Dr. Cristina Kenney is a professor and director of laboratory research at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, UC Irvine School of Medicine, overseeing the various eye-related research projects at that institution. She is a highly accomplished clinician scientist and is recognized as a leader in the fields of genetic and biological research related to disorders of the retina and cornea.
The recipient of numerous research awards from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations for her work in macular degeneration, keratoconus, and study of other eye diseases, Dr. Kenney has been with the Discovery Eye Foundation for more than 20 years.
Currently, she is conducting research into the genetic abnormalities associated with the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration. In addition, she investigates the roles that cigarette smoking and cholesterol play in the development of the disease.
Dr. Kenney also studies the origin and development of keratoconus, a slowly progressive, non-inflammatory condition of the cornea that causes thinning of the cornea, changing it from dome-shaped to cone-shaped.
Dr. Kenney earned her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and earned a M.D. degree from UCLA. As a medical student, she received UCLA’s Emil Bogan Research Prize for Outstanding Research. She is the recipient of the University of Arizona Foundation Award for Meritorious Performance in Teaching; the Solomon Scholar Award for Medical Research from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA; the Paul Rubenstein Award for Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; the Everett Kinsey Lectureship and the Whitney Sampson Lectureship. Dr. Kenney served as a member of the National Institutes of Health, Visual Science A Study Section and was Chairperson from 1998-2000. She has published more than 95 peer-reviewed articles in her areas of research.