Department of Biomedical Sciences

Vision Research Center (VRC)

UMKC’s nationally recognized Vision Research Center (VRC) is dedicated to advancing and promoting optimal vision health in the community and worldwide.  The VRC is an innovative research organization that integrates interdisciplinary collaborative research teams from the Departments of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Sciences at the School of Medicine, as well as faculty from the School of Pharmacy. The teams ­through strong interaction between basic, translational and clinical researchers ­bring discoveries in vision research to patients and their communities.

Dr. Peter Koulen is the Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research and serves as co-director of the VRC.  Dr. Koulen’s research is focused on developing new treatment strategies for diseases that damage nerve cells in the central nervous system and the eye.

Dr. Scott Duncan is interested in the immune system’s effect on the visual system and its role in the development of chronic diseases of the retina.

Dr. Karl Kador’s research focuses on injuries and diseases of the optic nerve, such as glaucoma, that lead to the death of the retinal ganglion cells, which connect the retina to the brain.  Dr. Kador employs methods for transplanting new cells to replace the cells that have died and uses tissue engineering to direct these cells through the retina and to the optic nerve to develop a treatment that will restore vision to patients suffering end stage diseases affecting the retina and optic nerve.