skip to navigation

Gabor Mark Somfai

Dr. Gabor Mark Somfai

Retina and Vitreous
Job Title:
junior lecturere
Medical School:
Semmelweis Unicersity, Faculty of Medicine
Residency Program:
Hungarian Residency Training Programme, Semmelweis University, Budapest
Budapest, Hungary
Hungarian Ophthalmological Society
Contact Information:
39 Maria str.
Hungary H1085
Phone: +36209934050
Fax: +3613179061

Curriculum vitae

Name: Gábor Márk Somfai, MD, PhD
Date and place of birth: 23/09/1976, Budapest
Citizenship: Hungarian
Marital status: Married, 2 sons (1 and 2 years old)
Present employment: Semmelweis University, Department of Ophthalmology
(39 Mária str., 1085 Budapest, Hungary)
Position held: Junior lecturer (2008- )
Scientific degree: PhD (Degree obtained in 2008, mentor: Prof. Dr. György Salacz)
Specialization: Ophthalmology (Board exam in 2008 in Hungary)
International Council of Ophthalmology Examination, Parts 1 and 2 (2012)
Area of clinical and
scientific interests: Cataract surgery, retinal imaging, medical and surgical retina, diabetic microvascular complications, telemedical screening of diabetic retinopathy
Languages spoken: Hungarian (native)
English (fluent), German (fluent), Russian (fluent), Italian (fluent)

Previous studies and employment:
2011-present: Enrolled in the European Leadership Development Programme of the SOE, Class 2011-2013
2008-present: Junior lecturer at the Department of Ophthalmology, Semmelweis University, Budapest
2008: Defence of PhD thesis titled "Clinical and laboratory assessment of microvascular complications in diabetes" (summa cum laude, mentor: Prof. Dr. György Salacz)
2004-2008: Ophthalmology Specialist Training at the Dept. of Ophthalmology, Semmelweis University, Budapest. (specialist exam result: excellent)
2001-2004: PhD scholarship at Semmelweis University Department of Ophthalmology
1995-2001: Studies at Semmelweis Medical University, Medical School in Budapest
1991-1995: High School: ELTE Trefort Ágoston Teachers' Training School in Budapest (Trefort Ágoston Award at graduation)
2010: Three-week Observership at the Retina Service of the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL, USA
2007: Two month scholarship at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, United Kingdom (EBO-Scholarship, Glaucoma and Vitreoretinal Service)
2004-2006: Three one-week scholarships in three consecutive years at the Medical University of Vienna, Christian Doppler Lab (Prof. Drexler, 2004, 2005) and Department of Ophthalmology (Prof. Schmidt-Erfurth, 2005, 2006)
Courses organized as main organizer:
June 2010: Uveitis course for residents. Official course at the Meeting of the Hungarian Society of Ophthalmology, Szeged
October 2009: Retinal Imaging - what have changed in the past fours years? (main organizer and speaker) Conference of the Hungarian Retina Society, Siófok, Hungary, 2009. October 16-18.
June 2005: Optical coherence tomography in clinical practice. Official course at the Meeting of the Hungarian Society of Ophthalmology, Szeged, Hungary. (concept, organizer and speaker)

Membership and current positions in national and international societies:
- The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
- ARVO South-East European Chapter Affiliate (SEE-ARVO), secretary general
- European Association for Vision and Eye Research (EVER)
- European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD)
Membership and current positions in national societies:
- Hungarian Ophthalmological Society, secretary
- Hungarian Diabetes Association
- Hungarian Society for Research in Pharmacology
- Friends of Semmelweis University, executive board member

Local organizing committee membership on major international congresses:
2005: Federation of European Biochemical Societies Congress, Budapest, Hungary (3000 participants)
2007: World Congress of Cell Stress, Budapest, Hungary (1000 participants)

