Anzhelika Vaccaro, MD, is a glaucoma specialist, born in the Republic of Ukraine to parents who have a passion for figure skating. She spent 13 years of her childhood preparing for a career as a figure skater, touring and competing. It taught her self-confidence, to remain calm under pressure and to work hard for her goals, all of which have stood her in good stead since she came to the United States in 1995 after graduating from high school.
Dr. Vaccaro enrolled at Borough of Manhattan Community College and took a job in a pediatrician’s office. By the time she entered Hunter College, she knew she wanted to become a doctor. Volunteering in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s pediatrics department affirmed her goal and focused her on pediatric oncology. Interested in the causes of cancer, she took an internship at Rockefeller University, where she learned molecular biological techniques studying protein interactions.
Through the Hunter Linkage Program with Cornell University Medical College, she joined a research program focused on the molecular regulation of kidney development during embryogensis, using morphological and cell biological techniques.
She wrote up the results of her second project and is the primary author of this study, submitted for publication — a highly unusual achievement for an undergraduate. Dr. Vaccaro received her medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, completed her ophthalmology residency from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed her glaucoma fellowship at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Dr. Vaccaro is an associate at Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island, OCLI, an eye care group consisting of over 50 eye doctors and surgeons representing a broad spectrum of specialties in ophthalmology and optometry, with 20 locations throughout Long Island.