Meet Emily Sarah Charlson, M.D., Ph.D.


Emily Sarah Charlson, MD, PhD

Ophthalmology, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Eyelid and Facial Surgeon


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Emily Sarah Charlson, MD, PhD, is an oculofacial, orbital, and aesthetic plastic surgeon in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, California. As an elite physician holding both a Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy in medical science, Dr. Charlson specializes in eyelid reconstruction, aesthetics, and preserving eye health.


Dr. Charlson earned her Bachelor of Science in biology, graduating summa cum laude from Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, in 2007. She holds a Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Following her university education, Dr. Charlson held a three-year residency in ophthalmology at the University of California, Irvine’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. She also completed a two-year fellowship in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery, orbital oncology at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University in Stanford, California.


Dr. Charlson is one of only 700 physicians in the United States certified by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). She performs aesthetic and reconstruction procedures, but as an ophthalmologist first, she prioritizes eye health and protection above all else.


Dr. Charlson takes an evidence-based approach to both aesthetics and reconstruction. She’s Stanford-trained on the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques to improve outcomes while decreasing recovery time.

Treatment is tailored to each patient’s needs and unique facial structure. Dr. Charlson is proud to provide the best possible care to men and women of all ages, from major reconstructive procedures to aesthetic injectables.

In her spare time, Dr. Charlson enjoys traveling and taking her dogs to the beach. She’s an avid runner, cyclist, and swimmer, and she loves to compete in triathlons.

Entrust your eye care in the hands of an expert. Call the office of Emily Sarah Charlson, M.D., Ph.D. or book a consultation online.


2018– 2020

ASOPRS Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Orbital Oncology Fellowship

Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship

Byers Eye Institute

Stanford University, Stanford, CA


2015 – 2018

Ophthalmology Residency

Gavin Herbert Eye Institute

University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA


2014 – 2015

Transitional Year Internship

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, CA


2007 – 2014

MD. PhD., Medical Scientist Training Program

Raymond & Ruth Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

MD. May 2014, PhD. August 2012 in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Thesis Co-Advisors: Drs. Frederic D. Bushman PhD. & Ronald G. Collman MD.

Dissertation Thesis: The Human Respiratory Tract Microbiome in Health & Disease


2003 – 2007

B.S. Biology & Honors Degree, summa cum laude

Barrett Honors College

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Rajeev Misra PhD.

Honors Thesis: Genetics of Outer Membrane Protein Assembly in Escherichia coli

Post Graduate Education and Training


Board Certification

2016 – current

DEA Licensure


2015 – current

The Medical Board of California

Physician & Surgeon

State of California Medical License





Invited Judge for the Young ASOPRS Innovation & Achievement Award. AmericanSociety of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. San Francisco, CA.

Young ASOPRS Innovation & Achievement Award. Survival After Exenteration vs Globe Salvaging Therapy for Orbital Squamous Cell Carcinoma. American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Nassau, The Bahamas.


Young ASOPRS Innovation & Achievement Award. Digital Prosthetic Eye, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Chicago, IL.


Resident Research Excellence Award, Digital Prosthetic Eye, Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. Irvine, CA.


Heed Ophthalmic Foundation selection for the 11th Annual Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Resident Retreat. Chicago, IL.

National Eye Institute & Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology Travel Grant Recipient.


Invited Guest Researcher, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in support of Mitochondrial Risk Loci & Haplogroup Associations with Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma, Drs. Joan M O’Brien MD. & Eric Jorgenson PhD, Oakland, CA.

Jeffery W. Berger Medical Student Ophthalmology Research Award. Funding in support of Mitochondrial DNA Variation & Primary Open Angle Glaucoma.

FDA Investigational New Drug Sponsorship: Idebenone for Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy Emergency IND for 3 patients, Santhera Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Madhura Tamhankar MD. & University of Pennsylvania IRB.


Invited Guest Researcher, Division of Lung Diseases at the NHLBI Workshop on the Lung Microbiome in Health & Disease, Dr. Sandra Colombini-Hatch MD.

University of Pennsylvania Institute for Translational Medicine & Therapeutics Prize for Clinical Translational Research: Disordered Microbial Communities in the Upper Respiratory Tract of Cigarette Smokers.


Moeur Award for Academic Achievement of the Highest Order, Arizona State University.

Fred Holmes Memorial Scholarship of School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University.


Dean’s Circle College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Scholarship Award, Director: Dr. Ronald Rutowski PhD., Arizona State University.

Undergraduate Oral Presentation Achievement Award, American Society for Microbiology Arizona-Nevada Branch Meeting, Arizona State University.


School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research (SoLUR) Fellow, Director: Dr. Ronald Rutowski PhD., Arizona State University.

Advanced Bacterial Genetics Research Scholarship, Director: Dr. Rajeev Misra PhD., Arizona State University.

Golden Key International Honors Society for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement & Excellence, Arizona State University.


Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, US Department of Education Institutional Development & Undergraduate Education Service & Arizona State University.

Dean’s List, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Arizona State University.


Professional Society Memberships

2018 - Current

American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery


2015 – Current

Ophthalmic Women Leaders

American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery

American Academy of Ophthalmology


2014 – Current

University of Pennsylvania Alumni Association


2013 – Current

Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology


2011 – 2012

American Thoracic Society

2009 – 2014

Penn Graduate Women in Science & Engineering, University of Pennsylvania


2008 – current

Arizona State University Alumni Association


2008 – 2011

American Medical Association


2005 – 2007

American Society for Microbiology


2004 – 2008

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society

Diplomas & Awards
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Emily Sarah Charlson, M.D., Ph.D.
2100 Webster Street, Suite 214
Pacific Heights

San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: 415-923-3007
Fax: 415-923-6586
Office Hours

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