Yaron Rabinowitz, MD

Director, Opthalmology Research

Phone:(310) 284-7474
Fax:(310) 248-7485

Institute Affiliation

Regenerative Medicine Institute

Awards and Activities

American Academy of Ophthalmology, Whitney Sampson named Lecture2013
American Academy of Ophthalmology, Senior Honor Award2009
American Academy of Ophthalmology/ISRS `Kritzinger Memorial Award2006
1993 -present. NEI R01 research award1993
Editorial Board Member: EyeNet2009 - 2013
Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology1990

Research Focus

1.Early detection of Keratoconus(KC): using algorithms derived from Videokeratography and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) of the cornea; 2. Identifying genes contributing to the development of KC using a variety of molecular techniques with the ultimate goal of devising therapy to retard progression of the disease;3. Developing iPS cells for disease modeling and cell therapy in KC

Research Contributions

Our group is a world leader in the early detection of KC. We have identified unique algorithms using Videokeratography and OCT to detect subclinical KC. We are also leaders in the field of KC genetics having published, the first paper on segregation analysis, the first linkage paper, the first sib pair analysis paper and most recently the first GWAS paper on KC. We have identified several genes with potential clinical implications for KC including the RAPGAB gene, LOX gene, COL5A1 gene and CCT gene.

Current investigations include:

Refining algorithms for early detection of KC using OCT epithelial maps. An expanded GWAS study of KC to increase the number of genes identified. Investigating the use of corneal stromal progenitor cells for use in cell therapy.


Selected Publications

  1. Li X, Bykhovskaya Y, Canedo AL, Haritunians T, Siscovick D, Aldave AJ, Szczotka-Flynn L, Iyengar SK, Rotter JI, Taylor KD, Rabinowitz YS: Genetic association of COL5A1 variants in keratoconus patients suggests a complex connection between corneal thinning and keratoconus. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., , 2013
  2. Bykhovskaya Y, Li X, Epifantseva I, Haritunians T, Siscovick D, Aldave A, Szczotka-Flynn L, Iyengar SK, Taylor KD, Rotter JI, Rabinowitz YS: Variation in the lysyl oxidase (LOX) gene is associated with keratoconus in family-based and case-control studies. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 53(7): 4152-7, 2012
  3. Li X, Bykhovskaya Y, Haritunians T, Siscovick D, Aldave A, Szczotka-Flynn L, Iyengar SK, Rotter JI, Taylor KD, Rabinowitz YS: A genome-wide association study identifies a potential novel gene locus for keratoconus, one of the commonest causes for corneal transplantation in developed countries. Hum. Mol. Genet., 21(2): 421-9, 2011
  4. Li X, Yang H, Rabinowitz YS: Keratoconus: classification scheme based on videokeratography and clinical signs. J Cataract Refract Surg, 35(9): 1597-603, 2009
  5. Li X, Yang H, Rabinowitz YS: Longitudinal study of keratoconus progression. Exp. Eye Res., 85(4): 502-7, 2007