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Office of the Scientific Director

About our work

For inquiries regarding fellowships, internships, and other training opportunities, please contact Dr. Cesar Perez-Gonzalez,

The Office of the Scientific Director regrets that we cannot diagnose diseases, offer specific treatment recommendations, or provide physician referrals. Please consult a medical professional about your health condition. The National Eye Institute's Office of Science Communications, Public Liaison and Education responds directly to requests for information on eye diseases and vision research. They can be contacted by phone at (301) 496-5248 or by email at

The Office of the Scientific Director (OSD) supports basic and clinical research within the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) that is carried out by over 150 researchers (investigators, staff scientists and clinicians, and scientific support staff) in various research disciplines. The NEI intramural program also provides training for about 120 fellows and students. In addition, the OSD oversees several shared resources that include a genetic engineering facility, histopathology services, a biological imaging core, a visual function core, as well as veterinary services.

Examples of research carried in DIR include:

  • Role of growth factors in angiogenesis and neuroprotection in ocular diseases
  • Pilot clinical trials
  • CNS reward circuits that control behavior
  • Structure and function of genes and proteins with key roles in normal, aging and diseased eye
  • Genetically engineered models for human eye disease
  • Nerve cell communications that transmit visual information across the retina
  • Biochemistry of the visual cycle
  • Genetic susceptibility for AMD and diabetic retinopathy
  • Genetic defects and pathways of retinal degeneration
  • Genetic epidemiology
  • Genetic origins of inherited ophthalmic diseases
  • Childhood blinding diseases and inheritance
  • Neuronal-glial Interactions in retinal disease
  • Animal models of inflammatory disease
  • Inflammatory mechanisms in eye disease
  • Physiology of the RPE and iPS cell-derived retinal pigment epithelia
  • Protection of retinal neurons against elevated intraocular pressure in glaucoma
  • Lipid oxidation in the retina and the RPE
  • Gene therapeutics to treat X-linked retinoschisis, retinitis pigmentosa, and macular degeneration

David Schneeweis, Ph.D.

PubMed Author Search

Deputy Scientific Director schneeweisdm@nei.nih.gov301-451-6763

Cesar Perez-Gonzalez, Ph.D.

PubMed Author Search

Training Directorcesarp@nei.nih.gov301-451-6763
Mala Dutta, Ph.D.Director, Technology Transfer Officemala.dutta@nih.gov301-451-2198
Mica McNairSenior Program Specialistmica.mcnair@nih.gov301-451-6763
Princess AlikeAdministrative Assistant

Last updated: January 31, 2024