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Ocular Microbiology Research Core

The Ocular Microbiology Research Core collaborates with faculty, fellows, residents, staff, and students to search for new and innovative laboratory and clinical techniques for the detection and prevention of ocular infectious diseases. Research interest includes ocular microbial pathogenesis and epidemiology, antibiotic resistance mechanisms, role of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics in ocular therapeutics, impact of biofilm and ocular infections, molecular epidemiology of ocular infections and role of ocular microbial communities in health and disease.

Leadership & Management

Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., professor and chair of ophthalmology serves as the medical director of the ocular microbiology core. Darlene Miller, D.H.Sc., M.P.H., C.I.C., research professor, is the scientific director and imitates and collaborates on research projects and studies. Jorge Maestre-Mesa, M.D., Ph.D. is our molecular biology expert and is instrumental in molecular studies on ocular microbiomes and individual microbes. Medical Technologist, Marabel Hernandez and China Maycock, data entry clerk assist in maintaining the ocular microbiology databank.


The Ocular Microbiology Research Core is located on the 1st floor of the McKnight research building.

Research Interests

Current research interests include:

  • Investigation of the epidemiology and pathology of ocular infectious diseases.
  • Emerging antibiotic resistance and treatment outcomes.
  • Impact of biofilm on the recovery and treatment of ocular infections.
  • Social networking among Acanthamoeba and associated microbial communities.
  • Diversity of the ocular microbiome in health and disease.
  • Mechanism of interspecies signaling in ocular infections.
  • Role of Infection control and prevention in reducing ocular infections and antibiotic resistance.
  • The use of technology for the rapid detection of ocular pathogens in ocular tissues and fluids.
  • Collaboration with colleagues and experts in ophthalmology, industry, and epidemiology to broaden our knowledge base and improve understanding of the pathogenesis of ocular infectious diseases.

Scientific Articles (PubMed):