University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Instructor of Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania
Member, Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics (CAROT), University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Katherine Uyhazi is an phthalmologist specializing in retinal diseases. Her research focuses on gene and cell replacement therapies in retinal diseases. With NFCR support, Dr. Uyhazi is collaborating with Dr. Jean Bennett to develop gene and cell replacement therapy in Cancer associated retinopathy (CAR), a retinal disease that may occur in patients with various types of cancer. CAR is a rare paraneoplastic syndrome that can lead to permanent vision loss. This condition is caused by circulating anti-tumor antibodies that cross-react with retinal antigens and cause a painless, progressive retinal degeneration. Vision loss secondary to CAR often precedes the diagnosis of cancer, and warrants a systemic workup to identify the primary malignancy. CAR is most commonly associated with small cell lung cancer, and has also been identified in patients with breast, lung, gynecologic, colon, pancreatic and prostate cancer. Similar forms of retinal degeneration are associated with melanoma (melanoma associated retinopathy; MAR). Significantly, these combined technologies of gene and cell replacement therapy may be applied to patients with other diseases of the eye that would require both gene and cell replacement therapy to restore their vision.


Katherine Uyhazi, M.D., Ph.D. is an ophthalmologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Scheie Eye Institute. She is an Instructor of Ophthalmology and a member of the clinical and the translational core at the University’s Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics (CAROT). Dr. Uyhazi attended The College of New Jersey and obtained her M.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University School of Medicine with her Ph.D. in Cell Biology. She completed her residency in ophthalmology at Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania and completed a fellowship in Medical Retina and Retinal Degeneration.

Areas of Focus

Cancer Types

(Cancer Associated  retinopathy) 
(Melanoma Associated retinopathy) 
Breast cancer
Ovarian cancer
Lung cancer
Cervical cancer
Pancreatic cancer
Prostate Cancer

Years of NFCR Funding

2020 – Present

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