SUNY Downstate Medical Center
SUNY Eye Institute – Brooklyn, NY
In August 2009, the academic health science centers, responding to faculty-generated initiative, formed the SUNY Eye Institute (SEI) a consortium of the vision researchers from all four academic medical universities in the SUNY system (Downstate, Upstate, Stony Brook and Buffalo) and the SUNY College of Optometry. This group of investigators represents over 45 laboratories making strides against blinding diseases.
The SEI Brooklyn is an integral part of the consortium. We are particularly focused on those disorders that affect patients in our rich and cultural diverse community. These include: glaucoma; age related macular degeneration; diabetic retinopathy; sickle cell retinopathy; retinopathy of prematurity; congenital and acquired refractive disorders.
Our research teams are multi-investigator collaborative teams bringing together clinical and basic researchers from our departments of Ophthalmology and Cell Biology. We have extensive collaborations across the state, nation indeed world-wide.
We provide research-training opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and medical students. Moreover, all ophthalmology residents are required to complete one research project. Whether you are looking for training options or interesting in support our work or just curious – please follow the links to learn about our research efforts and training opportunities.
Our research staff is supported by federal grants from the National Eye Institute and from private foundations including the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Research to Prevent Blindness, and the E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation. However, private giving is an important part of every academic research center – even a state university. Please consider supporting our work – by giving to The 20/20 fund.
Collaborative Teams of basic and clinical scientists are working hard to advance our understanding of eye disease.
Dr. Bodis-Wollner heads a team of neurologists, ophthalmologists and basic scientists studying the retinal effects of Parkinson's Disease. Read their recent paper demonstrating retinal thinning in persons with Parkinson's disease. (PDF)
Dr. William Brunken's group is interested in the role of laminins in eye development and disease. Read their recent paper that demonstrates disruptions of laminins can cause congential retinal disease, (PDF - 22MB).
Dr. Brahim Chaqour has teamed up with clinicians to address the role of extracellular matrix molecules in regulating vascular development. Read their paper demonstrating that components of the ECM lead to blood vessel remodeling. (PDF)
Dr. John Danias is awarded $500,000 in a new grant from the National Eye Institute to study steroid induced glaucoma. Long-term steroid treatment can provoke glaucoma; Dr Danias along with Dr Oscar Candia (Mount Sinai Medical School), is studying the molecular and genetic changes caused by steroid use in the eye to better understand how to avoid these complications.
Dr. Douglas Lazzaro and Dr. Brunken have teamed up to study the role of the extracellular matrix in corneal disease and repair. Their recent presentation at the international Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology demonstrates that laminins and netrins regulate corneal epithelial proliferation. View their presentation. (PDF - 37MB)