DoctorsJoseph D. Cocozza, PhD

Joseph D. Cocozza, PhD

Joseph D. Cocozza, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor of Research Ophthalmology

Research Topics:

Science and Engineering Education

Biography and Education


Dr. Cocozza completed both a BS in biology and PhD in Neuroscience at Purdue University. He also pursued further training as a postdoctoral fellow at Jules Stein Eye Institute in 1989. Prior to joining the Department of Ophthalmology as assistant professor of research, Dr. Cocozza was a high school science instructor, during which time he developed university partnerships that augmented science curricula.

Research Interests:

Joseph D. Cocozza, PhD, is an assistant professor of research in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Cocozza is leading the establishment of an ophthalmic technician training program at the USC Roski Eye Institute. This program builds on the fact that health care today is delivered through a team of professionals that includes ophthalmologists and ophthalmic technicians who work closely with patients and their families. Certified ophthalmic technicians are highly skilled in the clinical, managerial, and social aspects of health care delivery. Ophthalmic technicians take medical histories, perform a variety of eye-related clinical procedures and diagnostic tests, and instruct patients about medications, treatments, and eye care. Their work provides the ophthalmologist with important information in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. By assisting the primary ophthalmologist and directly attending to the needs of the patient, certified ophthalmic technicians create a more personal experience for the patient while at the same time assure the effective and efficient use of resources and time of all stakeholders. The USC Roski Eye Institute’s ophthalmic technician training program will be the only program currently offered in California, and it will help to meet the high demand for ophthalmic technicians that is projected by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


  • Purdue University, Biology, BS, 1977
  • Purdue University, Neuroscience, PhD, 1986
  • Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1989


  1. Cocozza JD, Ostroy SE. Factors affecting the regeneration of rhodopsin in the isolated amphibian retina. Vision Res. 1987;27(7):1085-91.
  2. Cocozza JD, Ostroy SE. Excised Isolated Frog and Toad Retinas Do Not Exhibit Active Rhodopsin Regeneration. Invest Ophth Vis Sci Supp. 1985;25(60).