Center/Research Area Affiliations
Dr. Wiggs studies genetic risk factors for various types of glaucoma. She is the principal investigator of the NIH funded NEIGHBORHOOD consortium as well as an NIH-funded study to identify genetic and environmental risk factors for exfoliation syndrome and exfoliation glaucoma. She recently was awarded an NIH grant to study genetic risk factors associated with loss of central vision in glaucoma. Other ongoing studies in the laboratory includethe identification of genes contributing to early-onset forms of glaucoma (congenital, juvenile and developmental glaucoma) as well as pigment dispersion syndrome and pigmentary glaucoma and the identification of genes that contribute to ocular quantitative traits using a cohort of consanguineous families from India.
The Wiggs laboratory works on the identification of genetic factors that predispose to both mendelian and complex forms glaucoma. The identification of genes that can cause glaucoma will provide critical information regarding the biology of the disease as well as provide the basis for accurate methods of diagnosis and new and specific therapies. Current investigations are focused on the genetic etiologies of adult onset primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), pseudoexfoliation glaucoma, pigment dispersion syndrome and pigmentary glaucoma, glaucoma associated with Rieger syndrome and other anterior segment dysgenesis syndromes and juvenile open angle glaucoma. As part of these studies the laboratory has developed a registry of over 2,000 early and adult onset glaucoma patients. Dr. Wiggs has been continuously funded from the National Eye Institute for over 15 years. In addition to current R01 and R21 funding, she is a member of the NEI supported eyeGENE genotyping project for inherited ocular diseases.