Dr. Ula Jurkunas
Dr. Ula Jurkunas received her M.D. degree Cum Laude from the University of Louisville in 2000 where she was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. She is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant Scientist at the Schepens. Dr. Jurkunas is a clinician-scientist who performs corneal and refractive surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and basic science research at the Schepens Eye Research Institute. Her main research focus is on the pathogenesis of Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy with emphasis on the role of oxidative stress in endothelial cell death seen in FECD. Specifically, her goal is to determine how oxidative stress causes molecular and cellular damage in the susceptible FECD endothelium. Dr. Jurkunas' studies are significant because understanding the key regulators of antioxidant defense and oxidative stress-induced cellular damage may facilitate development of pharmacotherapeutic treatment for FECD patients. As a recipient of the Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program K12 Award , she laid the groundwork for the proposed research by developing experimental systems to test the proposed hypotheses. Dr. Jurkunas' work has led to numerous peer-reviewed publications, review articles, and presentations nationally and internationally.