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Dr. Allingham has pursued both basic science and clinical research in the subspecialty of glaucoma. His major research interest is the study of genetic eye disorders, primarily the inherited glaucomas. The most common form of glaucoma (primary open-angle glaucoma or POAG) is believed to have a strong genetic component. He leads a large NIH funded study of which is directed at identifying the specific gene(s) responsible for glaucoma. Over 9,000 individuals have been enrolled in the Duke Glaucoma Genetics Project over the past 15 years. He has conducted studies of glaucoma worldwide including Iceland, Africa, Mexico, India, and the Philippines. Dr. Allingham's research group has identified the genetic location of several new genes associated with glaucoma. By understanding the genetic source of glaucoma it will be possible to develop new diagnostic and treatment approaches for this disease.
In addition to these basic science research efforts into the glaucomas, he has had an on-going interest in the clinical management of glaucoma. They include 1) examination of various laser treatment modalities in glaucoma; 2) the tissue response to laser surgery; and 3) investigations into innovative surgical treatment strategies for glaucoma.