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Research

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
  • Antibody and T-cell responses in COVID-19
Clinical research studies currently include:
  • Clinical trials for macular edema from diabetic macular edema, neovascular age-related macular degeneration, or retinal vein occlusion
  • Clinical trials for retinitis pigmentosa
  • Clincal trials in Geographic Atrophy, secondary to Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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 Vladimir Kefalov, 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. »