DoctorsJ. Martin Heur, MD, PhD

J. Martin Heur, MD, PhD

Title: Professor and Interim Chair of Ophthalmology; Charles C. Manger III, M.D. Chair in Corneal Laser Surgery

Department: Ophthalmology

Clinical Specialty: Cornea and External Diseases and Refractive Surgery

Treatment Expertise: Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Lamellar Surgery, Collagen Cross-Linking, and Dry Eye Treatment

Certification: American Board of Ophthalmology

Languages: English, Korean

Location: Los Angeles and Arcadia

Research Topics:

Effect of Preservation Time on Long-Term Graft Success
Release of Cell Cycle Arrest in Human Corneal Endothelial Cells
Zebrafish Model of Human Corneal Development and Disease

Biography and Education


J. Martin Heur, MD, PhD, received MD and PhD degrees from the Physician Scientist Training Program at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine where he was awarded an NIH Medical Scientist Training Program fellowship. He completed residency training at Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic, followed by a fellowship in Cornea and External Disease and Refractive Surgery at The USC Department of Ophthalmology. Dr. Heur’s research is supported by grants from the National Eye Institute and Research to Prevent Blindness, and was previously supported by Baxter Foundation, Fight for Sight, and Knight Templar Eye Foundation.

Research Interests:

Dr. Heur’s research focuses on investigation of molecular mechanisms of corneal endothelial wound healing utilizing zebrafish and corneal endothelial cell lines as model systems.


  • PhD, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine: Developmental Biology, 2002
  • MD, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 2004


  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics, 2004 – 2005


  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ophthalmology, 2005 – 2008


  • USC Department of Ophthalmology, Corneal Diseases, 2008 – 2009


Professional society memberships:

  • Present Member, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • Present Fellow, American Academy of Ophthalmology 2005
  • ABO Certification 2010
  • Present Member, Cornea Society 2013


  • NIH Medical Scientist Training Program Grant 2002-2004
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society 2004
  • NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award 2011
  • ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award 2011
  • RPB Career Development Award 2012
  • Best Doctors in America, 2015-2016


