Michael J. Tolentino, MD, an Ophthalmologist with Palm Beach Eye Center & Rothchild Eye Institute

Get to know Ophthalmologist Dr. Michael J. Tolentino, who serves patients throughout the State of Florida.

A board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Tolentino is affiliated with the Palm Beach Eye Center and the Rothchild Eye Institute. His advanced expertise includes diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, macular puckers, retinal tears, complex retinal detachments, and retinal degeneration, such as retinitis pigmentosa.

Palm Beach Eye Center is the premier eye care facility in Palm Beach County. Their vastly experienced team prides themselves on not only providing their patients with exceptional care but also state-of-the-art technologies, the latest techniques, and friendliness that won’t be forgotten. Serving Lake Worth, Delray Beach, Lakeland, and The Villages, Florida, men, women, and children, their team is dedicated to helping the entire family have optimal eye health. Their ophthalmologists come from a wide range of backgrounds, which means they are able to help their patients with many different issues all under one roof.

Rothchild Eye Institute is an established vision and ophthalmology center located in the heart of Delray Beach, Florida. Their board-certified ophthalmologists and optical team offer compassionate, personalized treatments for common and complex eye conditions and uphold a dedication to patient care that is simply second to none.

Born the son of Dr. Felipe Tolentino, a pioneer in retinal surgery at Harvard Medical School, he grew up to follow in his father’s footsteps. At just 13 years old, he researched the use of silicone oil for the repair of retinal detachment in his father’s own Harvard Medical School laboratory. He went on to study at Brown University and helped develop a cataract imaging system at the National Eye Institute (NEI). 

Subsequently, Dr. Tolentino attended the University of Massachusetts Medical School and worked under some of the leading-edge ophthalmologists, studying macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. His studies led him to Harvard Medical School where he demonstrated the role Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) plays in diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Here, he was also the first to test and purify Avastin as an eye injection, which led to the creation of a variety of other drugs. During this time, he completed his residency in ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School.

Following his residency, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) for a vitreo-retinal surgical fellowship. At the same time, he was a member of the cellular and molecular biology faculty and ran an NEI-sponsored laboratory where he invented a VEGF gene silencing molecule called Bevasiranib. He also dedicated some of his time to researching the use of the gene and regenerative cell treatments as it related to retinal disease. 

While in Pennsylvania, he became one of the main ophthalmic trauma surgeons in the state and the main Veterans Administration retina surgeons for the northern mid-Atlantic region. Later, he became the director of the vitreo-retinal surgical fellowship at UPENN.

An expert in his field, the doctor is board-certified in ophthalmology by the American Board of Ophthalmology, an independent, non-profit organization responsible for certifying ophthalmologists in the United States of America.

After helping develop anti-VEGF medications in the laboratory, Dr. Tolentino moved to central Florida to refocus his research on clinical development and founded one of the largest retinal clinical research centers in the world. He then went on to serve as the principal investigator in over 120 retinal clinical trials, helping seven retinal therapies receive FDA approval.

To pursue his passion for teaching and share his expertise with others, he joined the faculty of the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, Florida as a Clinical Associate Professor.

Wanting to give back to the community, Dr. Tolentino and his father founded the Tolentino Eye Research Foundation, which is dedicated to informing and educating the public about the best ways to prevent unnecessary eye disease.

Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine and surgery, which deals with the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders. Ophthalmologists are experts in the diseases, functions, and anatomy of the eye. Ophthalmologists are also surgeons. They repair traumatic injuries to the eye and may perform cataract, glaucoma, and corneal surgery.

Among his various accolades, Dr. Tolentino has been the recipient of the National Eye Institute Summer Research Grant, National Heart, Lung and Blood Summer Research Grant, Strathmore’s Who’s Who Award, Charles Schepens Research Award, Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine Medical Researcher of the Year Award, Best Doctors, People’s Choice Award, Samaritan Touch Hero Award, Leading Physicians of the World Award, and more.

On a more personal note, he currently resides in Lakeland, Florida with his wife, Agnes, and three children. He is an avid skier, gardener and practitioner of Feng Shui.

Learn More about Dr. Michael J. Tolentino:
Through his findatopdoc profile, https://www.findatopdoc.com/doctor/8130746-Michael-Tolentino-Ophthalmologist, through Palm Beach Eye Center, https://palmbeacheyecenter.com/dr-michael-tolentino, through Rothchild Eye Institute, https://rothchildeyeinstitute.com/michael-tolentino-md or through Tolentino Eye Research Foundation, https://www.tolentinoeye.org/michael-tolentino-m-d-1

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Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is an Associate Content manager for FindaTopDoc and responsible for working with distinguished physicians in documenting their significant accomplishments in their field. Karen is a CPR instructor and is a member of her local theater group.