Reviewing activity for journals: Journal of the Renin-Angiotensin Altosterone System (2006), Archives of
Obstetrics and Gynecology (2008), Acta Diabetologica (2009), Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica (2010), Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers and imaging (2010-2012), Journal of Neural Transmission (2010), Interventional Medicine & Applied Science (2011, 2012), Journal of Biomedical Optics (2012)

Number of PhD Students completing degree: 1
Number of current PhD Students: 1
Number of student researchers involved so far: 7
Total number of peer-reviewed publications: 45 (22 in English, 23 in Hungarian; Total IF: 53,150)
Book chapters: 4 (1 in English, 3 in Hungarian)
Hirsch-index: 9 (Scopus), 10 (Google Scholar)
Total number of citations with/without self-citations: 174/149 (Scopus), 237/NA (Google Scholar)
Total number of posters and citable abstracts on international congresses: 71

Brief description of clinical and scientific work and teaching activity:

I take pride in working at the Department of Ophthalmology, Semmelweis University, Budapest which has a long established history in ophthalmology both nationally and internationally. I like the complexity of daily clinical work, teaching and research, involving talented young people in our work and enjoying how they develop during the years. I am proud of our scientific results and collaborations (involving prof. Graham Holder from Moorfields Eye Hospital as a significant co-author in one of our works) We have a fruitful collaboration with Dr. Delia DeBuc at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (BPEI), Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, USA since 2005. Our work resulted in three PhD titles (one in Hungary), and several prizes of student researchers at local and national scientific congresses.

As a clinician my main interest lies the diagnosis, and medical/surgical treatment of retinal diseases, with a special emphasis on diabetic retinopathy and neurodegeneration. I am a member of the Retina Team at the Department of Ophthalmology, Semmelweis University serving as an outpatient consultant. I am also interested in cataract surgery, being involved in the surgical preparation of residents at the Department.

My main area of scientific interest is ophthalmic imaging by optical coherence tomography and retinal image segmentation. Our collaboration with Dr. DeBuc has led to the detailed description of the reliability of the image segmentation software (OCTRIMA) developed at BPEI highlighting its potential clinical use. I am partly involved in the clinical and laboratory research of the role of semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase in the development of diabetic complications.

I enjoy being involved in the graduate and postgraduate teaching activities of the department both by lecturing and conducting practical training sessions in Hungarian, German, English and Russian languages.

As a medical student I was actively involved in the social life of students, leading the largest student community of Semmelweis University, and being involved in their work for almost a decade altogether. We were organizing camps and social events where I could learn how to act as a team leader. Later, as the organizing committee member of two major international congresses I could profit from these skills and I could also use them for the benefit of managing people working with our continuously growing team.

