24921-Ciulla, Thomas

Thomas A. Ciulla, MD

Adjunct Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology

RO 337
Indianapolis, IN
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Thomas Ciulla MD MBA graduated from Harvard College and the University of California San Francisco UCSF Medical School, followed by internship and residency at Harvard Medical School, and then fellowship at Tufts Medical School.  He earned an MBA from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, specializing in the business of medicine.

Dr. Ciulla was Co-Director of the Retina Service and Retina Angiogenesis Research Laboratory at Indiana University School of Medicine, and remains a volunteer Clinical Professor.  He also serves on the board of directors of one of the largest multi-subspecialty ophthalmology institutes in the Midwest. 

Dr. Ciulla was principal investigator, medical monitor, and member of scientific advisory, data safety monitoring or writing committees in over 100 national clinical trials, including The Comparisons of AMD Treatment Trials (CATT, an NIH/NEI supported trial) and registration trials for most FDA-approved retinal therapeutics. He serves on journal editorial boards, edited several textbooks, presented in over 200 conferences, and co-authored over 200 publications, including the first published US-based randomized clinical trial on any intravitreal therapy in neovascular AMD. He is an active member of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Macula Society, Retina Society, American Society of Retina Specialists, and American Academy of Ophthalmology, with senior honor and achievement awards from the latter two societies. 

Dr. Ciulla is currently Chief Medical Officer, Clearside Biomedical. Prior to joining Clearside, Dr. Ciulla served a VP role, as Medical Strategy Lead-Ophthalmology at Spark Therapeutics, where he defined and led medical strategy to support development and commercialization of Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl), the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a genetic disease.

Titles & Appointments

  • Adjunct Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Chief Medical Officer, Clearside Biomedical
  • Education
    2015 MBA Indiana University
    1996 Fellowship Tufts Medical School
    1995 Residency Harvard Medical School
    1991 MD University of California, San Francisco
    1986 BA Harvard University
  • Research

    • First in the US to coauthor a peer-reviewed randomized prospective trial on an intravitreal therapy for macular degeneration, the now-standard treatment method for the leading cause of legal blindness.

    • Performed early preclinical research in angiogenesis inhibition & phase 1/2-3 clinical research of Lucentis, the first blockbuster treatment for macular degeneration.
    • Performed early preclinical & clinical research on intravitreal corticosteroids for retinal diseases, including Triamcinolone, Ozurdex & Iluvien.

    • Performed early research in ocular blood flow in retinal disorders, macular pigments lutein & zeaxanthin.

    • Involved in numerous early & late phase clinical trials of successfully approved retina medications, including Lucentis, Ozurdex, Iluvien, Eylea & Jetrea.
    • Served as a medical monitor & on a data safety monitoring committee for national prospective clinical trials.

  • Professional Organizations
    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy
    American Society of Retina Specialists
    Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
    Macula Society
    Retina Society
  • Board Certifications
    American Board of Ophthalmology - Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Interests

    Retina Vitreous Surgery

    Age-related macular degeneration

    Diabetic retinopathy


  • Awards
    Org: American Society of Retina Specialists
    Desc: Honor Award
    Scope: International
    Org: American Society of Retina Specialists
    Desc: Senior Honor Award
    Scope: International
    Org: American Academy of Ophthalmology
    Desc: Achievement Award
    Scope: International
    Org: Indiana University Dept of Ophthalmology
    Desc: Professor of the Year
    Scope: University
    Org: Research to Prevent Blindness
    Desc: Career Development Award
    Scope: National

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