Research — Opthalmology and Visual Sciences


Usha P. Andley, PhD
1114-C McMillan
Molecular basis of cataract; the function of molecular chaperones in cataract; proteomics, imaging and biochemical studies on cell culture and mouse models for crystallin gene mutations linked with cataract; testing drugs to inhibit cataract.

Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD
Innate immunity and immune effector mechanisms in the retina, oxidative stress and cell death, models of developmental angiogenesis and neovascularization, inflammation and photoreceptor survival, macular degeneration.

Steven Bassnett, PhD
1114 McMillan
Eye development, stochastic models of lens growth, stem cell biology, age-related cataract, UV-induced somatic mutation, ocular manifestations of Marfan syndrome, cell death suppression on the optic axis, cell biology of transparent tissues.

Anjali Bhorade, MD
Evaluating the effect of glaucoma on visual function in older adults in the home. Understanding the relationship between vision and driving in older adults with glaucoma.

Shiming Chen, PhD
618 McMillan
The molecular mechanisms regulating photoreceptor gene expression and the implications in understanding photoreceptor development and disease.  We are focusing on three transcription factors, CRX, NRL and NR2E3, linked to photoreceptor degenerative diseases. Molecular genetics and biochemical approaches are used to identify the regulatory pathways associated with each factor. Mouse models are used to understand why mutations in these factors cause disease and develop therapeutic strategies, including AAV-gene therapy.

Steven M. Couch, MD
Orbital inflammatory diseases, surgical techniques and novel treatments of periocular/orbital disease.

Susan M. Culican, MD, PhD
1104 McMillan
Clinical: development of a low cost, simple visual function task for screening for macular disorders in the primary care setting. Education: examination of the utility of assessment tools for evaluating resident clinical progression during residency training. Development of new metrics to gauge resident progress.

Philip L. Custer, MD
Enucleation and anophthalmic socket disorders. Orbital fractures and implants. Hemorrhagic complications during oculoplastic procedures.

Thomas A. Ferguson, PhD
1207 McMillan
Molecular basis of immune tolerance and how apoptotic cells tolerize the immune response.  The role of immune privilege in the pathogenesis of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  The role of basal autophagy in the cells of the eye by using the cre-loxP system to delete essential autophagy genes from specific cell types in the eye.

Mae Gordon, PhD
1125 Old Shriners
Ocular hypertension, glaucoma, keratoconus, adenoviral conjunctivitis, randomized clinical trial methodology, patient-reported outcome measures and measurement reliability.

George J. Harocopos, MD
Age-related cataract, ophthalmic pathology.

Didier Hodzic, PhD
620 McMillan
Cell biology of retinal development and homeostasis in mice, cone and rods cytoarchitecture.

Andrew Huang, MD, MPH
106 McMillan Building
Ocular surface stem cell biology, molecular therapy for corneal dystrophies and corneal neovascularization, oxidative stress of corneal endothelium, clinical research on dry eye and ocular surface disease.

Humeyra Karacal, MD
Treatment of uveitis, prevention of cataracts with anti-oxidants, anti-oxidants in age related  macular degeneration, retinal imaging and analysis using data mining techniques, designing OR equipment to facilitate ophthalmic surgery

Michael A. Kass, MD
Principal Investigator of the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS). Diagnosis, treatment and public health aspects of glaucoma.

Vladimir Kefalov, PhD
625 McMillan
Photoreceptor Neurobiology and Retinal Degeneration. We are a sensory neurobiology lab interested in the function of mammalian rod and cone photoreceptors. In addition, we are interested in the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in the retina and are working on developing pharmacological and gene-therapy tools for preventing photoreceptor cell death.

Daniel Kerschensteiner, MD
To understand the principles that guide the assembly of neural circuits and to decipher the way they process information. We would like to understand the principles that guide the assembly of neural circuits in the retina and to decipher the way they process information and hope to identify features of the retinal circuit architecture that perform particular computations and characterize how they arise during development. We then probe underlying mechanisms of circuit assembly and function through genetically targeted manipulations of specific cells in the retina.

John T. Lind, MD, MS
Glaucoma education, resident education, pharmacologic and surgical treatment of glaucoma, ophthalmic microbiology.

Gregg T. Lueder, MD
Retinoblastoma, eye misalignment (strabismus), retinopathy of prematurity, abnormal tearing, nasolacrinal disorders, cataracts, glaucoma.

Peter Lukasiewicz, PhD
1003C McMillan
Neurotransmitters, synapses, retinal function in health and disease, retinal information processing.

Todd P. Margolis, MD, PhD

  1. Cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate herpes simplex infection neurons.
  2. Inexpensive telemedicine for reducing blindness in underserved populations.

John R. Pruett, Jr., MD, PhD
1153K East Building
Visual Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Studies of Autism. Two active areas of research in my lab include: 1) behavioral and imaging studies of visual attention to and processing of eyes and faces in autistic and non-autistic subjects, and 2) developmental studies of large-scale brain networks in autistic and non-autistic subjects using functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI). Example research rotation projects might include: pilot visual psychophysical studies of intermediate visual processes supporting face perception, or – for trainees with computational and/or imaging skills and interests – graph theory-based analyses of visual system sub-network structure across various groups in fcMRI data we have acquired from on-going projects.

Kumar Rao, MD
Surgical and medical therapies for disorders of retina and choroid.

Nathan Ravi, MD, PhD, MS, FAAO
Directed toward understanding the pathophysiology of presbyopia and developing medical or surgical treatments for this condition.

Alan Shiels, PhD
1128 McMillan
Molecular genetic mechanisms underlying cataract, glaucoma and associated eye disorders: (1) genome-wide linkage analysis and targeted (exome, amplicon) sequencing for discovery of causative or susceptibility genes, and (2) genotype-phenotype and functional expression studies of naturally occurring and gene-targeted mouse models to characterize pathogenic mechanisms.

Carla J. Siegfried, MD
My research is focused on ocular oxygen metabolism and the development of open angle glaucoma. We are studying how the oxygen gradient in the eye is altered in disease states as well as non-invasive methods of measuring corneal oxygen consumption.

Florentina Soto, PhD
Studies in my laboratory aim to identify the molecular basis of dendrites and axons lamination and synapse formation during development and in the adult retina. In addition, we investigate how these molecules could be involved in the development of retinal pathologies including retinal degeneration.

Larry Tychsen, MD
2S89 Eye Clinic, St. Louis Children’s Hospital
Principal investigator on NIH-funded studies of visual brain maldevelopment and repair in infant primates, as well as clinical studies of visuomotor abnormalities in cerebral palsy and pediatric refractive surgery.

Gregory P. Van Stavern, MD
Neuroimaging of the visual pathways, Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, evidence-based medicine and clinical decision making; using the visual system as a model to study neurologic disorders. A further description of research labs can be found at