Early achievements track-record

1. Peer-reviewed publications in English (IF 53.150, independent citations 150+):
1. Hargitai J, Zernant J, Somfai GM, Vamos R, Farkas A, Salacz G, Allikmets R: Correlation of clinical and genetic findings in Stargardt disease patients from Hungary. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2005 Dec;46(12):4402-8.
2. Somfai GM, Miháltz K, Tulassay E, Slavei K, Rigó J Jr: Serous retinal detachment in patients with severe preeclampsia diagnosed by optical coherence tomography. Hypertens Pregnancy 2006 Mar;25(1):11-20.
3. Somfai GM, Knippel B, Ruzicska E, Stadler K, Tóth M, Salacz G, Magyar K, Somogyi A: Increased oxidative stress and inflammation in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and their relationship with soluble SSAO activity. Neurochem Int 2006 Jun;48(8):746-52. Epub 2006 Mar 9.
4. Ferencz M, Somfai GM, Farkas Á, Kovács I, Lesch B, Récsán Zs, Nemes J, Salacz Gy: Functional assessment of the possible toxicity of indocyanine green dye in macular hole surgery. Am J Ophthalmol. 2006 Nov;142:765-70.
5. Kovács I, Ferencz M, Nemes J, Somfai GM, Salacz Gy, Récsán Zs: IOL power calculations for combined cataract surgery, vitrectomy and peeling of epiretinal membranes for macular edema Acta Ophthalmol Scand, 2007 Feb;85(1):88-91.
6. Varsanyi B, Somfai GM, Lesch B, Vamos R, Farkas A.: Optical coherence tomography of the macula in congenital achromatopsia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 2007 May;48(5):2249-53.
7. Somfai GM, Salinas HM, PuliafitoCA, Fernández DC: Evaluation of Potential Image Acquisition Pitfalls during Optical Coherence Tomography and their Influence on Retinal Image Segmentation. J Biomed Opt. 2007 July/August, 12: 041209.
8. Lesch B, Szabó V, Kánya M, Varsányi B, Somfai GM, Hargitai J, Vámos R, Fiedler O, Farkas Á: Truncation of retinoschisin protein associated with a novel splice site mutation in the RS1 gene. Mol Vis 2008; 14:1549-58.
9. Lesch B, Szabó V, Kánya M, Somfai GM, Vámos R, Varsányi B, Pámer Zs, Knézy K, Salacz Gy, Janáky M, Ferencz M, Hargitai J, Papp A, Farkas Á: Clinical and Genetic Findings in Hungarian Patients with X-linked Juvenile Retinoschisis. Mol Vis 2008; 14: 2321-32.
10. Cabrera DeBuc D, Somfai GM, Ranganathan S, Tátrai E, Ferencz M, Puliafito CA: Reliability and Reproducibility of Macular Segmentation using a Custom-built OCT Retinal Image Analysis Software. J Biomed Opt. 2009;14(6):064023.
11. Somfai GM, Salacz Gy: Car Accident Leading to „Traumatic" Macular Hole Formation Proven by Optical Coherence Tomography. Oftalmologia 2009; 4: 37-40.
12. Cabrera DeBuc D, Somfai GM: Early detection of retinal thickness changes in diabetes using Optical Coherence Tomography. Med Sci Monit. 2010;16(3):MT15-21.
13. Somfai GM, Tátrai E, Ferencz M, Puliafito CA, Cabrera DeBuc D: Retinal Layer Thickness Changes in Eyes with Preserved Visual Acuity and Diffuse Diabetic Macular Edema on Optical Coherence Tomography. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging 2010 Nov 1;41(6):593-7.
14. Cabrera Debuc D, Salinas HM, Ranganathan S, Tátrai E, Gao W, Shen M, Wang J, Somfai GM, Puliafito CA: Improving Image Segmentation Performance and Quantitative Analysis via a computer-aided grading methodology for OCT retinal image analysis J Biomed Opt 2010 Jul-Aug;15(4):046015.
15. Veres A, Tapaszto B, Kosina-Hagyo K, Somfai GM, Nemeth J: Imaging LIPCOF (lid-parallel conjunctival folds) and tear meniscus with Fourier-domain OCT and comparing its grading with the slit lamp classification. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. October 27, 2011 vol. 52 no. 11 8425-8432
16. Tátrai E, Ranganathan S, Ferencz M, Cabrera DeBuc D, Somfai GM: Comparison of Retinal Thickness by Fourier-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography and OCTRIMA segmentation analysis derived from StratusOCT images. J Biomed Opt. 2011 May;16(5):056004. (indep. cit.: 3)
17. Tapasztó B, Veres A, Kosina-Hagyó K, Somfai GM, Németh J: OCT Imaging of Lid-Parallel Conjunctival Folds in Soft Contact Lens Wearers. Optometry Vis Sci 88(10):1206-1213, October 2011.
18. Molnár J, Chetverikov D, DeBuc DC, Gao W, Somfai GM: Layer extraction in rodent retinal images acquired by optical coherence tomography. Machine Vis and Appl, 2011; DOI: 10.1007/s00138-011-0343-y
19. Vámos R, Tátrai E, Németh J, Holder GE, Debuc DC, Somfai GM: The structure and function of the macula in patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Oct 28;52(11):8425-32.
20. Gao W, Tátrai E, Ölvedy V, Varga B, Laurik L, Somogyi A, Somfai GM, DeBuc DC: Investigation of changes in thickness and reflectivity from layered retinal structures of healthy and diabetic eyes with optical coherence tomography. J Biom Sci Eng Vol.4 No.10, October 2011: 657-665.
21. Tátrai E, Simó M, Iljicsov A, Németh J, Debuc DC, Somfai GM: In vivo evaluation of retinal neurodegeneration in patients with multiple sclerosis. PLoS One 2012;7(1):e30922.
22. Nagy ZZ, Ecsedy M, Takács Á, Kovács I, Somfai GM, Debuc DC Macular morphology assessed by OCT image segmentation after femtosecond laser assisted and standard cataract surgery. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery 2012; 38:(6) 941-946.

