About Us 

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The Department of Ophthalmology at UMMS is committed to advancing the field of ophthalmology through basic and clinical research, translation of advances from the laboratory to clinical practice, and the training of medical students. Among other areas, we conduct basic and translational research to develop therapies for retinal disorders.

Basic Research

Our basic research program in our state-of-the-art research laboratories focuses on understanding the biochemical basis of retinal and macular degeneration, small molecule drug discovery, and the molecular and cellular fate of misfolded proteins associated with retinal diseases. Read more at the Khanna Lab, and the Punzo Lab.

Clinical Trials and Research

Our faculty and staff are leaders in gene therapy and biochemical research contributing to clinical and translational research efforts. We conduct clinical trials, clinical research, and novel drug testing, which has led to the creation of two biotech startup companies.

Clinical Practice

Through our UMass Memorial Eye Center, we provide comprehensive ophthalmology services to patients. We specialize in vitreoretinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. We also provide patient care in orbit/oculoplastics, neuro-ophthalmology, and uveitis. Our services include the latest technologies for imaging, perimetry, and electrophysiology. Visit our UMass Memorial Eye Center website at:

Vision Research Center

We have developed a member-supported network for information-sharing among physicians, researchers, and others that focuses on the latest developments in vision-related research and clinical findings.

Recent Publications

Clemson, C.M., Tzekov, R., Krebs, M., Checchi, J.M., Bigelow, C., Kaushal. S. 2010. Therapeutic potential of valproic acid for retinitis pigmentosa. British Journal of Ophthalmology. July 20, 2010 [epub ahead of print – doi: 10.1136/bjo.2009.175356].

Krebs, M.P., Holden, D.C., Joshi, P., Clark III, C.L., Lee, A.H., Kaushal, S.. 2010. Molecular mechanisms of rhodopsin retinitis pigmentosa and the efficacy of pharmacological rescue. Journal of Molecular Biology. Nov 11 2009 [Epub ahead of print].

Roy, K., Stein, L., Kaushal, S. 2010. Ocular gene therapy: an evaluation of recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated gene therapy interventions for the treatment of ocular disease. Human Gene Therapy 21:1-12.

Swindle, K.E., Shah, M., Hamilton, P.D., Eskin, T.A., Kaushal, S., Ravi, N. 2009. Rabbit study of an in situ forming hydrogel vitreous substitute. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 50:4840-4846.

Harris, J.R., Fisher, R., Jorgenssen, M., Kaushal, S., Scott, E.W. 2009. CD133 Progenitor cells from the bone marrow contribute to retinal pigment epithelium repair. Stem Cells 27(2):457-466.

Krebs, M.P., White, D.A., Kaushal, S. 2009. Biphasic photoreceptor degeneration induced by light in a T17M rhodopsin mouse model of cone bystander damage. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 50(6):2956-65.

Noorwez, S.M., Sama, R.R.K., Kaushal, S. 2009. Calnexin improves the folding efficiency of mutant rhodopsin in the presence of pharmacological chaperone 11-cis retinal. J Biol Chem. 284(48):33333-42.

 Research Projects

  • Retinal diseases
  • Macular degeneration
  • Gene therapy
  • Stem cells
  • Novel eye treatments 





Dept. of Ophthalmology
281 Lincoln Street
Worcester, MA 01605

Research Lab:
368 Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01655

Faculty and Staff

George Asdourian, M.D. Professor, Interim Chair

Mark Barsamian, D.O.
Assistant Professor

Margaret Humphries, R.N. Research Nurse

Hemant Khanna, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

George Peters, III, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Claudio Punzo, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

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