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Research Updates


Studies in Pediatrics  

Under the leadership of Sara Downes, OD our pediatric team is participating in a National Institutes of Health-funded clinical trial to discover if children with esotropia benefit more from bifocals or single-vision glasses.  

Arlene Drack, MD is leading a study to develop a new gene therapy treatment for retinal degenerations caused by genetic mutations, funded by the Fight Blindness Canada, with the hope of creating genetically based treatments for Bardet-Biedl syndrome, a rare genetic disease which can cause blindness at a very early age. Learn more about the Drack Lab.

NIH-Funded Genetic Studies 

Mark Greiner, MD is studying a candidate for a targeted checkpoint inhibitor (Rho-associated kinase inhibitor) which may eventually help to prevent the progression of Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy (FECD) by maintaining the health of endothelial cells.     

Elliott Sohn, MD, FASRS is developing artificial intelligence-based analyses for optical coherence tomography (OCT) retinal images and studying the basis of the immune system and genetics of neovascular ‘exudative’ age-related macular degeneration (‘wet macular degeneration’) and diabetic retinopathy. 

John Fingert, MD, PhD is using previously collected genetic data on primary open-angle glaucoma to create genetically based diagnostic and prognostic tools for physicians. This research is a continuation of decades of research Dr. Fingert and others have done on the genetic components of glaucoma. Learn more about the Glaucoma Genetics Lab.

Markus Kuehn, PhD is studying regulatory T-cells that can suppress immune responses, which strongly exacerbate retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss. The goal would be to understand if suppressing these immune responses will minimize the impact of T-cell mediated damage in glaucoma patients. Learn more about the Glaucoma Cell Biology Laboratory.

Robert Mullins, MS, PhD is researching Choriocapillaris Protection and Replacement in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Dr. Mullins research seeks to identify the molecular and cellular responses of choroidal endothelial cells injured by membrane attack complex. The goal is to provide a new understanding of disease pathophysiology, which will allow further development of treatments focused on protecting and replacing damaged blood vessels in AMD. Learn more about the Chorioretinal Degenerations Lab.

Ed Stone, MD, PhD continues his research centering on CRISPR/Cas9 based treatment of dominant retinal degeneration. Dr. Stone’s CRISPR/Cas9 approach attempts to correct defective retinal genes, including USH2A (which codes for a form of Usher Syndrome), MAK (male germ-cell associated kinase), and RHO (Rho kinase inhibitors, for treating glaucoma). 

Treatment Trials

Arlene Drack, MD is also running an NIH-funded international trial testing the effectiveness of Oral N-Acetylcysteine in treating retinitis pigmentosa.  

Erin Shriver, MD, FACS is testing the effectiveness of two different immunotherapies in the treatment of thyroid eye disease.  

Mark Greiner, MD is also participating in a multi-site NIH-funded study studying of the effectiveness of using donor eyes with diabetes in DMEK (Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty) procedures.   

Elaine Binkley, MD is evaluating the comparative effects of intravitreal injections and intravitreal implants in preventing vision loss due to radiation retinopathy. 

Friday, August 18, 2023