Peer-reviewed publications in Hungarian:
Altogether 23 papers in Hungarian journals, for a complete, official list of all publications see the following link:

2. Granted patents:
Co-inventor in the patent "Use of dihydralazine for the treatment of diseases related to elevated level of SSAO activity". (P 08 00498, EP 2 326 328 A1)

3. Invited presentations to peer-reviewed, internationally established conferences and/or international advanced schools:
1. Spectral-domain Optical Coherence Tomography in Clinical Practice. 7th Congress of the South-East European Ophthalmological Society, Tirana, Albania, 2010. June 18-20.
2. Spectral-domain OCT - A leap forward. First Meeting of the Romanian Retina Society, Bucharest, Romania, 2010. November 20.
3. Optical coherence tomography in macular diseases. International Symposium on Macular Diseases, Belgrade, Serbia, 2010. December 11.
4. Optical Coherence Tomography in theory and practice. 1st Balkan Ophthalmic Wetlab, Faculty member, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2011. June 21-26. (Course director: Jorge Alió, Alicante, Spain)
5. The Future directions of OCT. Meeting of the Retina Section of the Hungarian Ophthalmological Society, Balatonalmádi, Hungary, 2011. December 2-3.
6. Diagnostic Tests in Neuro-Ophthalmology: Optical Coherence Tomography. 1st European Neuro-Ophthalmology Society Update Course, Budapest, Hungary, 2012. April 14-15.
7. Optical Coherence Tomography: New developments. International Symposium on Glaucoma: New Insights and Updates, Belgrade, Serbia, 2012. April 21.
8. Оптическая когерентная томография в нейроофтальмологии. (talk in Russian: Optical Coherence Tomography in Neuro-Ophthalmology.) Fedorov Memorial Lectures, Moscow, Russia, 2012. June 20-22.
9. Optical Coherence Tomography in theory and practice. 2nd Balkan Ophthalmic Wetlab, Faculty member, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2011. June 26-30. (Course director: Jorge Alió, Alicante, Spain)
10. The use of Optical Coherence Tomography in Neuro-Ophthalmology. 8th Congress of the Croatian Society of Cataract and Refractive surgery, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 2012. October 5-7.

4. Prizes and awards:
2004: Bárdos József Károly Jr. Foundation, 1st prize
2004: Young Investigator Award, Conference of the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy, November 14-17, 2004, Vienna, Austria
2005: 1st Prize of the Semmelweis Alumni Organization (2005)
2008: HARVO Travel Grant to (ARVO 2008 Congress)
2009: 1st Prize of the Foundation for Retinal Research (Szeged, Hungary)
2nd Prize at the Március 15. Scientific Essay Competition of the Hungarian Ophthalmological Society (Case Study)
3rd Prize at the Március 15. Scientific Essay Competition of the Hungarian Ophthalmological Society (Original Paper)
2011: ALCON Spes Futuri Award, 3rd prize
2012: NOVARTIS Spes Futuri Award, 1st prize

Budapest, May 14. 2013.

Stay connected:         Follow us on Instagram

Web site design and web development by D3 Solutions