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Dr. Bärbel Rohrer

Endowed Chair in Gene and Pharmaceutical Treatment of Retinal Degenerative Disease

Vision Science

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship- at University of California San Francisco
  • Ph.D. from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Diploma in Biology/Biocybernetics from the University in Tuebingen, Germany

Her research has and continues to involve the use of cell and animal models to test gene function in pathology, utilizing different imaging and functional modalities to examine phenotypes as well as biochemical, molecular and genetic readouts. Most importantly, all of her approaches are informed by the patients and the goal of developing better diagnostic tools and treatment options. She has demonstrated the ability to successfully design and execute cutting edge experiments, attract funding from federal, philanthropic and industry sources, mentor students and postdocs, collaborate with col-leagues at MUSC and around the globe, and provide technical and advisory support on various projects.

Dr. Rohrer is an internationally recognized expert in retinal degeneration with an emphasis on mechanisms of complement activation as well as energy metabolism in aging and disease with a disease focus of age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Dr. Rohrer is a member of the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology and the Society for Neuroscience, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

In 2011, Bärbel Rohrer was appointed the Stanley H. & Theodora L. Feldberg Endowed Chair of Ophthalmology in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston SC, followed by her promotion to full professor in Ophthalmology in 2012. Dr. Rohrer is also a VA Research Scientist at the Ralph H Johnson VA Medi-cal Center in Charleston SC and the Chief Scientific Officer of MitoChem Therapeutics, a company she cofounded to fur-ther develop some of her inventions into therapies for patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

Since arriving in Charleston in 2000, Dr. Rohrer rose through the ranks from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor (2005) to her current position, with joint appointments between Ophthalmology and Neurosciences. Since being awarded the Endowed Chair of Ophthalmology, she now holds a primary appointment in Ophthalmology and a secondary appointment in Neurosciences, with memberships in the Microbiology and Immunology Department, the Hollings Cancer Center and the Metabolomics Center at MUSC.

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