Glaucoma Research Program

The mission of the Glaucoma Research Program within the Department of Ophthalmology-Research is to understand the unique functions of the normal eye, to determine the changes associated with normal and elevated intraocular pressure, to learn the natural history of this blinding disease, and to develop and assess existing and new therapies to treat glaucoma.

These goals are accomplished through both laboratory and clinical research.

Research focuses on understanding why intraocular pressure is higher in patients with glaucoma, why intraocular pressure variations occur in people with and without glaucoma, new surgical procedures to reduce intraocular pressure, and the effectiveness of long-term treatments.

Research also focuses on development of new glaucoma treatments.

New procedures involving pioneering surgical treatments are being tested to increase fluid flow through the drainage tissues of the eye. Molecular studies are geared toward identifying molecules that are responsible for changing the normal eye condition into glaucoma. Identification of novel gene candidates may enable placement of therapeutic genes into the diseased tissue, allowing long-term, regulated expression.

Other research includes:

  • Circadian changes in aqueous humor dynamics
  • Development of a noninvasive, 24-hour intraocular pressure monitor
  • Development of an artificial aqueous humor
  • Evaluation of novel surgical devices
  • Functional analysis of the glaucoma-associated protein myocilin
  • Pressure-lowering therapeutics and molecular changes to the trabecular meshwork aqueous humor flow through the human eye