Genomic Medicine Program at The Ohio State University Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences 

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is participating in a college-wide collaboration with the Division of Human Genetics within the Department of Internal Medicine. This collaboration will help detect patients with inherited eye diseases, conditions and discover advancements in genomic medicine beyond eye care. The Medical Genetics and Genomics Program provides risk assessment, genetic counseling, and when appropriate, genetic testing for the many different conditions that can run in families.

We are actively recruiting patients interested in participating in gene discovery research. Our primary focus is familial forms of glaucoma, steroid-induced glaucoma & ocular hypertension, open-angle forms of glaucoma including: primary, normal tension, exfoliation. Research on retinal distrophies, corneal dystrophy, keratoconus, and other eye diseases and conditions may also be included.  

Interested in reading more? Life-changing gene therapy expanding beyond neurological conditions featuring Dr Moroi and Dr. Mendel.

For patients: Learn more about genetic testing for eye diseases

Our Team

Thomas Mendel, MD, PhD

Thomas Mendel, MD, PhD Clinician Scientist

Thomas Mendel, MD, PhD is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. He leads a translational laboratory investigating the development and implementation of gene therapies for patients with inherited retinal diseases. Genetics research is essential for precision-based care to provide earlier diagnosis, improve outcomes, elucidate the genetic causes of disease and determine the best treatments and their timing for each patient. Dr. Mendel provides care to both adults and children affected by these diseases in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Ohio State and at Nationwide Children's Hospital. 

Taylor Sabato, MPH, MMSc, LGC - Genetic Counselor

Taylor Sabato, MPH, MMSc, LGC, an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Human Genetics at The Ohio State University, provides ophthalmic genetic counseling for the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Taylor provides hereditary ophthalmic disease risk assessments, patient education, and genetic testing as necessary. Taylor is passionate about patient care and aims to empower patients through her efforts in clinic and research alike.

Sayoko Moroi, MD, PhD - Clinician Scientist

Sayoko Moroi, MD, PhD, a glaucoma specialist and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. She collaborates with a team of scientists and clinicians to determine which patients are most susceptible to glaucoma-related blindness and how best to treat them. Dr. Moroi is passionate about harnessing the power of genetics to shift from “event-based” clinical care to a precision-medicine approach. This shift holds promise to reduce and even prevent glaucoma-related blindness.


Raymond Gao, PhD Research Faculty

Raymond Gao, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Division of Human Genetics at The Ohio State University, is working together with Moroi, MD, PhD to apply genetics to decrease glaucoma-related blindness. They study the genetic architecture of eye pressure and are developing genetic risk prediction models for glaucoma. Dr. Moroi expects these discoveries to offer new opportunities for eye pressure assessment. Dr. Gao and Dr. Moroi hypothesize that a combination of genes that have already been linked to eye pressure will also predict individuals who will have pressure spikes versus those who have a more flat pressure profile.