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Clio Harper, M.D.


University of Oklahoma


Residency, Ophthalmology
Charity Hospital, Louisiana State University

Fellowship, Vitreous & Retina
Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health Sciences University


Cilo Harper, M.D., is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at Dell Medical School. He 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 at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, he held a two-year fellowship at the prestigious Casey Eye Institute at the 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 in 1995.

With expertise that includes macular hole and retinal detachment surgery, retinopathy of prematurity and macular degeneration, 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.

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, 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. In 2016, he founded Small World Vision, an organization created to eliminate preventable blindness in premature babies born in countries outside of the United States. His passion is retinopathy of prematurity and loves to take care of babies knowing that he can preserve their vision for 80 years.

Harper is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 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 and is the current chief of ophthalmology at Ascension Medical Center Austin. Texas Monthly magazine has included him in their best doctors in Texas list.

Outside of the office, Harper enjoys gardening, biking and spending time with his wife, Ruthie, and their four dogs, Nana, Ramzes, Rico and Blakey.

Awards & Honors
  • Honor Award
    American Society of Retina Specialists, 2018