Karen Curtin, PhD and Principal Investigator, is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and adjunct Associate Professor in Ophthalmology at the University of Utah School of Medicine and the John A. Moran Eye Center. Dr. Curtin serves as Associate Director of the Utah Population Database (UPDB), a unique shared resource housed at the University of Utah. Her wide array of research interests and experience in research infrastructure and project development have resulted several in cross-disciplinary collaborations. Focused on preventive and translational research, she established ongoing and productive collaborations with renowned translational and clinical investigators in age-related macular degeneration and exfoliation syndrome/glaucoma and associated comorbidities. Dr. Curtin received her PhD in biomedical informatics with an emphasis in genetic epidemiology from the University of Utah, where she was awarded the John D. Morgan Fellowship Award in Biomedical Informatics. A prolific and extensively published researcher, Dr. Curtin is principal investigator of several internally and externally funded studies. She was invited to speak at the prestigious Lindberg Society Symposium at the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress and recently received an award from the BrightFocus Foundation's National Glaucoma Research Program to study prognostic factors and predictive markers of progression to exfoliation glaucoma in exfoliation syndrome.
Dr. Barbara Wirostko, MD and Co-Principal Investigator, is a board-certified practicing glaucoma specialist holding a Clinical Adjunct Professor position at the University of Utah, in the department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Moran Eye Center where she established the Utah Project on Exfoliation Syndrome (UPEXS) research program. Her area of expertise has involved researching, publishing, and speaking globally on the associations between exfoliation glaucoma and systemic comorbidities. She is a serial entrepreneur and recently founded Qlaris Bio. Previously, she was the Chief Medical Officer of EyeGate Pharmaceuticals, following its acquisition of Jade Therapeutics where Dr. Wirostko was Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer spearheading the strategy and operations for the preclinical and clinical development of the unique hyaluronic acid (Ocular Bandage Gel) for human use. Prior to Jade, she held leadership positions in medical and clinical development at Pfizer in Ophthalmology, overseeing the global Xalatan franchise as Senior Medical Director. She sits on the prestigious editorial boards, Ophthalmology Glaucoma and Journal of Glaucoma, and has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers, books, and holds a fellowship with The Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Dr. Wirostko received her MD and completed her residency at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York and holds a B.A. with distinction in Microbiology from Cornell University.