The mission of Drack Research is to find treatments for currently untreatable blinding childhood eye disorders, and to improve the lives and functioning of patients and families living with these eye issues today. A person's visual acuity does not correlate with the amount of happiness they find in life, but the presence of a caring family and a supportive community certainly can. Our goal is to give patients and families every possible tool, and every treatment at our disposal, to live great lives. We also strive to educate people about their vision issues, and about research being done that may affect them either now or in the future.
In my clinical practice I run a Pediatric Genetic Eye Disease clinic. For every child with an eye or vision problem, there is something we can do to help. Sometimes it is as simple as glasses, sometimes an eye surgery. Sometimes it is not that simple and requires special technology, low vision aids, advice to a school or workplace, or special testing to get a correct diagnosis. We try to help each patient and family understand their condition and do all we can to help them achieve their goals and dreams.
As director of the Kolder Electrophysiology Suite in the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, I oversee clinical electrophysiology testing, which includes full field electroretinogram (ERG), visual evoked potential (VEP), dark adaptation testing (FST and AdaptDx), and multifocal ERG. We use these tests to aid in the diagnosis of patients who come to our clinics, and to follow them over time. In addition, I utilize these tests in clinical research to better understand how the retina functions.
One of the great strengths of the Drack Research Laboratory and the Pediatric Genetic Eye Disease Service is our affiliation with the Institute for Vision Research. We are an integral part of the IVR, an institute that is striving to develop treatments and cures for all types of genetic eye disorders using gene replacement therapy, cell replacement therapy and other cutting edge methods.
Another part of our mission is to inspire and train the next generation of physicians and scientific researchers. To this end we have talented undergraduates and medical students doing projects in the laboratory.