Catherine A. Cukras, M.D., Ph.D. is a Lasker Fellow and Investigator at the National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is the director of the Medical Retina Fellowship Program at the NEI. Dr. Cukras earned her B.S.E. at Princeton University. She obtained her M.D. and Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Washington University in St. Louis. Following medical school she completed her medical internship at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia and her ophthalmology residency at Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2007, she became a board certified ophthalmologist and a medical retina fellow at the NEI.
She is now the head of the Unit on Clinical Investigation of Retinal Disease at the NEI. Her group focuses on the clinical study of human outer retinal disease (AMD, drug toxicity and monogenetic retina disease) to provide insights into disease pathogenesis and to develop outcome measures for clinical trials. The goal is to utilize knowledge obtained from natural history studies to execute interventional clinical trials that can reveal a therapeutic effect changing disease course. Current research studies include longitudinal psychophysical studies of patients with a range of AMD severities, clinical studies of hydroxychloroquine-induced retinal toxicity, late-onset retinal degeneration (LORD) and early phase interventional trials of retinal vein occlusions, X-linked retinoschisis and retinitis pigmentosa (RP).