Abbot Clark PhD

Lab Mission

To discover the cellular and molecular pathogenic pathways in ocular diseases, particularly glaucoma, in order to develop new disease modifying therapies to better treat and prevent ocular diseases.

Self Introduction

Abe joined UNTHSC 13 years ago after a two-decade career at Alcon Laboratories, where he retired as Vice President of Discovery Research and Head of Glaucoma Research. Dr. Clark is Regents Professor  of the North Texas Eye Research Institute (NTERI). Abe received his PhD at Case Western Research University and did his postdoctoral fellowship at U. Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Clark has trained over 20 graduate students and 7 postdoctoral fellows. He has published 240 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, 18 book chapters, edited 2 books, and is an inventor on 80 patents. He has given 140 invited national and international lectures. His research laboratory is funded by grants from the National Eye Institute, Department of Defense, as well as private industry. Dr. Clark is a Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (FARVO), a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and is a member of the international Society of Glaucoma Research. He currently is on the editorial boards of Molecular Neurodegeneration, Experimental Eye Research, Molecular Vision, the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and Annals of Translational Medicine.


  • Developing and characterizing cellular, organ culture, and mouse models of glaucoma (including trabecular meshwork, optic nerve head, optic nerve, and visual centers of the brain)
  • Determining the role of glucocorticoids in ocular hypertension and glaucoma
  • Ocular gene therapy and genome editing
  • Discovering the molecular pathways involved in glaucoma related genes Myocilin, TGFb2, SFRP1, and Gremlin leading to the development of novel disease modifying therapies
  • Discovering retinal neurodegeneration pathways and new neuroprotection therapeutic strategies
  • Community vision screening and vision education projects

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Lab Personnel

Close collaborations with NTERI faculty members

  • Yang Liu
  • Cameron Millar
  • Sima Mozdbar
  • Tara Tovar-Vidales
  • Gulab Zode

Lab Staff Staff

  • Stacy Curry
  • Sherri Feris

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr. Bindu Kodati

Past Graduate Students

  • Dr. Ricardo Belmeres (Instructor, Texas Tech School of Medicine, El Paso)
  • Dr. Jacklyn Bermudez (MSL Manager, Novartis Pharmaceuticals)
  • Dr. Ankur Jain (Scientist, Spark Therapeutics)
  • Dr. Navita Lopez (Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Utah)
  • Dr. Avani Mody (Sr. Associate Scientists, Absorption Systems)
  • Dr. Michela Montecchi-Palmer (Global Program Clinical Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals)
  • Dr. Gaurang Patel (Scientists, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals)
  • Dr. Urmimala Raychaudhuri (Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University)
  • Dr. Tasneem Sharma (Asst. Professor, Indiana University)
  • Dr. Sean Silverman (Scientist, Genentech)
  • Dr. Hannah Webber (Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University)

Past Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr. Byung-Jin Kim (Sr. Scientist, Spark Theraeputics)
  • Dr. Yang Liu (Research Asst. Professor, NTERI, UNTHSC)
  • Dr. Weiming Mao (Associate Professor, Indiana University)
  • Dr. Colleen McDowell (Asst. Professor, University of Wisconsin)