UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute The Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute
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Christopher B.  Toomey, M.D., Ph.D.

Christopher B. Toomey, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology


Specialty Retina & Vitreous
Medical School Duke University School of Medicine (MD and PhD)
Residency University of California San Diego, Shiley Eye Institute
Fellowship Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute
Special Interest Specialty: Retina and Vitreous, Adult vitreoretinal disease, with specialization in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusions, retinal detachments, proliferative vitreoretinopathy, macular holes, and epiretinal membranes. Scientific interest in age-related macular degeneration with a focus on the early and intermediate “dry” stages of AMD.
Publications View on PubMed

Christopher B. Toomey, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at UC San Diego, Shiley Eye Institute, Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology and the Glycobiology Research and Training Center, who has an active medical and surgical practice specializing in adult vitreoretinal disease.

Dr. Toomey is a native San Diegian and has returned to UC San Diego after completing a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery at the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He received multiple awards including the Heed Ophthalmic Society Fellowship, VitreoRetinal Surgery Foundation Research Award and served on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), as a JCI scholar. Prior to his fellowship, Dr. Toomey received his residency training at the UC San Diego, Shiley Eye Institute, Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, and attended medical school and doctoral studies in Cell Biology at Duke University School of Medicine, as a part of the integrated NIH-funded, Medical Scientist Training Program.

Dr. Toomey is a physician-scientist with an active basic science research program studying the early and intermediate stages of “dry” age-related macular degeneration. Approximately, 50% of the attributable risk of developing AMD is due to common polymorphisms in complement regulatory genes. Dr. Toomey’s research discovered the mechanism of complement factor H in regulating the formation of drusen in patients with AMD (published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and reviewed in Progress in Retinal and Eye Research). As a part of this discovery, Dr. Toomey elucidated an unexpected role of extracellular glycosaminoglycans (repeating disaccharide sugar chains) in regulating the formation of drusen.

Dr. Toomey has a laboratory program embedded within the Glycobiology Research and Training Center at UC San Diego, to determine the pharmacological potential of glycosaminoglycans in patients with early and intermediate stages of “dry” AMD. The long-term goal is to develop therapies capable of cleansing the eye of drusen prior to development of vision loss in AMD.

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