Dr. Watanabe, an Associate Professor in the Department of Specialty and Advanced Care, has been a faculty member at the college for over 20 years. He is the co-director of the Residency in Cornea and Contact Lenses at the college and has responsibilities as an attending optometrist and clinical instructor at the New England Eye Commonwealth, the flagship clinic of the New England Eye Institute. He previously served for 12 years as the Chief of cornea and contact lens service for NEEI. At the college, he teaches the course Contact Lenses to second-year optometry students and co-teaches an elective course in Advanced Contact Lenses. Dr. Watanabe also owns a private practice in Andover, MA.
Dr. Watanabe specializes in complex contact lens designs for patients with irregular ocular surfaces. He has conducted multiple research studies for and in collaboration with various companies on contact lens materials and solutions. He has been an independent consultant and has served on speakers bureaus for several major contact lens companies as well.
Dr. Watanabe became a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry in 1994 and earned the title of Diplomate in the American Academy of Optometry’s Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies in 2004. He is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, and is past chair of the Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators, an organization dedicated to the advancement of contact lens education at all schools and colleges of optometry throughout North America. Dr. Watanabe is a manuscript referee for Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association and Optometry and Vision Science. He is also a contributing writer for Contact Lens Spectrum’s Lens Design & Materials monthly column.
Dr. Watanabe earned his doctor of optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry in 1991. He completed his residency with the Southern California College of Optometry in cornea and contact lenses and joined the faculty of The New England College of Optometry shortly after completing his residency in 1992. While at NECO, Dr. Watanabe has been a multi-year recipient of the Carroll Martus Award for outstanding clinical instruction and the Faculty Merit Award. He has also been a recipient of the Dupuis-Pellerin Award for Faculty Excellence.