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.

VRC News

UMKC Trustees honor SOM’s Peter Koulen for distinguished work in research

The UMKC Board of Trustees has selected UMKC School of Medicine’s vision and neuroscience researcher Peter Koulen, Ph.D., as the recipient of the 2020 UMKC Trustee’s Faculty Fellow Award. Dr

UMKC vision researchers repurpose technology to identify early symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Technology used in eye exams called microperimetry could prove to be an effective, non-invasive method of identifying early symptoms of multiple sclerosis. An article recently published by researchers at the

Vision researcher awarded $1.16 million grant to battle glaucoma

UMKC School of Medicine vision researcher Peter Koulen, Ph.D., has received a $1.16 million grant for a study to battle vision loss and blindness. Backed by the National Institutes of

SOM researcher working to prevent age-related vision loss

Backed by a $1.16 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, UMKC School of Medicine vision researcher Peter Koulen, Ph.D., is studying new chemical compounds to treat and prevent

All VRC News