Dr. Harper was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and later attended St. Stephen’s Episcopal High School in Austin. After graduating with honors from Vanderbilt University with a degree in molecular biology, he earned his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1988. Upon completing his residency at Charity Hospital, Louisiana State University in New Orleans, he held a two-year fellowship at the prestigious Casey Eye Institute, University of Oregon in Portland, where he received specialty training in medical and surgical retina, as well as retinopathy of prematurity. He joined Austin Retina Associates in 1995.
With expertise that includes macular hole and retinal detachment surgery, retinopathy of prematurity and macular degeneration, Dr. Harper is a nationally recognized speaker on the management of retinopathy of prematurity and on the role of nutrition in macular degeneration. He is actively involved in research in both pharmacological and nutritional therapies for the treatment and prevention of macular degeneration. He has also served as an investigator for numerous clinical trials.
Dr. Harper is a consultant at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and at the city’s University Hospital, where he teaches residents and provides vitreoretinal care for infants with retinopathy of prematurity. Passionate about bringing quality ophthalmic care to developing countries, Dr. Harper travels worldwide teaching and performing surgery with local physicians. Recent travels have included trips to Haiti with Vanderbilt University Eye Project, and to Lanzhou, China, with Project Orbis, the world’s only flying eye hospital. His travels and contributions have received local and national recognition.
Dr. Harper is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Medical Association, Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Texas Medical Association and the Travis County Medical Society. He also served as Chief of Ophthalmology at Brackenridge Hospital from 2005-2008. Additionally, he is a regional consultant for Alcon and each year Texas Monthly magazine has included him in “Best Doctors in Texas”.
Dr. Harper’s wife, Ruthie, is an internal medicine physician specializing in nutritional medicine and non-surgical aesthetics. They have two children, Holly and Beau.