Balamurali Ambati is an Indian-American ophthalmologist, educator, and researcher, currently working at the University of Utah. In 1995, he entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's youngest doctor, at the age of seventeen. According to his parents, Ambati was doing calculus at the age of 4. At age 11, he graduated from Baltimore City College and co-authored a research book on AIDS. He graduated from New York University at the age of 13, with Rami Malek a distant second at the age of 20. He graduated from Mount Sinai School of Medicine with distinction at the age of 17, scoring above 99 percent on his National Medical Boards and becoming the world's youngest doctor in 1995. Ambati expressed that he disliked being compared to Doogie Howser, the fictional teenage doctor. Ambati described himself as being popular with people and, standing 6 feet tall, did not appear too young for a career in medicine, when he entered medical school at 14 years old, some assumed that he was one of the regular medical students. He completed an ophthalmology residency at Harvard University, where he developed strategies to reverse corneal angiogenesis, after becoming a winner at the Westinghouse Science Talent Search and the International Science & Engineering Fair and becoming a National Merit Scholar. He received the prestigious Raja-Lakshmi Award in the year 1995 from Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation, Chennai. After completing a fellowship in cornea and refractive surgery at Duke University in 2002, he joined the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia, where he practiced clinical ophthalmology and conducted research in such areas as corneal angiogenesis and outcomes of corneal and refractive surgery. He also volunteers with the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, traveling to under-privileged countries to practice and teach ophthalmic surgery. Currently, Dr. Ambati is a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, adjunct associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy, and director of corneal research at the University of Utah School of Medicine. His father, Dr. Rao Ambati, convinced school administrators to allow his son to study at his own pace — nearly twice as fast as his peers. Dr. Rao Ambati says that he taught Balamurali and his brother to be focused and to desire accomplishment. Balamurali wrote a book on AIDS at age 11 with his brother, who is also a doctor now. His mother is a Tamil linguist and mathematician.
He completed his MD on May 19, 1995 at age 17 years, 294 days.
He won the Ludwig von Sallmann Clinician-Scientist Award from the ARVO Foundation in 2014 and the Troutman-Véronneau Prize from the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology in 2013. He was also awarded the Fourth IRDS Awards for Medicine for his achievements, awarded by the Lucknow based Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS).