Director of Research, Eric Pearlman, Ph.D.

Case Western Reserve UniversityAs Director of Research for the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, together with Douglas Rhee, M.D., I would like to welcome you to the Department and to the Visual Sciences Research Center at Case Western Reserve University. The National Eye Institute strongly supports training and vision research at Case Western Reserve University by funding the Visual Sciences Training Grant, the Visual Sciences P-30 Core Facility Grant, and over twenty individual investigator grants. The department prides itself on a collaborative research approach, constantly encouraging partnerships and innovative discovery.

Basic Research in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is comprised of three predominant areas: Retinal function and genetic disorders, aging and diabetes including cataract research, and Immunology, Inflammation and Infectious Diseases.

Retinal studies include the role of cholesterol in acute macular degeneration (AMD), led by Dr. Irina Pikuleva. Drs. Akiko Maeda also studies AMD using murine moldels in which critical enzymes in the retinoic acid cycle are disrupted. Dr. Paul Park is focused on understanding the structure and function of rods and cones, and is relating his findings to inherited retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.

Dr. Eric Pearlman has focused on the role of pathogen recognition molecules in the host response to corneal infections with the highly virulent bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and with fungal pathogens of the Fusarium and Aspergillus species, which comprise the major causes of microbial keratitis worldwide.

These investigators are supported by the Visual Sciences Research Center (VSRC) P-30 Core facility grant and VSRC T-32 Training grant. These grants also support visual sciences investigators in other departments, including Pharmacology, Medicine, Pathology, Molecular Biology and Chemistry.

For more information about each investigator and their research focus, please click on their name.


Principal Investigators

Douglas Rhee, M.D.

University Hospitals
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
11100 Euclid Avenue, Lakeside 4126
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Phone: (216) 844-8590 Fax: (216) 983-0524
Email: douglas.rhee@uhhospitals.org
Research Focus: Glaucoma

Jonathan H. Lass, M.D.
Charles I Thomas Professor
University Hospitals
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
11100 Euclid Avenue, Lakeside 4126
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Phone: (216) 844-8590 Fax: (216) 983-0524
Email: jonathan.lass@uhhospitals.org
Research Focus: Corneal endothelial image analysis & Genetics of Fuchs' Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy

Eric Pearlman, Ph.D.
Silvia Page - William J. Reinhart, M.D. Professor and Director of Research
Case Western Reserve University
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
2085 Adelbert Road, Institute of Pathology, Rm 109
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Phone: (216) 368-1856 Fax: (216) 368-3171
Email: eric.pearlman@case.edu
Research Focus: Microbial keratitis

Akiko Maeda, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Case Western Reserve University
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
2085 Adelbert Road, Institute of Pathology, Rm 115
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Phone: (216) 368-0670 Fax: (216) 368-3171
Email: akiko.maeda@case.edu
Research Focus: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Paul Park, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Case Western Reserve University
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
2085 Adelbert Road, Institute of Pathology, Rm 312
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Phone: (216) 368-2533 Fax: (216) 368-3171
Email: paul.park@case.edu
Research Focus: G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) & Rhodopsin and Phototransduction

Irina Pikuleva, Ph.D.
Jules and Doris Stein RPB Professor of Ophthalmology and Pharmacology
Case Western Reserve University
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
2085 Adelbert Road, Institute of Pathology, Rm 303
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Phone: (216) 368-3823 Fax: (216) 368-3485
Email: irina.pikuleva@case.edu
Research Focus: Cholesterol and age-related macular degeneration

Patricia R. Taylor, Ph.D.
Instructor
Case Western Reserve University
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
2085 Adelbert Road, Institute of Pathology, Rm 105
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Phone: (216) 368-5825
Email: patricia.r.taylor@case.edu
Research Focus: IL-17 Neutrophils in fungal keratitis

Carol Toris, Ph.D.
Professor
Case Western Reserve University
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
11100 Euclid Avenue, Wearn 411
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Phone: (216) 844-8380
Email: carol.toris@uhhospitals.org
Research Focus: Glaucoma and aqueous humor physiology