Dr. David Belyea, MBA ‘08
Dr. David Belyea, MBA ‘08, serves as a leader in ophthalmology, providing cutting-edge care and education at GW.


A Vision for Excellence

A legacy of exemplary medical education and care in Washington, D.C.



From caring for world leaders to fighting pandemics, GW’s medical enterprise has been at the forefront of education, research and care for generations, led by faculty at the top of their fields.

One such remarkable physician is Dr. David Belyea, MBA ‘08, who in 2023 became GW’s inaugural Daniel P. Shepard, MD, and Dennis D. Shepard, MD, Professor in Ophthalmology. Before retiring as a Colonel after 32 years of service, Belyea was a U.S. Army Medical Corps physician in hospitals around the globe earning him the prestigious Legion of Merit. He has received numerous teaching awards and is widely published on novel technologies that improve treatment  for cataracts and glaucoma. 

At GW, Belyea serves as chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. His new endowed professorship was established by father and son School of Medicine and Health Sciences alumni, the late Dennis D. Shepard, MD ’63, and Daniel P. Shepard, MD ’96, MPH ’96. A leader in intraocular lenses and refractive surgery, Dennis Shepard founded the Shepard Eye Center in 1967, one of the world’s largest eye clinics. His son Daniel is also a renowned ophthalmologist, specializing in the treatment of eye trauma and authoring significant studies on macular degeneration and diseases of the retina.

“We look at this as a family,” said Daniel Shepard. “We realize the privileges that have come from opportunities provided by George Washington University and see the responsibility to give back to the community in general and the opportunity to give back to GW in particular.”



Health & Medicine Philanthropy in Action




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Transformative  Medical Research

GW’s Biostatistics Center was awarded more than $50 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — the single largest NIH award to GW — to advance a 30-year study on the connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Pioneering Life-Saving Vaccines

GW is a leading institution for vaccine development and clinical trials. GW played an important role in the historic effort to rapidly develop effective COVID-19 vaccines and is helping advance a new generation of vaccines, including the first human trial of an mRNA-based HIV vaccine

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Clinical Innovation

Medical resident Shaitalya Sri Vellanki is exploring how to help patients in underserved communities gain access to health care thanks to the Akman Innovation Fund – a grant awarded to forward-thinking students with ideas to transform clinical care. Created in 2019 to honor former School of Medicine & Health Sciences Dean Jeffrey S. Akman, MD ‘81, RESD ‘85, in 2022, he and his husband Steven Mazzola added a $3.5 million bequest to continue this groundbreaking research initiative supporting student innovation.


200 Years of Clinical Care

In 2024, GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences –  the first medical school in the nation’s capital – will celebrate two centuries of leading-edge medical care and education. Stay up to date on the celebration at:

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