Therapy and Risk Factors on Patient-Reported Visual Function Outcomes in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) Cohort. JAMA Ophthalmology. 2016;134(2)137-145
  • DCCT/EDIC Research Group. Intensive Diabetes Therapy and Ocular Surgery in Type 1 Diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015; 372(18):1722-1733.
  • DCCT/EDIC Research Group. Caffeine Consumption Contributes to Skin Intrinsic Fluorescence in Type I Diabetes. Diabetes Technology and Therapy. 2015;17(10): 726-34
  • Gangaputra S, Almukhtar T, Glassman AR, Aiello LP, Bressler N, Bressler SB, Danis RP, Davis MD; Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network. Comparison of Film and Digital Fundus Photographs in Eyes of Individuals with Diabetes Mellitus. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 2011; 52(9): 6168-6173.

Peer-Reviewed Open Access E-Online Publications

  • Miller C, Montezuma SR. Noninvasive Repositioning of a Posterior Chamber Intraocular Lens with Pupil Dilation after Traumatic Lens Pupillary Capture. Digital Journal of Ophthalmology. Grand round section. 2016
  • Montezuma SR. 19 Month-old Girl with Nystagmus, Paradoxical Pupillary Response and Low Vision. Digital Journal of Ophthalmology. Grand round section. February 2008.
  • Montezuma SR. Eyelid Psoriasis. Digital Journal of Ophthalmology. Knowledge Review. 2006. 

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications. Scientific Magazine Publications

  • Montezuma SR, Kao T. Optic Nerve Coloboma. EyeNet Magazine, Mystery image. blink. August-September 2014.
  • Montezuma SR, Cohen M, Kao T. Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum and Angioid Streaks. EyeNet Magazine, Mystery image. blink. 08.2013.
  • Montezuma SR, Entrevista Chat with Sandra Montezuma. Revista Enfoque de la Sociedad Colombiana de Oftalmología. September- October 2010. No 75. 16-17s, 09.2010.

Book Chapters

  • Engel K, Page, M, Montezuma, SR, Cameron JD. Surgical and Non-Surgical Trauma. , Chapter 6. Duane’s Foundations of Clinical Ophthalmology. Revised Ed. Duane, T.D., Tasman, W., Jaeger, E. A. 2013. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Yiu G, Montezuma SR, Spaillat A. Diabetic Retinopathy. Chapter 8, 2011 edition Diabetic Eye Disease: A Comprehensive Review. Ed.: Alejandro Spaillat. Chapter IX.


International Oral Presentations

  • “The Art of Non-Kissing.” Movie presentation American Society of Retina Specialists ASRS. Boston, MA 08/2011
  • “Autoimmune Retinopathy on a Patient with AIRE Gene Mutation.” The Retina Society Meeting. Rome, Italy 09/2011
  • “Management of choroidals” and “Review of the Retinal Prosthesis.” Invited professorship. Clínica Oftalmológica de Antioquia (Clofan). Colombia 07/2011
  • Review of the Ocular Angiogenesis Animal Models. IV congress of the Pan-American Retina and Vitreous Society. Lima, Peru 07/2010
  • “A Novel Method to Evaluate the Blood-Retinal Barrier using Biotinylated Albumin” The American Society of Retina Specialists ASRS and The Macula Society. Received the 13th Fellowship Research Award at the Retina Society New York, NY 10/2009
  • Lasik for Residual Defects after Incisional Surgery. Joint Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the XXII Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO), Orlando, FL 10/1999.

National Oral Presentations

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Guest speaker. “Review of the Ocular Angiogenesis Animal Models.” Chicago, IL
  • Visual loss in the 21st century. Everybody’s business. Sponsor by American Foundation for the Blind. “The Retinal Implant Project.” Beverly Hills, CA 02/2003

Regional Oral Presentations

  • International Lions Meeting. Guest Speaker, Mankato, MN “The the Argus II Retina Prosthesis”, 04/2016
  • 15th Annual Design of Medical Devices (DMD) Conference in 2016 04/2016
  • Neuroengineering 2: New Technologies & Applications “The MN results of the Argus II Retina Prosthesis” April 12,2016
  • Minnesota Lions Meeting. Guest Speaker district 5M-2 mid-winter convention, Mankato, MN “The MN results of the Argus II Retina Prosthesis” 02/2016
  • Thanksgiving for Vision Minnesota Lions Meeting. Guest Speaker “Results of the Argus II Retina Prosthesis” 10/2015
  • Center for Translational Sensory Science (CATSS). Keynote Lecture: Distinguished Vision Lecture: Results of the UMN Argus II Retina Prosthesis.10/2015
  • University of Minnesota. The Knobloch visiting professor. “Update on the MN Argus II Retina Prosthesis” 04/2015
  • International Lions presentation. 03/2015 “Update on the MN Argus II Retina Prosthesis.”
  • Thanksgiving for Vision Minnesota Lions Meeting. Guest Speaker. 10/2014 “The Argus II Retina Prosthesis.”
  • Phillips Eye Institute. Retina Prosthesis Update. 09/2014 Minneapolis, MN
  • University of Minnesota. The Knobloch Visiting Professor Lecture Series. “Review of the Retina Prosthesis” 04/2014
  • Thanksgiving for Vision Minnesota Lions Meeting. Guest Speaker.10/2013  “The Role of Lactoferrin in Angiogenesis.”
  • University of Minnesota. Rathbun Visiting Professor Lecture Series. “Case Presentation - Acute Macular Neuroretinopathy.”  09/2013, 02/2010
  • University of Minnesota. The Knobloch Visiting Professor Lecture Series. “Posterior Segment Manifestations of Ocular Trauma.” 03/2013
  • Minnesota Regional meeting. Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). “Acute Visual Loss”. 04/2012. Mayo Clinic. Rochester, MN
  • University of Minnesota. The Knobloch Visiting Professor Lecture Series “Case Presentation.” 02/2012.
  • University of Minnesota. Discoveries in Ophthalmology. “Retina Prosthesis Development.” 06/2011.
  • University of Minnesota. The Knobloch Visiting Professor Lecture Series “Management of Choroidal Detachment.” 02/2011


Clinical Experience Statement

Dr. Montezuma has subspecialty expertise in providing medical and surgical care for all retina diseases in adults and children, including macular degeneration, retina dystrophies, diabetic retinopathy, retina detachments, and retinopathy of prematurity. Dr. Montezuma's research interest focus on retina prosthesis, age related macula degeneration, retina imaging and angiogenesis.



Seeing is believing

In The News

Filmed/ Interviewed by 60 Minutes Australia. Story production about patient who received the Argus II implant. Seeing is believing. Reporter: Allison Langdon. 60 minutes Australia. I am the Site PI for the Argus II retinal Implant. 07/15/2015