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UCI's Gavin Herbert Eye Institute has assembled a unique, world-class group of scientists, engineers and physicians who conduct patient-oriented basic science and applied research on the next generation of sight-saving devices, drugs and procedures.

This internationally recognized team of investigators includes basic and clinical scientists who have placed UCI's School of Medicine in the top echelon of U.S. institutions receiving National Institutes of Health grants for vision research. Many are pioneers in the development of ophthalmic lasers and refractive surgical technologies. Others are at the forefront of stem cell treatments for such conditions as macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and corneal disease. All are focused on developing the treatments of the future that will prevent vision loss.

Basic research studies currently include:
  • Stem cells for retinal regeneration in macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa
  • Regenerative medicine for retinal and corneal diseases
  • Genetics of macular degeneration to improve treatment outcomes
  • Safety testing of medications used in treating retinal disorders
  • The role of environmental factors in retinal degeneration
  • Imaging the optic nerve in glaucoma patients
  • Development new therapies for glaucoma
  • Understanding and preventing corneal scarring
  • Understanding and preventing vision loss from herpes infections
Clinical research studies currently include:
  • Clinical trials for diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy and vitreous hemorrhage
  • Clinical trials for both "wet" and "dry" age-related macular degeneration
  • Clinical trials for retinal vein occlusion
  • Clinical trials for vitreomacular traction
  • Clinical trials for retinal detachment
  • Clinical trials for imaging the optic nerve in patients with glaucoma and macular degeneration
  • Clinical trials for imaging the retina and choroidal vasculature in retinal vein occlusion, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration
  • Evaluation of the Trabectome instrument in glaucoma treatment
  • Development and testing of new corneal transplant techniques

We welcome your interest in ophthalmological research activities. We encourage medical students, surgical trainees and young investigators to establish mentoring relationships with our faculty members.

If you are interested in research activities or collaboration opportunities within our department, please contact M. Cristina Kenney, MD, PhD, to learn more about laboratory research opportunities and Andrew Browne, MD, PhD, to learn about clinical research opportunities.

Learn more about our Vision Research Consortium partnership program. »