Robert A. Avery, DO, MSCE

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Robert A. Avery, DO, MSCE, is a pediatric neuro-ophthalmologist in the Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise: Optic pathway gliomas, Pediatric optic nerve disorders, Pupil abnormalities, Ocular myasthenia gravis, Neurofibromatosis type 1, Pediatric pseudotumor cerebri, Elevated intracranial pressure, Optical coherence tomography, Unexplained vision loss, Pediatric neuro-ophthalmology
Locations: Main Hospital

Phone: 215-590-2791


Robert A. Avery, DO, MSCE, is an attending physician in the Division of Ophthalmology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Avery completed his pediatrics training at the A.I. duPont Hospital for Children followed by both his pediatric neurology residency and neuro-ophthalmology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Avery also received his Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2015, Dr. Avery was an attending pediatric neuro-ophthalmologist at Children’s National Medical Center and the Gilbert Family Neurofibromatosis Institute.

Dr. Avery’s research investigates methods for assessing the visual pathway of children with optic pathway gliomas and optic neuropathy. He is the principal investigator of an NIH/NEI sponsored grant using hand-held optical coherence tomography (OCT) to monitor tumor progression in children with optic pathway gliomas. He serves as a principal investigator for the multi-center international study of optic pathway gliomas secondary to Neurofibromatosis type 1, funded by the Children’s Tumor Foundation and Gilbert Family Neurofibromatosis Institute. 

Dr. Avery sees patients at CHOP’s main campus in Philadelphia.

Education and Training

Medical School

DO - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


Child Neurology - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Pediatrics - Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE


Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Child Neurology - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Graduate Degree

MSCE - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

MA in Psychology - Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Physician

Richard Shafritz Endowed Chair in Pediatric Ophthalmology Research

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Conditions Treated

Departments and Services




de Blank PMK, Fisher MJ, Liu GT, Gutmann DH, Listernick R, Ferner RE, Avery RA. Optic pathway gliomas in neurofibromatosis type 1: an update: surveillance, treatment indications, and biomarkers of vision. J Neuroophthalmol. 2017;37(Suppl 1):S23-S32.

Aleman TS, Sandhu HS, Serrano LW, Traband A, Lau MK, Adamus G, Avery RA. Acute zonal cone photoreceptor outer segment loss. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2017;135(5):487-490.

Avery RA, Katowitz JA, Fisher MJ, Heidary G, Dombi E, Packer RJ, Widemann BC; OPPN Working Group. Orbital/periorbital plexiform neurofibromas in children with neurofibromatosis type 1: multidisciplinary recommendations for care. Ophthalmology. 2017;124(1):123-132.


Avery RA, Cnaan A, Schuman JS, Trimboli-Heidler C, Chen C-L, Packer RJ, Ishikawa H. Longitudinal Change of Circumpapillary Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in Children with Optic Pathway Gliomas. American Journal of Ophthalmology 2015;160:944–952

Avery RA, Rajjoub RD, Trimboli-Heidler C, Waldman AT. Applications of Optical Coherence Tomography in Pediatric Clinical Neuroscience. Neuropediatrics 2015:46:88-97.

Akshintala S, Avery RA, Murnick J, Verdun N, Diab Y. Isolated midbrain ischemic infarct in association with hyperlipoproteinemia (a) - a report of two adolescent patients. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 2015;46:88-97.

Narula S, Liu GT, Avery RA, Banwell B, Waldman AT. Elevated Cerebrospinal Fluid Opening Pressure in a Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Cohort. Pediatric Neurology 2015;52:446-449.

Rajjoub RD, Trimboli-Heidler C, Packer RJ, Avery RA. Reproducibility of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness Measures Using Eye Tracking in Children With Nonglaucomatous Optic Neuropathy. American Journal of Ophthalmology 2015;159:71–77.


Avery RA, Cnaan A, Schuman JS, Chen C-L, Glaug NC, Packer RJ, Quinn GE, Ishikawa H. Intra- and Inter-visit Reproducibility of Ganglion Cell – Inner Plexiform Layer Measurements Using Handheld Optical Coherence Tomography in Children with Optic Pathway Gliomas. American Journal of Ophthalmology 2014;158:916-923.

Avery RA, Cnaan A, Schuman JS, Chen C-L, Glaug NC, Packer RJ, Quinn GE, Ishikawa H. Reproducibility of Circumpapillary Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Measurements Using Hand-held Optical Coherence Tomography in Sedated Children with Optic Pathway Gliomas. American Journal of Ophthalmology 2014;158:780-787.