  1. Lee JG, Jung E, Heur M. Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 Induces Proliferation and Fibrosis Via Snai1-Mediated Activation of Cdk2 and Zeb1 in Corneal Endothelium. J Biol Chem. 2018 Mar 9;293(10):3758-69.
  2. Chahal JS, Heur M, Chiu GB. Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem Scleral Lens Therapy for Exposure Keratopathy. Eye Contact Lens. 2017 Jul;43(4):240-4.
  3. Lee JG, Heur M. WNT10B Enhances Proliferation Through Beta-Catenin and RAC1 GTPase in Human Corneal Endothelial Cells. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2015. Epub 2015/09/16. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.677245. PubMed PMID: 26370090.
  4. Wang W, Despanie J, Shi P, Edman-Woolcott MC, Lin YA, Cui H, et al. Lacritin-Mediated Regeneration of the Corneal Epithelia by Protein Polymer Nanoparticles. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, Materials for Biology and Medicine. 2014;2(46):8131-41. Epub 2014/12/23. doi: 10.1039/c4tb00979g. PubMed PMID: 25530855; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc4270104.
  5. Nguyen P, Rue K, Heur M, Yiu SC. Ocular Surface Rehabilitation: Application of Human Amniotic Membrane in High-Risk Penetrating Keratoplasties. Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology : Official Journal of the Saudi Ophthalmological Society. 2014;28(3):198-202. Epub 2014/10/04. doi: 10.1016/j.sjopt.2014.06.010. PubMed PMID: 25278797; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc4181454.
  6. Lee JG, Heur M. Interleukin-1beta-Induced Wnt5a Enhances Human Corneal Endothelial Cell Migration Through Regulation of Cdc42 and RhoA. Molecular and Cellular Biology. 2014;34(18):3535-45. Epub 2014/07/16. doi: 10.1128/mcb.01572-13. PubMed PMID: 25022753; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc4135619.
  7. Heur M, Bach D, Theophanous C, Chiu GB. Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem Scleral Lens Therapy for Patients with Ocular Symptoms of Chronic Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. American Journal of Ophthalmology. 2014;158(1):49-54. Epub 2014/04/05. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2014.03.012. PubMed PMID: 24699156.
  8. Hamm-Alvarez SF, Janga SR, Edman MC, Madrigal S, Shah M, Frousiakis SE, et al. Tear Cathepsin S as a Candidate Biomarker for Sjogren’s Syndrome. Arthritis & Rheumatology (Hoboken, NJ). 2014;66(7):1872-81. Epub 2014/03/20. doi: 10.1002/art.38633. PubMed PMID: 24644101; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc4077975.
  9. Chiu GB, Bach D, Theophanous C, Heur M. Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem (PROSE) Scleral Lens for Salzmann’s Nodular Degeneration. Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology : Official Journal of the Saudi Ophthalmological Society. 2014;28(3):203-6. Epub 2014/10/04. doi: 10.1016/j.sjopt.2014.06.001. PubMed PMID: 25278798; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc4181437.
  10. Nguyen P, Khashabi S, Chopra V, Francis B, Heur M, Song JC, et al. Descemet Stripping with Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty: A Comparative Study of Outcome in Patients with Preexisting Glaucoma. Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology : Official Journal of the Saudi Ophthalmological Society. 2013;27(2):73-8. Epub 2013/11/15. doi: 10.1016/j.sjopt.2013.02.002. PubMed PMID: 24227965; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc3809502.
  11. Lee JG, Heur M. Interleukin-1beta Enhances Cell Migration through AP-1 and NF-KappaB Pathway-Dependent FGF2 Expression in Human Corneal Endothelial Cells. Biology of the Cell / under the auspices of the European Cell Biology Organization. 2013;105(4):175-89. Epub 2013/01/22. doi: 10.1111/boc.201200077. PubMed PMID: 23331079; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc3618530.
  12. Lee JC, Chiu GB, Bach D, Bababeygy SR, Irvine J, Heur M. Functional and Visual Improvement with Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem Scleral Lenses for Irregular Corneas. Cornea. 2013;32(12):1540-3. Epub 2013/10/23. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e3182a73802. PubMed PMID: 24145631.
  13. Huang AS, Gonzalez JM, Jr., Le PV, Heur M, Tan JC. Sources of Structural Autofluorescence in the Human Trabecular Meshwork. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 2013;54(7):4813-20. Epub 2013/06/08. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-11235. PubMed PMID: 23745000; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc3720147.
  14. Heur M, Jiao S, Schindler S, Crump JG. Regenerative Potential of the Zebrafish Corneal Endothelium. Experimental Eye Research. 2013;106:1-4. Epub 2012/10/31. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2012.10.009. PubMed PMID: 23108006; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc3538902.
  15. Gonzalez JM, Jr., Heur M, Tan JC. Two-Photon Immunofluorescence Characterization of the Trabecular Meshwork in situ. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 2012;53(7):3395-404. Epub 2012/04/26. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-8570. PubMed PMID: 22531697; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc3374625.
  16. Heur M, Tang M, Yiu S, Zhang X, Huang D. Investigation of Femtosecond Laser–Enabled Keratoplasty Wound Geometry Using Optical Coherence Tomography. Cornea. 2011;30(8):889-94. Epub 2011/03/11. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e3182041fd3. PubMed PMID: 21389851.
  17. Ahmad H, Heur M. Images in Clinical Medicine. Schnyder’s Crystalline Corneal Dystrophy. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;363(3):275. Epub 2010/07/22. doi: 10.1056/NEJMicm0911357. PubMed PMID: 20647202.
  18. Laham A, Correa ZM, Augsburger JJ, Heur M. Complete Ring Cyst of Iris Pigment Epithelium Documented by Ultrasound Biomicroscopy. Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers & Imaging : The Official Journal of the International Society for Imaging in the Eye. 2009;40(5):495-7. Epub 2009/09/24. doi: 10.3928/15428877-20090901-10. PubMed PMID: 19772275.
  19. Heur M, Chaurasia SS, Wilson SE. Expression of Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist in Human Cornea. Experimental Eye Research. 2009;88(5):992-4. Epub 2008/12/18. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2008.11.019. PubMed PMID: 19087877; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc2691719.
  20. Heur M, Jeng BH. Ultrasonography of the Anterior Segment. Ultrasound Clinics. 2008;3(2):201-6. Epub 2008/04/01. doi: 10.1016/j.cult.2008.04.004. PubMed PMID: 20577648; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc2890277.
  21. Heur M, Costin B, Crowe S, Grimm RA, Moran R, Svensson LG, et al. The Value of Keratometry and Central Corneal Thickness Measurements in the Clinical Diagnosis of Marfan Syndrome. American Journal of Ophthalmology. 2008;145(6):997-1001. Epub 2008/04/02. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2008.01.028. PubMed PMID: 18378212.
  22. Heur M, Kosmorsky GS, Peachey NS, Bala E. Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion Associated with Compound Heterozygous Genotype for Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase. Documenta Ophthalmologica Advances in Ophthalmology. 2007;114(3):163-8. Epub 2007/03/16. doi: 10.1007/s10633-007-9051-3. PubMed PMID: 17357807.
  23. Du H, Heur M, Witte DP, Ameis D, Grabowski GA. Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency: Correction of Lipid Storage by Adenovirus-Mediated Gene Transfer in Mice. Human Gene Therapy. 2002;13(11):1361-72. Epub 2002/08/07. doi: 10.1089/104303402760128586. PubMed PMID: 12162818.
  24. Du H, Schiavi S, Levine M, Mishra J, Heur M, Grabowski GA. Enzyme Therapy for Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency in the Mouse. Human Molecular Genetics. 2001;10(16):1639-48. Epub 2001/08/07. PubMed PMID: 11487567.
  25. Du H, Heur M, Duanmu M, Grabowski GA, Hui DY, Witte DP, et al. Lysosomal Acid Lipase-Deficient Mice: Depletion of White and Brown Fat, Severe Hepatosplenomegaly, and Shortened Life Span. Journal of Lipid Research. 2001;42(4):489-500. Epub 2001/04/06. PubMed PMID: 11290820.