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Leonard Messner, OD, FAAO

Professor of Optometry; Vice President for Strategy and Institutional Advancement





Why ICO?


Leonard V. Messner is the Vice President for Strategy & Institutional Advancement at the Illinois College of Optometry. He holds the rank of Professor of Optometry at ICO.

Dr. Messner is the immediate past Chair of the Neuro-ophthalmic Disorders Special Interest Group of the American Academy of Optometry. He is a member of the steering committee of the Fellows Doing Research Special Interest Group of the American Academy of Optometry, is a member of the advisory board of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and serves on the Concussion Research Committee of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society.

His predominant research interests include ocular structure and visual motor abnormalities with concussion, eye movements associated with the physical act of reading, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, psychophysical characteristics of optic neuritis, wide-field angiographic characteristics of diabetic retinopathy and low contrast color characteristics acuity characteristics of nonexudative and exudative age-related macular degeneration. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and textbook chapters in the areas of neuro-ophthalmic disorders and vitreoretinal disease.

He is a two-time recipient of the American Academy of Optometry’s Service Appreciation award, the 2012 recipient of the Illinois College of Optometry’s Alumni Council Educator of the Year and was recognized as the Optometrist of the Year in Illinois in 2013. In 2019, Dr. Messner received the Presidential Medal of Honor from Salus University. In 2021, he was named in Newsweek America’s Best Eye Doctors 2021. He is a 24-time recipient of the “Teacher of the Year” award at the Illinois College of Optometry.

Special Interests

Neuro-ophthalmic disorders, Retina-vitreous


1999 Harvard School of Public Health, Certificate in Advanced Leadership Strategies for Health Care Executives
1998 University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Certificate in Financial Analysis for Nonfinancial Managers
1985 Eye Institute of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Primary Eye Care Residency
1984 Pennsylvania College of Optometry, OD
1979 University of Pittsburgh, BS


1985-present Illinois College of Optometry

Awards & Honors

2005-present Who’s Who in Health Sciences Education
2002, 2006-07, 2008, 2010 Teacher of the Year, Illinois College of Optometry Fourth Professional Year Class
1998-present Who’s Who in the Midwest
1998-present Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare
1997-present Who’s Who in America
1997 Golden Apple Award, Illinois College of Optometry Student Association
1994-99, 2001-06, 2008-09, 2010-11  Teacher of the Year, Illinois College of Optometry Third Professional Year Class
1986 Council on Ethics Professionalism Award, Illinois College of Optometry
1984 Alumni Association Citations for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Pennsylvania College of Optometry
1981 Beta Sigma Kappa Academic Honor Society

Professional Organizations

Fellow, American Academy of Optometry
Member, American Optometric Association
Member, Illinois Optometric Association
North American Neuro-ophthalmology Society
Prentice Society
Metropolitan Club of Chicago
Healthcare Council
Vistage International


Patel R, Messner LV, Teitelbaum BA, Michel K, Hariprasad S. Characterization of ischemic index using ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography in patients with focal and diffuse recalcitrant diabetic macular edema. Am J Ophthalmol. 2013 (article in press).

Haaland Stone WJ, Ittner EA, Teitelbaum BA, Messner LV. Progressive, asymptomatic papilledema as the presenting sign of a Chiari I malformation. Optometry. 2012; 83:114-9.

Cao D, Zele AJ, Pokorny J, Lee DY, Messner LV, Diehl C, Ksiazek S. Functional loss in the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways in patients with optic neuritis.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011; 52:8900-7.

Galetta KM, Brandes LE, Maki K, Dziemianowicz MS, Laudano E, Allen M, Lawler K, Sennett B, Wiebe D, Devick S, Messner LV, Galetta SL, Balcer LJ. The King-Devick Test and Sports-Related Concussion: Study of a Rapid Visual Screening Tool in a Collegiate Cohort. J Neurological Sci. 2011; 309:34-9.

Klemencic S, McMahon J, Upadhyay S, Messner LV. Spectral domain ocular coherence tomography as a predictor of visual function in chronic solar maculopathy. Optom Vis Sci. 2011; 88:1014-9.

Galetta KM, Barrett J, Allen M, Madda F, Delicata D, Tennant AT, Branas CC, Maguire MG, Messner LV, Devick S, Galetta SL, Balcer LJ. The King-Devick Test as a determinant of head trauma and concussion in boxers and mixed martial arts fighters. Neurology. 2011; 76:1456-62.

Tsang T, Messner LV, Pilon A, Lombardi L. Torpedo maculopathy: in vivo histology using optical coherence tomography. Optom Vis Sci 2009; 86:1380-5.

Winters JE, Messner LV, Gable EM, et al. Coordinating eye and primary medical care in a low income and uninsured population: the experience of the Vision of Hope Health Alliance (VOHHA). Optometry 2008; 79:730-6.

Wallace S, Pilon A, Kwok P, Messner LV, Hitchcock Y. Ophthalmic manifestations of an undifferentiated sinonasal carcinoma. Optom Vis Sci 2008; 85:226-29.

Pilon AF, Rhee PS, Newman TL, Messner LV. Bilateral abducens palsies and facial weakness as initial manifestations of a Chiari 1 malformation. Optom Vis Sci. 2007; 84:936-40.

Pilon AF, Newman TL, Messner LV. Neurosensory detachment of the macula arising from a fractured inner limiting membrane secondary to chronically elevated intra-ocular pressure. Optom Vis Sci. 2006; 83:415-20.

Pilon AF, Rhee PS, Messner LV. Bilateral serous macular detachments due to Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. Optom Vis Sci 2005: 82:573-8.

Spies A, Messner LV. An untreated macular hole with adjacent choroidal neovascularization. Optom Vis Sci 2003; 80:619-22.

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