DoctorsKimberly Gokoffski, MD, PhD

Kimberly Gokoffski, MD, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology; Associate Director, Institute for Technology and Medical Systems (ITEMS)

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

Languages: English, Polish, conversational Spanish

Location: Los Angeles and Arcadia

Biography and Education


Dr. Kimberly Gokoffski, MD, PhD, completed her medical training at the University of California, Irvine in the NIH sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Her PhD thesis was performed under the tutelage of Professor Anne Calof PhD where she uncovered some of the feedback mechanisms that control stem cell decisions of fate. She then performed post-doctoral research with Dr. David Sretevan, MD, PhD, at University of California, San Francisco studying axonal biology. Dr. Gokoffski completed her residency training in ophthalmology at the University of California, Davis followed by a fellowship in Adult and Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology and Strabismus at the University of Southern California. She has since joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor.

As a neuro-ophthalmologist, Dr. Gokoffski also leads a robust clinical and surgical practice diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the connection between the eye and the brain. She specializes in diseases such as optic neuritis, ischemic optic neuropathy, pseudotumor cerebri, and other diseases that damage the efferent or afferent visual pathways. Additionally, she treats patients with thyroid eye disease, myasthenia gravis, and strabismus. Her surgical practice includes performing strabismus surgery and optic nerve sheath fenestrations.

Research Interests:

Dr. Gokoffski’s research interests are focused on the clinical need for optic nerve regeneration. Optic neuropathies are diseases in which the optic nerve – the cable that transmits information from the eye to the brain – is damaged. Advanced optic neuropathies, like glaucoma, optic neuritis, or strokes of the optic nerve, result in irreversible vision loss because the cells that make up the optic nerveare not capable of self-renewal. Restoration of vision in patients with optic neuropathies requires therapies that can regenerate the optic nerve. Dr. Gokoffski’s research addresses one of the majorrate-limiting steps to optic nerve regeneration–directing long distance axon growth. Her research is currently focused on: 1.) elucidating the molecular signals that guide axon growth and 2.) developing applied electrical fields into a breakthrough technology to direct axon growth.


  • 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


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


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


Professional society memberships:

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


  • “In vivo Application of Electrical Fields Directs Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Regeneration,” K08 Career Development Award, NIH/NEI, 2020-2025
  • “Electric Fields Collaborate with Cdc42 to Direct Optic Nerve Regeneration,” National Glaucoma Research Program Award, BrightFocus Foundation, 2020-2022
  • “Grant Generating mature RGCs from human embryonic stem cells,” Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Stem Cell Core Pilot, 2019
  • NANOS Pilot Award, “Electrical Fields Direct Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Growth by Modulating GTPase Signaling”, NANOS 2018
  • 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
  • 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


  1. Gokoffski KK, Thinda S. Ophthalmic Artery Occlusion after Cocaine Use. J Emerg Med. 2015 Jul;49(1):61-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2014.12.078. Epub 2015 Apr 7
  2. Gokoffski KK, Wu HH, Beites CL, Kim J, Kim EJ, Matzuk MM, Johnson JE, Lander AD, Calof AL. Activin and GDF11 collaborate in feedback control of neuroepithelial stem cell proliferation and fate. Development. 2011 Oct;138(19):4131-42. doi: 10.1242/dev.065870. Epub 2011 Aug 18.
  3. Gokoffski KK, Kawauchi S, Wu HH, Santos R, Hollenbeck PLW, Lander AD, Calof AL. Feedback Regulation of Neurogenesis in the Mammalian Olfactory Epithelium: New Insights from Genetics and Systems Biology. Menini A, editor. SourceThe Neurobiology of Olfaction. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2010. Chapter 10.
  4. Chou CS, Lo WC, Gokoffski KK, Zhang YT, Wan FY, Lander AD, Calof AL, Nie Q. Spatial dynamics of multistage cell lineages in tissue stratification. Biophys J. 2010 Nov 17;99(10):3145-54. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.09.034.