- Vision Research Workshop featuring The Robert N. Frank Clinical Translational Lectureship
October 10, 2018
8:00 am - 3:30 pm
The Vision Research Workshop is a trainee run symposium of poster and papers from throughout the Medical School, Wayne State University, Henry Ford Hospital and Oakland University.
It highlights the research accomplishments of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants/associates, residents, clinical fellows and medical students.
This activity has been approved for 3 CME Credits.
Robert N. Frank Clinical Translational Lecture featuring: Douglas Rhee, M.D.
“SPARC in Trabecular Meshwork Physiology and Pathophysiology and Understanding the Mechanisms of Trabecular ByPass Surgery and Medications that affect the TM”
Dr. Douglas Rhee divides his time between clinical practice, research, and administration. He has been serving as Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences for University Hospitals / Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine since 2013. Dr. Rhee currently serves as the Chair of the Finance & Budget Committee for University Hospitals Medical Group (UHMG) and served for two years as the Chair of the UHMG Access Committee.
Clinically, Dr. Rhee specializes in rare clinical syndromes and the surgical management of high risk or complex patients. He has introduced innovative strategies, techniques, and devices for both glaucoma and cataract surgery to MEEI and New England; and has been at the leading edge of changing the general approach to surgical management from employing trabeculectomy as the first-line incisional intervention for nearly all patients to individualizing the surgical procedure for each clinical situation. Following his move to Cleveland, Dr. Rhee continued his clinical practice and tradition of bringing new innovation. In 2014, they performed the first Trabectome procedure in North East Ohio and became a participating center for the FDA phase 3 trial of the Hydrus device (Ivantis) as well as the G3 suparachoroidal shunt (Glaukos) as the only recruiting center in Ohio. They also participate in the FDA phase 3 trial of an intraocular sustained release device (Allergan).
Dr. Rhee’s laboratory group simultaneously investigates the mechanisms of ECM synthesis and turnover in the trabecular meshwork (TM). They were first to define the expression pattern, intracellular, and ultrastructural localization of SPARC, the prototypical matricellular protein, within the TM. They were also first to demonstrate that SPARC-null mice have a lower IOP than their corresponding wild-type mice due to enhanced aqueous outflow. Additionally, they demonstrated that SPARC overexpression increases IOP in perfused cadaveric human anterior segments corresponding to a qualitative change to the ECM of the juxtacanalicular TM. These findings strongly implicate SPARC as a pivotal regulatory node in ECM synthesis and accumulation. Dr. Rhee’s group’s studies have progressed to elucidating the multifaceted mechanism of action of the SPARC protein and have. Prior to their work in SPARC, they elucidated a key regulatory relationship governing ECM turnover discovering that the balance of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) correlates to IOP lowering with prostaglandin analogues. Recently, they have begun to expand their studies to include investigations of another matricellular protein which they elucidated as being possibly relevant to IOP regulation, thrombospondin-1.
Clinically, Dr. Rhee has made advances with certain rare clinical syndromes, such as first to report the familial nature of plateau iris syndrome and first to report the treatment of intractable or severe sulfonamide-induced acute angle-closure glaucoma.