DoctorsKimberly Gokoffski, MD, PhD

Kimberly Gokoffski, MD, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology

Department: Ophthalmology

Clinical Specialty: Neuro-ophthalmology

Treatment Expertise: Optic neuropathies, Thyroid eye disease, Strabismus, Orbital inflammation, Ptosis, Cranial Nerve Palsies

Certification: American Board of Ophthalmology

Language: English, Polish, conversational Spanish

Location: Los Angeles, Pasadena

Biography and Education

Research Interests:

My research interests are focused on the clinical need for optic nerve regeneration. Optic neuropathies are diseases in which the optic nerve (ON) – the cable that transmits information from the eye to the brain – is damaged. Advanced optic neuropathies, like glaucoma, result in irreversible vision loss because the cells that make up the ON are not capable of self-renewal. To restore vision in patients with optic neuropathies, we need to regenerate the ON. The current rate-limiting step to ON regeneration is directing stem cells that have been implanted in the eye to grow an axon out of the eye to the brain — a distance that spans 5cm in humans.

The goal of my research is 1.) to elucidate the molecular signals that guide axon growth and 2.) to test whether an applied electrical field can be used to direct the growth of implanted stem cells. The results from this project will be developed into a technology to facilitate ON regeneration and restore vision in patients blinded by optic neuropathies.

Animation

Education

  • MD, UC Irvine, with Honors in Research and Community Outreach, 2012
  • PhD, UC Irvine, Developmental and Cellular Biology, 2010
  • UC Irvine Medical Scientist Training Program, 2003-2010
  • UC Berkeley Molecular and Cellular Biology; Political Science, 2000-2002
  • UC Riverside Biomedical sciences program, 1998-2000

Residency

  • UC Davis Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, 2013-2016
  • Internship in Internal Medicine UC Davis Medical Center, 2012-2013

Fellowship

  • USC Roski Eye Institute Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellowship, 2016-2017

Accomplishments

Professional society memberships

  • North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society member
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology member

Awards

  • Thomas Carlow Young Investigator Award, NANOS 2017, Washington DC, 2017
  • 1st place Resident Research Presentation, Alumni Day, UC Davis Dept of Ophthalmology, 2016
  • “Electrical fields guide Retinal Ganglion Cell Neurite Growth.” Winner of best Resident Poster Presentation, NANOS 2016, Tuscon, Arizona, 2016
  • “Electrical fields direct Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Growth.”, 1st place Resident Research Presentation, Alumni Day, UC Davis Dept of Ophthalmology, 2012
  • “Electrical fields direct Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Growth.” Graduated with Distinction in Research, UC Irvine, 2009
  • Graduated with Distinction in Community Service, UC Irvine, 2009
  • Developmental and Systems Biology Training Grant T32 HD060555-01, UC Irvine (awarded, but declined), 2008
  • “A stochastic model of the neuronal gene regulatory network in the olfactory epithelium.” Center for Complex Biological Systems Student Project Grant $10,000, UC Irvine, 2007
  • International Conference in Systems Biology Travel Award, Goteborg, Sweden, 2006
  • Paul H. Silverman Award for Research in Stem Cells, $100 UC Irvine, 2005-2007
  • School of Biological Sciences Travel Award, UC Irvine, 2002
  • MSTP 2nd place oral presentation award, UC Irvine, 2001
  • NINDS/AUPN/ANA Medical Students Mentoring Workshop Scholarship, NIH, 2001
  • “A stochastic model of stem cell aging.” Center for Complex Biological Systems Student Project Grant $10,000, UC Irvine, 2001
  • MSTP 2nd place oral presentation award, UC Irvine, 2001
  • AΩA Honors Society Community Service Award, UC Irvine, 2001
  • Neurosciences Training Grant NIH GM-08620, UC Irvine, 2001
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2001
  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) fellowship, University of Kansas, 2001