Drug Development & Disease Diagnostics
Molecular Basis of Drug Targets & Diseases


What is your area of research?

Tim Corson’s research applies chemical biology approaches to clinical problems in eye disease, notably the neovascularization (abnormal blood vessel growth) seen in diseases like age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and ocular tumors. The lab uses a wide variety of techniques, including high-throughput compound screening, novel compound development, and biochemical approaches to compound mechanism of action as well as tissue culture, genomics, in vivo modeling, and molecular biology.

What is your primary research challenge?

A major challenge in the neovascular eye disease field is that all existing drugs for these conditions must be frequently injected into the eye, they all have similar mechanisms, and not all patients respond. There is thus a pressing need for finding new targets and therapies for these diseases that could be delivered by eyedrops or as tablets.

What is your proposed solution to your research challenge(s)?

Our approach is to seek the protein targets of chemical compounds that can block blood vessel growth and explore these protein targets for their disease relevance. We then in turn develop new ways of inhibiting these proteins that could form the basis of novel therapies.

What is your impact to date?

We are exploring three promising disease targets: ferrochelatase, APE1/Ref-1, and soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH). All are important for neovascularization, and we are exploring their cellular mechanisms. We have chemical compounds that can modulate their function, some of which are patented and optioned or licensed to companies for knowledge translation.

Notable Awards

  • Showalter Scholar
  • Watanabe Translational Scholar



Keywords: drug discovery, target identification, neovascularization, ophthalmology, retinoblastoma, natural product, age-related macular degeneration, eye disease