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Ophthalmology Research

About Our Research

The John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah supports 20 research labs and centers, where interna­tionally-awarded faculty, including one of the top retinal teams, are developing the treatments of tomorrow. The Moran Eye Center has ranked as high as seventh in the U.S. for National Institutes of Health funding.



Distinguished Seminar Series

News & Contacts

Research Centers

Moran invests in the full spectrum of research, supporting basic research that adds to our foundation of knowledge and then providing the tools to translate discoveries into new therapies and treatments. Among the work of our renowned-research centers:

Intermountain Ocular Research Center

Physicians and companies worldwide use the Intermountain Ocular Research Center to vet artificial lenses used for cataract surgery.

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Sharon Eccles Steele Center for Translational Medicine

The SCTM is fast-tracking new therapies for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), using the world’s largest repository of donor eye tissue of its kind and data from an ongoing clinical study.

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Utah Retinal Reading Center

UREAD seeks to contribute to the characterization of manifestation and progression of ophthalmic diseases, focusing on evaluating treatment response to innovative therapeutic strategies.

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Crandall Center for Glaucoma Innovation

The Alan S. Crandall Center for Glaucoma Innovation is leading the way to better diagnostics, safer and more effective therapies and surgical devices, a deeper understanding of glaucoma and its genetics, and expanded access to care worldwide.

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Faculty Laboratories

Moran has more than 30 faculty researchers addressing a number of conditions including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt disease, optic neuritis, retinal stroke, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, Usher syndrome, and retinopathy of prematurity.

Angelucci Laboratory

Dr. Alessandra Angelucci's research focuses on identifying neuronal circuits that underlie functional properties of neurons in the visual cerebral cortex and, ultimately, visual perception.

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Asare Laboratory

Dr. Afua Oteng Asare's research focuses on pediatric vision health; health services and systems research; health equity and disparities; cost effectiveness analysis; and implementation science.

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Bernstein Laboratory

Dr. Paul S. Bernstein’s laboratory explores the biochemistry and biophysics of nutritional interventions against inherited and acquired ocular disorders.

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Davis Laboratory

The laboratory of Zachary W. Davis, PhD, is primarily interested in cortical mechanisms of visual perception and how these mechanisms are altered by damage or disease in the visual system.

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Fleckenstein Laboratory

Dr. Monika Fleckenstein's primary research interest centers around degenerative retinal diseases, with a focus on age-related macular degeneration.

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Hwang Laboratory

Eileen Hwang, MD, PhD, studies how the biochemistry and extracellular matrix structure of the vitreous changes throughout life from childhood through old age.

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Jones Laboratory

Bryan W. Jones, PhD, is principal investigator of The Marclab for Connectomics: Retina, Connectomics and Disease, with a focus on retinal circuitry/connectomics and metabolomics in neural plasticity in retinal disease.

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Krizaj Laboratory

The lab of David Krizaj, PhD, is focused on studies of ocular mechanotransduction, with emphasis on how intraocular pressure is generated and regulated, and why sensitivity to mechanical stress kills neurons in the retina.

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McDonnell Laboratory

Dr. Fiona McDonnell's primary research area is the study of glaucoma, with a special focus in conventional outflow physiology.



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Noudoost Laboratory

Dr. Behrad Noudoost’s lab research is focused precisely on understanding the neural circuits and biological mechanisms that are necessary and sufficient to drive fundamental cognitive functions.

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Roy Laboratory

Suva Roy,PhD, focuses on understanding the functions of retinal cell types in the context of natural vision and visual disorders. 

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Tian Laboratory

Dr. Ning Tian’s lab research aims to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the development of the retinal synaptic pathways and the formation of the laminar structure, and how these mechanisms are modulated under normal and pathological conditions.

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Vinberg Laboratory

The laboratory of Frans Vinberg, PhD, works to understand mechanisms in the retina that enable vision over a wide range of light intensities and colors, and how these mechanisms are affected in major blinding diseases including age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

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Yang Laboratory

Dr. Jun Yang’s laboratory research focuses on the disease mechanisms and therapeutic treatments, including gene therapies, for retinal degenerative diseases. 

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Ophthalmology Distinguished Seminar Speaking Series

The Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Distinguished Seminar Series presents the following events at the John A. Moran Eye Center. Contact Amanda Orantes for more information at or 801-585-9072. 

August 14, 2024

Moran Eye Center Auditorium

Research Seminar: Noon-1 p.m. 
Hosted by: Paul S. Bernstein, MD, PhD
Presenter: Dorota Showronska-Krawczyk, University of California, Irvine

News from Moran Researchers

Study Examines AMD Treatment Potential

Publishing in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, the SCTM's latest AMD research points the field away from a liver-produced protein others had identified as a promising therapeutic target.

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Q&A: Meet Moran's Renowned Brain Scientists

Alessandra Angelucci, MD, PhD, and Behrad Noudoost, MD, PhD, discuss their pioneering vision research.

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Crandall Center Initiatives in Action

The Alan S. Crandall Center for Glaucoma Innovation leads in four areas: surgical and medical therapeutics, translational research, neuroprotection-based therapies, and global care.

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New Review Provides the Latest on AMD for Doctors and Patients

The review in JAMA, co-authored by Moran Eye Center experts Monika Fleckenstein, MD, and Steffen Schmitz-Valckenberg, MD, includes the latest information on AMD risk factors, treatments, and much more.

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Artificial Vision Research Advances

The Moran|Cortivis Prosthesis, which uses the Utah Electrode Array, has now been tested in three individuals with blindness.

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Brian Stagg, MD, is Turning Big Data into Better Care

New tools can help glaucoma doctors analyze patient data to provide precision medicine tailored to each patient.

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Life after Death for the Human Eye

Vinberg Lab scientists have revived light-sensing neuron cells in organ donor eyes, part of a series of discoveries that stand to transform brain and vision research.

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Read More About Our Research

Clinical Focus 2023: Intermountain Ocular Research Center

Focus 2024

Driving Discovery: The John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah

John A. Moran Eye Center Research Overview 2023

Contact Us

University of Utah School of Medicine

Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

John A. Moran Eye Center
65 Mario Capecchi Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84132

Phone: 801-585-3723
Fax: 801-581-3357

Paul S. Bernstein, MD, PhD, Vice Chair of Research 
Phone: 801-581-4069

Sydney Gee, Associate Director of Research
Phone: 801-581-3560

Julee LaMothe, Programs Manager 
Phone: 801-585-3723

Amanda Peral-Orantes, Administrative Program Coordinator
Phone: 801-585-9072

Barbara Korous, Director of Operations
Phone: 801-585-6143