Meet the Professors

Professor Tae-Woo Kim: open angle glaucoma patients should be classified by pathogenesis, not simply by intraocular pressure

Expert’s introduction

Tae-Woo Kim (Figure 1) is Professor of Seoul National University College of Medicine. He also serves as an ophthalmologist in Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. His research interests include but not limited to lamina cribrosa imaging, diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, relationship of myopia and glaucoma, blood flow in normal-tension glaucoma.

Figure 1 Professor Tae-Woo Kim.

Editor’s note

During April 21-22, the Guangzhou Glaucoma Forum was held at Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center (ZOC), Guangzhou, China. Ophthalmologists from China, USA, UK, Korea and other countries participated and shared cutting-edge achievements in this field. Prof. Tae-Woo Kim, a glaucoma specialist from Seoul National University College of Medicine, was invited to delivered a speech on “Glaucoma in Myopic Eyes”. After his speech, we were honored to conduct a face-to-face interview, during which Prof. Kim told us the latest research directions of him team. Let’s enjoy the interview (Figure 2)! More details please refer to the interview video (Figure 3).

Figure 2 Meeting with Prof. Tae-Woo Kim.
Figure 3 Professor Tae-Woo Kim: open angle glaucoma patients should be classified by pathogenesis, not simply by intraocular pressure (1). Available online:

Myopia is a known risk factor of glaucoma. However, the rate of progression is slower in myopic eyes, compared to non-myopic eyes. “It is an interesting phenomenon, but the reason is still not clear,” said Prof. Kim. He conjectured that pathogeneses of them might be different. “It is probably that myopic glaucoma patients may share common pathogenic mechanisms of optic nerve damage with non-myopic population, but we cannot rule out the possibility that some myopic patients may have different pathogenesis, which is probably related to the scleral stretching derived from eyeball elongation in young age.” Prof. Kim stressed that it is only a hypothesis. More researches are needed to identify the pathogenesis.

As an irreversible blinding disease, glaucoma has become a global concern. Prof. Kim pointed out that the incidence rate of normal-tension glaucoma is high in Korea. In over-60 populations, 4% are glaucoma patients, approximately 80% of which are normal-tension glaucoma patients. Regarding the main therapies of glaucoma, Prof. Kim said that drugs and eye drops are still first-line treatment in Korea. When the intraocular pressure is not well controlled, surgeries or selective laser trabeculoplasty would then be taken into consideration.

Prof. Kim also highlighted the research achievement and future direction of his team. They are focusing on ocular imaging, particularly on lamina cribrosa. Recently, they study microvascular system using OCT angiography. These researches would help further elucidate the pathogenesis of glaucoma. He recommended that open angle glaucoma patients should be classified by pathogenesis, not simply by intraocular pressure. “Once we find out clear pathogenesis of glaucoma, we could better identify glaucoma patients, and develop individualized treatment.”




Conflicts of Interest: The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.


Received: 2018-05-10

Accepted: 2018-05-16

Online: 2018-05-30

DOI: 10.21037/asvide.2018.529

Gin Li 1
Corresponding Author

Gin Li, Email:

1 Annals of Eye Science
Glaucoma pathogenesis intraocular pressure