Avery RA. Interpretation of Lumbar Puncture Opening Pressure Measurements in Children. Journal of Neuro-ophthalmology 2014;34:284-287.

Avery RA. Reference Range of CSF Opening Pressure in Children: Historical Overview and Current Data. Neuropediatrics 2014;45:206-211.

Gu S, Glaug NC, Cnaan A, Packer RJ, Avery RA. Retinal Ganglion Cell Layer Thickness in Children with Vision Loss from Optic Pathway Gliomas. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2014;55:1402-1408.

Avery RA, Hwang EI, Ishikawa H, Acosta MT, Hutcheson KA, Santos D, Zand DJ, Kilburn LB, Rosenbaum KN, Rood BR, Schuman JS, Packer RJ. Hand-Held Optical Coherence Tomography During Sedation in Young Children with Optic Pathway Gliomas. JAMA Ophthalmology 2014;132:265-271.

Avery RA, Hardy KK. Vision Specific Quality of Life in Children with Optic Pathway Gliomas. Journal of Neuro Oncology 2014;116:341-347.

Avery RA, Hwang EI, Jakacki RI, Packer RJ. Marked Recovery of Vision in Children with Optic Pathway Gliomas Treated with Bevacizumab. JAMA Ophthalmology 2014;132:111-114.


Waldman AT, Hiremath G, Avery RA, Conger A, Pineles SL, Loguidice MJ, Talman LS, Galetta KM, Shumski MJ, Wilson J, Ford E, Greenberg BM, Ellenberg J, Frohman EM, Balcer LJ, Calabresi PA. Monocular and binocular low-contrast letter visual acuity and optical coherence tomography in pediatric multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders 2013;3:326-334.

Fisher MJ, Avery RA, Allen JC, Ardern-Holmes SL, Bilaniuk LT, Ferner RE, Gutmann DH, Listernick R, Martin S, Ullrich NJ, Liu GT. Functional outcomes for neurofibromatosis type 1-associated optic pathway glioma clinical trials. Neurology 2013;18, suppl 1, S15-S24.

Binenbaum G, Rogers D, Forbes B, Levin A, Clark, S, Christian C, Liu G, Avery RA. Patterns of Retinal Hemorrhage Associated with Increased Intracranial Pressure in Children. Pediatrics 2013;132:e430-434.

Avery RA, Bouffet E, Packer RJ, Reginald A. Feasibility and Comparison of Visual Acuity Testing Methods in Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and or Optic Pathway Gliomas. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2013;54:1034-1038.

Avery RA Dombi E, Hutcheson KA, Acosta MT, Baldwin AM, Madigan WP, Gillespie A, FitzGibbon EJ, Packer RJ, Widemann, BC. Visual Outcomes in Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and Orbitotemporal Plexiform Neurofibromas. American Journal of Ophthalmology 2013;155:1089-1094.



Avery RA, Myseros JS, Packer RJ. Optic Pathway Gliomas. In Keating RT, Goodrich JT, Packer RJ, eds. Tumors of the Pediatric Central Nervous System. 2nd Eds. George Thieme Verlag; 2012.

Pineles S, Avery RA, Liu GT. Nystagmus and ocular oscillations in infancy and childhood. In: Wright KW, Strube YJ, eds. Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2012.


Avery RA. Headache. In: Shah SS (ed). Pediatric Practice: Infectious Diseases. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Publishing, 2009.

Awards and Honors

2013, The Thomas and Susan Carlow Young Investigator Award, North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society
2010, Best Abstract by a Fellow, North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society
2010, Patient-Oriented Research Award, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
2009, National Institute of Health, Loan Repayment Program (Pediatric Research)
2008, Outstanding Junior Member Award, Child Neurology Society
2000, Student Fellowship Award, Education and Research Foundation of the Society of Nuclear Medicine
2000, Sigma Xi – The Scientific Research Society

Editorial and Academic Positions

Editorial Positions
Peer Reviewer

American Journal of Ophthalmology

Archives of Disease in Childhood

Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

British Journal of Ophthalmology

Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology

Clinical Ophthalmology

Current Eye Research

European Journal of Pediatrics


Hospital Practice

International Journal of Obesity

Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Journal of Child Neurology

Journal of Pediatrics

Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology

Medical Science Monitor





Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal

Pediatric Neurology

Seminars in Ophthalmology

Translational Vision Science and Technology

Editorial Board

Associate Editor, Neuropediatrics

Leadership and Memberships

Memberships in Professional Organizations

North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society
American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus