Ocular Regenerative Medicine Institute


Demetrios G. Vavvas, MD, PhD
Michael J. Young, PhD
See a list of ORMI faculty

The Ocular Regenerative Medicine Institute is leading the effort to develop novel methods to regenerate eye tissues for various diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, corneal disease, and ocular cancer. Our investigators are collaborating with scientists across multiple fields to revolutionize treatment options for these blinding diseases.  

Major Research Breakthroughs

In the last 20 years, our investigators have achieved many research milestones. Notably, they have: 

  • Performed early clinical trials of grafted embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Developed a novel stem cell therapy for retinitis pigmentosa using retinal progenitor cells
  • Developed a semi-automated approach for the scaled-up production of retinal neurons from pluripotent stem cells—a renewable source of cells—for the treatment of AMD and glaucoma
  • Pioneered transplantation studies of stem cellderived retinal ganglion cells in animal models of glaucoma
  • Uncovered permanent neuroglial remodeling of the retina that occurs following infiltration of peripheral monocytes in cases of retinal injury

2020 Vision: Promising Areas for Future Research

Looking to the future, our investigators hope to overcome immunologic and integration issues as we move from bench to bedside with sight-saving and restoring therapies that will change the lives of patients with blinding diseases. 

Biennial Symposium

The Symposium on Ocular Regeneration brings together clinicians and basic scientists from multiple disciplines who are working to accelerate cures and restore vision in patients with degenerative eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cornea and dry eye disease, and inherited retinal disorders. Learn more