Seymour Brownstein profile picture

Contact Information

Seymour Brownstein, M.D., F.R.C.S.

Fax: (613) 737-8826

Seymour Brownstein

Clinician Investigator, Regenerative Medicine Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Associate Ophthalmologist and Pathologist, University of Ottawa Eye Insitute
The Ottawa Hospital
Les Amis, Chair in Vision Research
Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Department of Laboratory Medicine (Pathology)
University of Ottawa

Research Interests


Research and Academic Interests
• Ocular Pathology
• Teaching of Ophthalmic Pathology
• Fellowship Program in Ophthalmic Pathology

Brief Biography


Dr. Seymour Brownstein is an Ophthalmologist and an Ocular Pathologist at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute and The Ottawa Hospital.  He also is a Professor in both the Departments of Ophthalmology and Laboratory Medicine (Pathology) at the University of Ottawa and an Associate Clinical Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI).


A native of Montreal, Quebec, Dr. Brownstein completed his MDCM degree at McGill University followed by training in Ophthalmology in New York City and in Ophthalmic Pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC.  He then returned to McGill University where he rose to the rank of tenured full Professor in Ophthalmology and Pathology.  In 1992, he was recruited to the newly established University of Ottawa Eye Institute at The Ottawa Hospital.

Dr. Brownstein currently is the Les Amis Chair in Vision Research, University of Ottawa Professor of Ophthalmology and Laboratory Medicine (Pathology), and an
Associate Clinical
Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI). He has received many international awards and has given numerous invited presentations at international meetings. He was the founding editor of the Journal of the American Association of Ophthalmic Pathologists (AAOP), and chaired and organized the first combined meeting of the American Ophthalmic Pathology Societies of which he was elected President in 2003. He is the only member to receive the “Award of Gratitude” from the AAOP, the largest group of this subspecialty worldwide, for these contributions.

Dr. Brownstein loves teaching and research and sharing his academic experiences. He so far has trained 44 fellows in ophthalmic pathology, many of whom have received awards for their research presentations and most have continued to be active in academic ophthalmology. He thrives on interactive audience participation, especially with large groups of residents and staff. He prides himself on being the only guest invited for 31 consecutive years to the Greater New York City Visiting Professor Series, representing all of the New York based medical schools, and on regularly serving as a visiting professor at Harvard University, Boston, and Hadassah University, Jerusalem.

Research and Clinical Interests and Additional Awards

Dr. Brownstein was the first to manage the “precancerous” phase of conjunctival melanoma with cryotherapy, thereby preventing the development of this potentially lethal cancer and alleviating the need for blinding and disfiguring surgery. Dr. Brownstein’s continued studies on the detailed pathology of these cancerous lesions have led to more definitive diagnoses of these tumors with a substantial improvement in prognosis for those affected. In 2006, he was awarded by the OHRI the “Dr. J. David Grimes Research Career Achievement Award” for his pioneering work on the management of conjunctival melanoma and for his other research studies. In 2007, he was the recipient of the “Award of Excellence in Ophthalmology” from the Canadian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (CSCRS), at which time he delivered the Dr. Harold Stein named lectureship.


Dr. Brownstein has devoted his career to both academia and patient care. The study of melanoma represents only a small fraction of his many important contributions. His research activities centre on his ophthalmic pathology laboratory where he analyses with his fellows eye tissues from a wide spectrum of ocular diseases leading to over 200 peer-review scientific publications and 600 presentations at academic meetings worldwide. Furthermore, he presented to the combined meeting of the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University in 2003, the Lorand V. Johnson Lecture, named after one of the founders of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).  In 2014, he was selected with 5 other Canadian Specialists in Ophthalmology by the Canadian Ophthalmology Society to participate in a Symposium on Innovations in our respective field of expertise, including our personal role in these accomplishments, at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Tokyo Japan, with almost 20,000 attendees.  Dr. Brownstein has been referred to as a “true international ambassador” for the Eye Institute, The Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa, and the OHRI.

Selected Publications

  • Milne R, Brownstein S. Advanced glycation products and diabetic retinopathy. Amino Acids. (June) 2013; 44:1397-1407
  • Lam K, Brownstein S, Jordan DR, Jastrzebski A. Dacryops: A series of 5 cases and a proposed pathogenesis. JAMA Ophthalmol. (July) 2013; 131:929-932.
  • Belliveau M, Liao W, Brownstein S, Manusow JS, Jordan DR, Gilberg S, Mintsioulis G. Myxomatous corneal degeneration: A clinicopathological study of 6 cases and a review of the literature. Surv Ophthalmol (May-June) 2012; 57: 264-271.
  • Dorey MW, Brownstein S, Hill VE, Mathew B, Botton G, Kertes PJ, El-Defrawy S. Proposed pathogenesis for the delayed postoperative opacification of the Hydroview hydrogel intraocular lens. Am J Ophthalmol 2003; 135: 591-598.
  • Marshal DH, Brownstein S, Dorey MW, Addison DJ, Carpenter B: The spectrum of post-mortem ocular findings in victims of shaken baby syndrome. Can J Ophthalmol 2001; 36: 377-384.