I am a clinician scientist working as an ophthalmologist and retina surgeon, as well as an laboratory basic scientist researcher studying genetics of eye disease.
My commitment to academic medicine is founded on my scientific interest in retinal genetics and retinal stem cell biology, and I pursues an active laboratory research program. My research background is in the embryonic development of the retina. Under the supervision of Professor Thomas A. Reh at the University of Washington in Seattle, I earned a Ph.D. in Neurobiology studying the genetic control of retinal stem cells during eye development. I applied these studies from the embryonic retina to replace retinal cells after injury in adult animals.
My current research in the laboratory is an extension of the earlier experiments during his Ph.D. studies. I am actively involved in the study of how retinal photoreceptors, called rods and cones, function. I also focus on how to promote the survival of these photoreceptor cells, and how to replace them using stem cells and gene therapy. I have a special interest in genetic eye diseases like Retinitis Pigmentosa, Stargardt disease, Albinism, and other related conditions where rods and cones do not function properly. I hope my research will contribute to novel therapies for these hereditary retinal diseases.
My clinical expertise includes all diseases of the retina, including all forms of Macular Degeneration, Retinal Vascular and Inflammatory diseases, medical and surgical management of Diabetic Retinopathy, and all surgical diseases of the retina, including Macular Hole, Macular Pucker, and Retinal Detachment. I particularly enjoy seeing patients with difficult-to-diagnose or rare conditions that have eluded other specialists.