Initially established in 1978 as the UCLA Retinitis Pigmentosa Registry, the Vision Genetics Center, under the direction of Dr. Michael B. Gorin, is an integrated clinical and research program that addresses the full spectrum of hereditary eye disorders. Center members, representing multiple disciplines, combine their efforts to understand the underlying molecular basis of a broad range of ocular conditions, including those involving the development of the eye, cornea, lens, extraocular muscles, retina, vitreous, and optic nerve. Areas of interest include both simple inherited conditions caused by alterations in single genes, as well as conditions in which multiple genetic variations and other risk factors play a role.
The Center offers patients and their family members state-of-the-art diagnosis and care of the hereditary eye or vision condition. Services include genetic counseling, and when appropriate, DNA testing either as a clinical diagnostic service, a research program, or in combination. The Center’s faculty members collaborate with a number of genetic research groups around the world to ensure that patients can participate in the most advanced research for their particular condition.
During the past year, the Center has initiated involvement in a natural history study and clinical trial for gene therapy for choroideremia and a therapeutic clinical trial for Stargardt Disease.