Derek Y. Kunimoto, MD, JD

Serving Arizona Since 2006


Education & Honors

Derek Y. Kunimoto graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude, and Harvard Medical School with honors. He received his law degree with honours from Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. He was a medicine intern at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed his residency at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, where he served as co-chief resident.

Dr. Kunimoto joined Retinal Consultants of Arizona in 2006 and is currently Managing Partner, Retinal Consultants of Arizona; Retinal Research Institute; Assistant Clinical Professor, USC Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California; Director of Trauma and Inpatient Services for Ophthalmology, Banner Eye Institute, Banner University Medical Center, University of Arizona.

Awards, Clinical Research & Authorships

Dr. Kunimoto completed a 2-year vitreoretinal fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital. He was recognized as both a Heed Foundation Fellow and a Ronald G. Michels Fellow. Dr. Kunimoto has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and 2 major ophthalmology textbooks, The Wills Eye Video Atlas of Ocular Surgery, and the 4th edition of The Wills Eye Manual. He has been invited to speak at ophthalmology conferences, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Kunimoto has been very active in the clinical research of retinal diseases and is recognized as a leading clinical researcher, acting as principal investigator or Investigator in over 150 clinical trials.

Dr. Kunimoto has extensive research experience in molecular biology and basic science, and received numerous honors for academic and research achievements. Some these include the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize, awarded by Harvard University to the top honors theses of “uncommon excellence;” the Bowdoin Prize, a prestigious award by Harvard University for work in the Natural Sciences; the Young American Award, the highest honor presented to a young adult by the Boy Scouts of America for exceptional achievement; the JAMS award, presented by the Japan Association for the Mathematical Sciences; and the Academic First Team, named “one of the top twenty undergraduate scholars in America” by USA-Today.

He has also been awarded numerous fellowships for scientific and medical studies. Some of these include the Fulbright Scholarship for the study of infectious eye diseases in India; the Peace and Friendship Scholarship, awarded by the Japanese Government; the Frederick T Sheldon Scholarship, awarded by Harvard University. He was the first recipient of the Ann Sullivan Scholarship, awarded by the Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, for ophthalmology research in India.

Community Service/Affiliations

Dr. Kunimoto is a founding member and served as Founding President of the Vit-Buckle Society, a national society that promotes the dissemination and discussion of the most cutting-edge innovations in vitreoretinal surgery. He served as Chair of the Medical Student Governing Council in the Massachusetts Medical Society, and as a member on the Council on Constitution and Bylaws of the American Medical Association. Dr. Kunimoto served as President of the Phoenix Ophthalmological Society, and serves on the Board of the Arizona Ophthalmological Society.

Outside of medicine, Dr. Kunimoto serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars.

Family Life

He is passionate about delivering the best eye care available, and his patients’ vision is of utmost importance to him. He strives to make every patient comfortable, and well informed about his or her eye conditions. He enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and two children, barbecuing, and hiking.