Derek Waldner


Dr. Derek Waldner was born and raised in Southern Alberta, with extensive involvement in competitive athletics. He was subsequently recruited to the University of Lethbridge Men’s Basketball team, where he completed an undergraduate honours degree in Biochemistry during a successful 5-year career as the team’s center and eventual captain. This was recognized by a series of awards including U of L Athlete of the Year (2013), MVP (2013), Hardest Worker (2009 & 2012), Academic All-Canadian (2010-2013), and naming to an All-Canada West team.

Derek begin a PhD with Drs. Bill Stell and Torben Bech-Hansen at the University of Calgary in 2014, studying retinal circuitry and disease. Specifically, his was directed towards development of adeno-associated viral vectors for investigation of retinal circuitry in animal models and pre-clinical work on gene therapy for treatment of congenital stationary night blindness 2A (incomplete CSNB). This work culminated in multiple publications and awards, including several in the LCI Striking Image Microscopy competition (image on the left). Derek subsequently joined the combined PhD/MD “Leaders in Medicine” program at the U of C in 2018, and three years later graduated with both degrees and joined Calgary’s ophthalmology program as a PGY-1 in 2021.

Derek’s ongoing clinical research interests include analyses of outcomes for novel techniques in management of glaucoma and validation of educational/surgical training tools for ophthalmologists. Most recently, Derek was awarded the Dr. Peter Cruse Memorial Award for best UME surgical research project for work comparing outcomes for superior vs inferior approaches in gonioscopy-assisted transluminal trabeculotomy (GATT).


When not working Derek enjoying staying active, and at any time can be found golfing, fly-fishing, snowboarding, biking, hiking, or playing recreational basketball.
  • Doctor of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. 2018 – 2021
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Neuroscience, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary. 2014 – 2018
  • Bachelor of Sciences with Honours, Biochemistry, University of Lethbridge. 2008 – 2013
  • Dr. Peter Cruse Award – Best UME Surgical Research Project. 2021
  • Co-Author, Runner-Up, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Film Festival. 2020
  • Co-Author, Best Surgical Film, American Glaucoma Society Film Festival. 2020
  • Achievers in Medical Science (AIMS) Leaders in Medicine Scholarship. 2018-2019
  • LCI Striking Image Microscopy Competition – 1st Place, LCI Category. 2018
  • Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship. 2016-2017
  • Graduate Studentship – Foundation Fighting Blindness EyeGeye Research Training Award.2014-2018

Research Projects

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Recent Publications