Bench to Bedside and Back

Preserving and restoring sight for patients suffering blinding eye disease is the core of the Duke Ophthalmology research mission.

Duke Ophthalmology aims to discover important new knowledge about biology of the eye, gain better understanding about the causes, mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders, translate research innovations into new care modalities and to train the next generation of researchers.

Research at Duke Ophthalmology is by no means isolated in a single laboratory or subspecialty - it’s embedded in every patient visit.  Truly “bench to bedside and back.”   The central location of the largest multi-disciplinary Duke Eye Center clinic, the Albert Eye Reserach Institute, which houses research facilities, and proximity to Duke University campus allows a multi-dimensional, approach -- making Duke Eye Center an international leader in ophthalmic research.

There are two types of research which are inter-related and continuously in progress within Duke Ophthalmology.  


Research News

Duke Vision Scientist Receives Top Honor from ARVO

Daniel R. Saban, PhD is the recipient of the 2024 Cogan Award, presented by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). This prestigious award recognizes young researchers that have made significant contributions to research in ophthalmology or visual science, and that show substantial promise for future contributions in this field.   

Malek receives Rosalind Franklin Society Awards in Science for Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Goldis Malek, PhD, Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Associate Professor in Ophthalmology, Pathology, and Cell Biology is the 2022 recipient of the RSF Awards in Science for Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. This award is presented by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. and the Rosalind Franklin Society to recognize outstanding published peer-reviewed research by women and underrepresented minorities in science. 

Lad named Vice Chair for Clinical Research

Duke Eye Center is proud to announce that Eleonora Lad, MD, PhD has been named Vice Chair for Clinical Research. Lad is a clinician scientist and retinal ophthalmologist with an extensive background in research, both as an investigator and in her role as Director of Clinical Research Unit (CRU).

A New Era in Dry AMD Treatment

On February 17, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a groundbreaking treatment to treat geographic atrophy (GA), an advanced form of dry macular degeneration (AMD). Eleonora Lad, MD, PhD, director of clinical research and associate professor, was a lead investigator in the OAKS trial, a pivotal clinical trial that supported the FDA approval.

Duke Ophthalmology Ranks 10th Nationally in NIH Funding

Duke School of Medicine has received more than $527 million in federal funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2022, ranking ninth nationally, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. Duke Ophthalmology is one of eight clinical science departments and two basic science departments in the School of Medicine to rank among the top 10 in the country - receiving over $10 million in NIH funding in 2022.

Duke is the Lead Site for Atmosphere and Ascent Trials

Duke Eye Center is participating in two pivotal gene therapy clinical trials, ATMOSPHERE and ASCENT that may become promising treatments for age-related macular degeneration.  The studies, are large multisite trials, and Duke is the lead site for ASCENT and Lejla Vajzovic, MD is the lead PI for the trial.