Fellows are encouraged to be involved in clinical or laboratory research during the Fellowship. Each fellow must present a research project at least once during their fellowship at the department's annual Research Conference.
The Vitreoretinal Service is actively involved in clinical and laboratory investigations. The Fellows have access to the Experimental Surgery Unit as well as all laboratories within the Department if arrangements are made with the appropriate supervisors of those laboratories. An EyeSi vitrectomy simulator is also available to fellows at the Veterans Affairs Hospital.
The Wynn Institute for Vision Research has its own pharmaceutical grade, clinical Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) facility that is wholly dedicated to novel gene and stem cell therapies for humans with genetic eye diseases. The Retina Service is a regular site for major nationwide collaborative studies including:
- Gene therapy for Leber Congenital Amaurosis Trial (phase II/III sponsored by Spark Therapeutics)
- Gene therapy for exudative AMD (phase I)
- Combination anti-VEGF/PDGF therapy for wet AMD
- Combination anti-VEGF/ang-2 therapies
- Multicenter Uveitis Steroid Treatment (MUST) Trials
- Visual cycle modulator for dry AMD
- AREDS and AREDS II
- Comparisons of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatments Trial (CATT)
- VIEW1 (VEGF-trap)
- The Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS)
- Choroidal Neovascularization Prevention Trial (CNVPT)
- Submacular Surgery Trials (SST)
- Complications of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Prevention Trial (CAPT)
- Protein Kinase C Inhibitor Study of Diabetic Retinopathy
- The Vitreoretinal Service has functioned as both an investigative center and as the national Photography Reading Center for the Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS).
Research studies in large and small animals utilizing novel therapies focused on gene replacement and autologous, CRISPR-corrected stem cells are being conducted by Drs. Elliott Sohn, Steve Russell, and Ed Stone at the Wynn Institute for Vision Research.