Catherine A. Cukras, M.D., Ph.D.

Lasker Clinical Research Scholar

Unit on Clinical Investigation of Retinal Disease


Building 10-CRC, Room 10C438,
10 Center Drive,
Bethesda, MD-20892-1204



Dr. Cukras obtained her combined MD/PhD degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her ophthalmology residency at Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. She then completed a medical retina fellowship training at the National Eye Institute with Drs. Emily Chew and Dr. Rick Ferris which also provided her with training and experience in designing and conducting clinical trials. She is a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar and clinical investigator at the NEI. She is also a NIH Distinguished Scholar. She has been the Principal Investigator initiating and leading both non-interventional and interventional studies on retinal disease. Dr. Cukras attended Princeton University where she majored in chemical engineering and received a certificate in Engineering Biology. Her early research in cell biology and physiology grounded her in scientific research with a focus of understanding cellular physiology. She is a board-certified ophthalmologist with specialty training in medical retina. She uses both psychophysical functional testing and multimodal imaging to understand disease pathophysiology. She is the Director of the Medical Retina Fellowship Program at NEI and has been fortunate to have mentored many clinical fellows, residents, post-bac, and MRSP students.

Selected Publications

  1. Chen KG, Alvarez JA, Yazdanie M, Papudesu C, Wong WT, Wiley HE, Keenan TD, Chew EY, Ferris FL 3rd, Cukras CA. Longitudinal Study of Dark Adaptation as a Functional Outcome Measure for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Ophthalmology. 2019;126(6):856-865.
  2. Flamendorf J, Agrón E, Wong WT, Thompson D, Wiley HE, Doss EL, Al-Holou S, Ferris FL 3rd, Chew EY, Cukras C. Impairments in Dark Adaptation Are Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration Severity and Reticular Pseudodrusen. Ophthalmology. 2015;122(10):2053-62.
  3. Yazdanie M, Alvarez J, Agrón E, Wong WT, Wiley HE, Ferris FL 3rd, Chew EY, Cukras C. Decreased Visual Function Scores on a Low Luminance Questionnaire Is Associated with Impaired Dark Adaptation. Ophthalmology. 2017;124(9):1332-1339.
  4. Cukras C, Huynh N, Vitale S, Wong WT, Ferris FL 3rd, Sieving PA. Subjective and objective screening tests for hydroxychloroquine toxicity. Ophthalmology. 2015;122(2):356-66.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Wednesday, September 6, 2023