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Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Research

Expansive Ophthalmic Research and Academic Programs

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences along with other clinical and basic science departments at University Hospitals and the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine provide a rich environment for research into all areas related to vision. The department is home to 15 basic, translational, and clinical science principal investigators in the following disease areas including:

  • Advances in contact lens care and design
  • Corneal transplantation and eye banking
  • Diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma, including mechanisms and new surgical treatments
  • Genetic eye diseases, including Fuchs dystrophy and contact lens-related infections
  • Image analysis of ocular images for health status
  • Infectious diseases, including ocular toxoplasmosis

Our goals are to increase our understanding of these diseases and to identify novel therapies through laboratory-based research and clinical trials. Over the next five years, we plan to expand the research and academic programs by recruiting new basic science investigators and clinician-scientists as well as bringing new grants and philanthropy.

Research Leadership

Jonathan H. Lass, MD

Vice Chair for Academic Affairs

Jonathan Lass, MD

Irina Pikuleva, PhD

Vice Chair of Research

 Irina Pikuleva, PhD

Loretta Szczotka-Flynn, OD, PhD

Director, Vision Research Coordinating Center

Loretta Szczotka-Flynn, OD, PhD

Cornea Image Analysis Reading Center

Provides ophthalmic image analysis and clinical trial development support for trials examining the effects of drugs, devices and diseases on the cornea and other anterior segment structures.

Retina Diseases Imaging Analysis Reading Center

Evaluates the pathology of fundus photographs, fluorescein angiograms, or other retinal imaging modalities for prospective clinical trials.

Visual Sciences Research Center

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is part of the Visual Sciences Research Center (VSRC), which encompasses over 28 vision researchers in 11 Departments on the Case Western Reserve University and UH Cleveland Medical Center campus, including Pharmacology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, Molecular Biology, Neurology, Neuroscience, Physiology and Biophysics, Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, Chemistry, and Biomedical Engineering. With the increasing importance of multi-disciplinary collaborations and team science, our VSRC is a national leader in this scientific approach.