UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute The Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute
by name
Afshari, Natalie A. Baxter, Sally L. Borooah, Shyamanga Brown, Stuart I. Camp, Andrew Do, Jiun Ferreyra, Henry A. Freeman, William R. Goldbaum, Michael H. Granet, David B. Haw, Weldon W. Heichel, Chris W. Hennein, Lauren Huang, Alex A. Huang, Lingling Kikkawa, Don O. Kline, Lanning Korn, Bobby S. Lee, Jeffrey E. Liu, Catherine Y. Moghimi, Sasan Movaghar, Mansoor Nguyen, Thao P. Nudleman, Eric Puig-Llano, Manuel Robbins, Shira L. Rudell, Jolene Savino, Peter J. Scott, Nathan L. Spencer, Doran B. Toomey, Christopher B. Vasile, Cristiana Weinreb, Robert N. Welsbie, Derek S.
by specialty
Comprehensive Ophthalmology Cornea & Cataracts Dry Eye Clinic Glaucoma Neuro-Ophthalmology Ocular Oncology Ophthalmic Genetics Ophthalmic Pathology Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Ophthalmology Informatics and Data Science Optometry & Low Vision Pediatric Ophthalmology & Eye Alignment Disorders Refractive Surgery / LASIK Retina & Vitreous Thyroid Eye Clinic Uveitis
by condition
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) Cataracts Corneal Conditions Cosmetic Surgery Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Cancer Eye Movement Disorders Glaucoma Hereditary (Genetic) Disorders Low Vision Neuro-Ophthalmic Conditions Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Pediatric Conditions Refractive Errors Retinal Diseases Strabismus (Strabimus) Thyroid Eye Disease Uveitis
Events Banner

SEI Awarded UG3 Grant for Glaucoma Gene Therapy


Wonkyu “Daniel” Ju, PhD, Professor in the Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, and the Shiley Eye Institute (SEI), was awarded $1,530,352 in UG3 grant funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support the development of novel gene therapy to reduce retinal neuroinflammation and provide effective neuroprotection to glaucoma patients.

Glaucoma remains a leading cause of global blindness by damaging the nerve in the back of the eye called the optic nerve. The symptoms start gradually so that they may not even be noticed. There is no cure for glaucoma, but early treatment can often stop the damage and protect sight. Therapies include eye drops, laser treatment or surgery.

Emerging evidence suggests that glia-neuroinflammation is a critical element that leads to retinal ganglion cell (optic nerve cell) death and optic nerve degeneration in the development of glaucoma.  According to Ju, “These studies will develop a novel gene therapy to reduce retinal neuroinflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction as well as provide effective neuroprotection to glaucoma patients.”

If successful, IND-enabling studies will be conducted at UC San Diego in order to obtain FDA approval for the first-in-human trial. Co-Investigator Robert N. Weinreb, MD, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, notes that  “Our department receiving this prestigious grant marks a groundbreaking moment as it’s the first time a glaucoma genetic therapeutic approach, spanning preclinical and clinical trials, has been awarded NIH funding.”

The project is a collaborative endeavor that draws upon the collective strengths and resources of UC San Diego, RAFT Pharmaceuticals, and the NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network – Biologic.

The only way to find out if you have glaucoma is to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam by an eyecare professional. To make an appointment with an SEI glaucoma specialist, please call 858-534-6290.

For information at SEI, please contact Karen Anisko Ryan at kanisko@health.ucsd.edu .




To make an appointment, call
(858) 534-6290
All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Clinic Hours

Monday - Friday
7:00am - 5:00pm
7:45am - 2:00pm

Phone Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 2:00pm
Closed on major holidays

Email Us

Have Questions? Contacting us has never been easier. Leave us a question or comment today!

Emergency Care After Hours

For ophthalmic emergency care after hours and on weekends, please call the UCSD page operator at
(619) 543-6737
and ask for the ophthalmologist on call.

Parking Mobile App Info

Electric Vehicle Charging

Whats Your Symptom Disclaimer

The information contained in this online site is intended to provide accurate and helpful health information for the general public. It is made available with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering medical, health, psychological, or any other kind of personal professional services on this site. The information should not be considered complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions or their treatment. It should not be used in place of a call or visit to a medical, health or other competent professional, who should be consulted before adopting any of the suggestions in this site or drawing inferences from it.

The information about drugs contained on this site is general in nature. It does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the medicines mentioned, nor is the information intended as medical advice for individual problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of taking a particular drug.

The operator(s) of this site, and the publisher, specifically disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the material on this site.

Click Here To Accept

Email Us

First Name*
Last Name*

Required *