Glaucoma and aqueous humor physiology
Dr. Toris’s degree relates to aqueous humor dynamics in animal models. At UNMC Dr. Toris continued expanding on this interest by combining animal studies with clinical studies and in vitro assays. She ran a glaucoma research lab of three animal technicians, three glaucoma specialists, one clinical coordinator, and numerous students, including graduate students and medical students.
The Toris lab studies the production and drainage of aqueous humor in the eye. These processes are important because the dynamics of this fluid maintains a healthy intraocular pressure. When the intraocular pressure becomes elevated, there is increased risk of glaucomatous damage to the optic nerve. Such damage is irreversible and blindness is too often the final result. The lab investigated the effects on the eye of aging, various pathological states (including diabetes, pigment dispersion syndrome, exfoliation syndrome and ocular hypertension). It studies how new therapeutic drugs, combinations of therapeutic treatments, and drainage devices reduce the pressure in the eye. The Toris lab is studying the changes in intraocular pressure and aqueous humor dynamics on a 24 hour basis to determine if certain treatments work better at night or fail to work at all.
Dr. Toris’s current interests lie in understanding how puberty affects aqueous humor dynamics in rabbits and children. This should provide information to guide development of better ways to treat children with glaucoma. The Toris lab is a translational research laboratory.