The Vision Research Center is a "Vision for the Future" Right Here...Right Now.

The Vision Research Center is a "Vision for the Future"

Right Here...Right Now.

Our Mission

Our Mission

The Vision Research Center's mission is to discover and develop cures for debilitating eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Our Objectives

Our Objectives

  • Develop urgently-needed new therapies via basic science and transfer them into patient care via translational research and clinical trials.
  • Training the next generation of scientists and clinicians; educational excellence
  • Ensure patients receive the most advanced medical treatments available.

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.

Dr. Andrew Keightley’s research focuses on proteomics and mass spectrometry. Proteomics has benefited substantially from major improvements in mass spectrometer speed, sensitivity, and mass accuracy. Meanwhile, these improvements have been complemented by profound advances and innovation in methods, analysis strategies, and in particular, the simultaneous development of advanced algorithms to extract statistically defendable qualitative and quantitative information from the MS data. It is his goal to apply and exploit this technology with our faculty to solve questions of disease and pathology progression in their areas of interest, define potential drug targets or better understand the effects of drugs, and substantially enhance our overall biomedical research productivity at UMKC.

VRC News

ARVO Advocates Urge Congress to Finalize FY2022 Appropriations, Fund NIH for FY2023

Peter Koulen, Ph.D., director of basic research at the UMKC School of Medicine’s Vision Research Center, provided an international outlook of how NEI has been crucial in leading international collaborative

School of Medicine’s Peter Koulen honored for achievements, advocacy in vision research

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) has recognized Peter Koulen, Ph.D., director of basic research at the UMKC School of Medicine’s Vision Research Center, with a major

Medicine students make strong showing in annual Health Sciences Student Research Summit

The UMKC School of Medicine made a strong showing with 10 students among the winners in the 10th annual UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit. For the second year in

UMKC Vision Research Center receives NIH award to promote diversity in health-related research as part of ongoing glaucoma studies

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the UMKC Vision Research Center a new $120,399 grant that promotes the training of researchers from diverse backgrounds as part of ongoing

All VRC News