Skip to main content

Intermountain Ocular Research Center

About Us

Nick Mamalis, MD, and Liliana Werner, MD, PhD, direct the Intermountain Ocular Research Center, a nonprofit, independent laboratory based at the John A. Moran Eye Center that performs basic, in-depth scientific research on intraocular lenses. In addition, the Center provides services and education to surgeons, clinical ophthalmologists, their patients, and intraocular lens manufacturers worldwide.

Nick Mamalis, MD, and Liliana Werner, MD, PhD.
Nick Mamalis, MD, and Liliana Werner, MD, PhD.

Meet Our Directors

Nick Mamalis, MD

Nick Mamalis, MD, is a professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences specializing in comprehensive ophthalmology, including cataract and other anterior ocular surgeries. He is co-director of the Intermountain Ocular Research Center and performs research in the area of intraocular lenses and postoperative inflammation. As director of Moran’s Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory, Dr. Mamalis evaluates all specimens submitted to the laboratory. He is a member of the American Association of Ophthalmic Pathologists.

Dr. Mamalis is past president of the 8,000-member American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). He is the editor emeritus of the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed publications, one textbook, and 45 book chapters. He lectures throughout the world and was selected by Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today as one of 50 international opinion leaders.

His awards include the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah School of Medicine Alumni Association, the 2015 Life Achievement Honor Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the 2013 Binkhorst Medal from ASCRS.

Education: MD, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah
Academic Appointments: Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences—University of Utah School of Medicine; Director of Ocular Pathology

Liliana Werner, MD, PhD

Liliana Werner, MD, PhD, is a professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Co-Director of the Intermountain Ocular Research Center at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah. She is Moran's Vice-Chair for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

She is the 2003 Research to Prevent Blindness Olga Keith Wiess Scholar awardee, member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (JCRS), member of the International Intra-Ocular Implant Club, member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the University of Utah, as well as chair of the Continuing Medical Education (CME) Committee of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). She is also a former Judge and Chief Judge of the ASCRS Film Festival and former member of the Cataract Subcommittee and the Ophthalmic News & Education Network (O.N.E.) of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

Dr. Werner’s research is centered on the interaction between ocular tissues and different intraocular lens (IOL) designs, materials, and surface modifications. These include IOLs implanted after cataract surgery, phakic lenses for refractive surgery, and ophthalmic implantable devices in general.

She has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters on the subject, co-edited three books, and received numerous awards in international meetings for scientific presentations, videos, and posters. She has also been a guest speaker in different international meetings in at least 20 countries. Also, Dr. Werner is a consultant for different companies manufacturing IOLs and other ocular biodevices, as well as a consultant for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since June 1, 2020, Dr. Werner is the US Associate Editor of the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

Education: MD, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil; PhD, Biomaterials from the Université de Paris V (René Descartes), Paris, France

Academic Appointments: Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences—University of Utah School of Medicine 

Learn More About Our Work

New Tech for a New Era of Care

Over the past three decades, Moran Eye Center’s Nick Mamalis, MD, and Liliana Werner, MD, PhD, have vetted some of the most innovative devices in eye care.

Read More

IOLs and the Future: Refractive Index Shaping

Imagine being able to precisely adjust the power of your patient’s intraocular lens (IOL) multiple times after implantation, using only a laser that produces no ablation or cuts. Research from the Intermountain Ocular Research Center at the John A. Moran Eye Center suggests the concept, known as refractive index shaping (RIS), could soon become a reality that makes explantation surgery a thing of the past.

Read More

Go-to Experts in IOL Research for the World

Perched on the foothills overlooking the Salt Lake Valley, Moran’s Intermountain Ocular Research Center sits at the crossroads of global research, education, and patient care.

Read More

Clinical Focus 2023: Intermountain Ocular Research Center

Video Resources

Dead Bag Syndrome

The Open/Expanded-Bag IOL Concept