“From the Bed to the Bench and Back” – A Timeline of Major Breakthroughs by USC Department of Ophthalmology Faculty

Developed a laboratory model of penetrating eye injuries that influences the management of trauma in humans
Developed a laboratory model of choroidal neovascularization now widely used to study pathogenesis and treatment of subretinal neovascularization
Implanted the first artificial cornea in a pediatric patient
Identified the gene that causes retinoblastoma
Pioneered Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Addressed vision complications from AIDS by diagnosing and developing treatments for opportunistic eye infections and Kaposi’s sarcoma
Developed the Baerveldt® glaucoma implant for preserving vision in glaucoma patients by reducing eye pressure
Developed a noninvasive glucose-monitoring system using Raman spectrum signals from the aqueous
Began the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study, the world’s largest investigation into eye disease in Latinos
Implanted the first artificial retina in a patient after beginning collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science in 1999
Pioneered use of ultra-high speed Fournier domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) to improve glaucoma diagnosis
Identified the unique mechanism of uptake in lacrimal gland for adenovirus 5 that may facilitate drug delivery
Developed a Web-accessible visual field test and analysis system for multicenter studies and touchpad device access
Began first clinical trials for an experimental therapeutic agent to treat Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, a mitochondrial disease
Received Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration for patients with retinitis pigmentosa
Discovered which retinal cells mutate to become retinoblastoma.

Implanted a programmable micropump smart device that delivers precise small doses of medications into the eyes of patients with diabetic macular edema, in the first-in-man clinical trial
Pioneered use of OCT Angiography for diagnosis and management of retinal vascular diseases. USC Eye Institute, was one of two research sites to conduct preclinical pilot studies using prototype OCT Angiography devices which was FDA approved for clinical use.

USC Eye Institute Patient Becomes First Blind Patient to have Two artificial retinal prostheses, Argus I and newest generation of Argus II –one in each eye