Marshall School of Medicine names new chair of ophthalmology department


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Following a national search, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has selected James W. Gigantelli, M.D., as professor and chair of its Department of Ophthalmology.

Gigantelli comes to Marshall from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine. While at Nebraska, he served as professor, assistant dean of governmental affairs and interim chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, as well as director of the Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute. Throughout his 28-year professional career, Gigantelli has authored more than 50 publications and research abstracts in clinical care and lectured widely on topics ranging from ocular adnexal disease to medical leadership. He has been acknowledged with local and national awards for excellence in clinical care and teaching. His clinical practice focuses on improved diagnostic accuracy of orbital tumors and innovative therapies for orbital inflammatory diseases. Since 2007, he has been regularly listed as a member of Best Doctors and Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors in America®.

“Dr. Gigantelli is an exceptional ophthalmologist,” said Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “He brings amazing leadership skills to the department of ophthalmology, and we are thrilled to have him at Marshall.”

As chair, Gigantelli will be responsible for the administrative functions of the clinical, academic and research operations of the department. His goals include developing a graduate medical education program in ophthalmology; expanding the department in southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio through the addition of comprehensive and sub-specialty clinical providers and academic researchers to the department’s faculty base. The Department of Ophthalmology currently includes five ophthalmologists and operates two locations in Charleston and Huntington.

“I am excited for the privilege to join Marshall University and serve the people and communities of central Appalachia,” Gigantelli said. “Marshall University and Marshall Health are well-positioned and possess the infrastructure and resources required to transform the scope of ophthalmology and vision sciences in West Virginia and the surrounding region. I look forward to joining an already outstanding faculty and leading the efforts to build partnerships that develop strong programs in clinical care, research and education.”

Gigantelli earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, before completing his residency in ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and fellowship training in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Orbital Disease and Ophthalmic Oncology at the Duke University Eye Center in Durham, North Carolina. 

Gigantelli is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and the American College of Surgeons, which he currently serves on its Board of Regents and Health Policy Advisory Group, and chairs its Legislative Committee.  He is a past recipient of the AAO Honors, Senior Honors and Distinguished Service awards.

Gigantelli and his wife, Lori, have four children.

He becomes only the third chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Marshall, replacing R. Mark Hatfield, O.D., M.D., who is retiring from the school after five years as administrative chair.


Media Relations Contact

Michele McKnight
Assistant Director of External Affairs

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