This page contains information about Dr. Cheryl M. Craft, the founder of EyeSightResearch.org.
M. Craft, Ph.D. is the first person to hold the Mary D. Allen Endowed Chair for
Vision Research at the Doheny Eye Institute.
In this capacity, she is the first Executive Director of the Mary D.
Allen Laboratories for Vision Research and a Senior Scientist at the Doheny Eye
Institute. As a neuroscientist, her research focus is on understanding
the genes expressed in the eye and pineal gland that interact with the
environment for normal vision to occur. When
these genes are abnormal, the defect may lead to loss of sight through
photoreceptor cell death and the uncoupling or desynchronization of the body’s “biological
clock.” Her research program include understanding the delicate balance of the photoreceptor in health and
disease, especially age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
Dr. Craft earned her doctorate in human anatomy and
neuroscience from the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, the
Biomedical Graduate School, University of Texas Health Science Center at San
Antonio. She was awarded a
postdoctoral fellowship to study molecular neurobiology and neurogenetics at the National Institutes of
Health in the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, National Institute of
Child Health and Human Development, and the Laboratory of Molecular and
Developmental Biology, National Eye Institute.
Her previous academic faculty appointments were in the Department of
Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas where she
was the Director of Molecular Neurogenetics for the Schizophrenia Research
Center and the Affective Disorders Center.
In addition to her leadership role at the Doheny Eye Institute, Dr. Craft is Professor with tenure and the Chair of the Department of Cell and Neurobiology and a Co-Director of the Neurogenetics Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. In preparing the students of today to be research scientists, physicians and concerned citizens of tomorrow, she personally mentors high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students in science education and bench research. As the chair, she is also responsible for a major portion of the basic science curriculum for medical and graduate students. For her scientific expertise and achievements, Dr. Craft has received academic awards, major research funding from both public and private foundations, has appeared on national and international network television, served on national organizations, and has been an invited speaker at national and international scientific conferences.