Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the Eye Institute

Medical College of Wisconsin Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences Research

About Our Research

A broad spectrum of funding sources, from individual donations to National Institute of Health grants, enables our researchers to take a multidisciplinary approach to improving the fundamental understanding, diagnosis and management of eye disease. As a leader in clinical and translational research, Vision Science Research at MCW supports a solid platform for innovation, collaboration and discovery.

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Vision Scientists

Explore the diverse research interests of the Eye Institute faculty and our vision science network.

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Vision Science Resources

Shared resources support diverse vision research programs from faculty at MCW, and we are always interested in engaging with non-vision scientists from MCW or other institutions.

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Advanced Ocular Imaging Program

The Advanced Ocular Imaging Program, located in the Eye Institute, serves as a local, national and international resource for advancing the field of ocular imaging and for translating adaptive optics technology into a clinically relevant imaging tool.

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Collery Laboratory

MCW's Collery lab seeks to understand mechanisms that underlie signaling and development in the eye that both contribute to retinal health, as well as influence eye size and refractive error.

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Miesfeld Laboratory

The Miesfeld laboratory is interested in understanding the gene regulatory networks associated with development and disease of the neural retina, with a focus on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the pathogenic target in glaucoma.

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Ocular Gene Therapy Laboratory

The Ocular Gene Therapy Laboratory (OGTL), founded by Daniel M. Lipinski, MSc, DPhil, and located in the Eye Institute, aims to develop broadly applicable gene-based therapeutics to prevent human blindness arising from neurodegenerative or vascular diseases affecting the retina.


Ocular Immunology and Angiogenesis Laboratory

The Ocular Immunology and Angiogenesis Lab focuses on the identification and validation of novel biomarkers and targets to evaluate potential VEGF-independent Next-Generation Therapeutics countering Ocular Fibrotic and Angiogenic Diseases.

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Scalabrino Laboratory

The main goal of the Scalabrino Lab is to halt inherited retinal disorders by studying retinal circuitry and engineering new molecular therapies that better address the dysfunction.

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Medical College of Wisconsin's Ophthalmology Clinical Trials and Research Studies

We encourage eligible volunteers to consider taking part in our research program for two reasons:

First, clinical trials may offer additional treatment options — with the same hands-on comprehensive care found throughout the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network. And as volunteers, you are pioneers in research at the forefront of innovation.

Second, your participation in these trials or other research studies helps make advancements in vision care. This kind of research allows scientists to better understand blinding eye diseases and discover the best ways to treat or prevent them. When you take part in any research study at the Eye Institute, you contribute to the larger mission of improving vision care for everyone.

Research Studies Frequently Asked Questions

Important items to know about clinical trials and research studies before volunteering. Have additional questions? Please call (414) 955-7862 to speak with Eye Institute Clinical Research staff.

What are research studies?
Research studies are carefully conducted tests of a treatment, device or new method within a patient population. Studies are conducted to better understand how to prevent, manage or treat different conditions. Nearly all major medical advances arise through research.
Why should I participate in a research study?
Research studies provide ways to help improve vision care. When you take part in such programs, you are actively contributing to a better understanding of eye disease, which may help to develop more effective treatments in the future. Ultimately, the decision to participate in a study is a personal one.
What does the Eye Institute do to oversee study conduct and promote patient safety?
An institutional review board (IRB) must review and approve every research study before it can begin. The IRB oversees all studies to make sure they are conducted properly, protect subject rights and well-being and follow applicable regulations.
Who can participate in Eye Institute research studies?
All research studies have criteria explaining who can and cannot participate. These criteria may include factors such as age, gender, the type and severity of the eye condition, whether a person has received any previous treatments and whether they have any other medical conditions.
What are my responsibilities in a research study?
In clinical trials investigating new treatments, study volunteers are monitored closely with thorough examinations on a regular basis. In order to provide the best care while keeping patient safety a priority, you are responsible for following study visit schedules, communicating with the study team, and providing updates on any changes in health.
What do I need to know before I decide to participate?
Before you agree to volunteer for a study, information about the study will be given to you in writing and thoroughly reviewed with you so you can ask any questions before deciding to participate; this is called informed consent. You will be given time to review the information and discuss your choices with family or friends before making a decision to participate.
What if I decide not to participate in a research study?
You should know that you will receive the customary, high standard of medical care whether or not you choose to participate in a research study. The decision to participate is yours to make. If you choose to take part in a study, you can leave at any time - just tell the study doctor.
How are my costs covered if I participate in a research study?
Each study is different, so it is best to check with the study coordinator and with your insurance company to find out about any costs.
How do I find a research study that is appropriate for me?
Ask your doctor about clinical trials and other research studies that are currently available for your condition. Since all studies have specific patient eligibility requirements, your care team can tell you if you qualify to participate.


We are fortunate to have a diverse array of funding sources for our research at the Eye Institute. We would like to acknowledge the National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI), Research to Prevent Blindness, and the R.D. & Linda Peters Foundation for their long-term support of our research projects. We also gratefully thank the many other local and national foundations who have made contributions to advance our mission. Finally, we thank our patients for their philanthropic donations, which provide especially vital support for new projects and continued innovation.