Dr. Thomas has more than 15 years of experience in studies related to the development of cell-based therapies for the treatment of retinal degeneration diseases. He is also known for his expertise in electrophysiological and behavioral assessment of visual function in rodent disease models. His laboratory played a critical role in the recent completion of pre-clinical research for “California Project to Cure Blindness (CPCB).” The product of the above study, termed CPCBRPE1 implant, is being evaluated in an FDA–approved Phase1/2a clinical trial. During the course of this study, several new techniques were developed for the culture and transplantation of stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells grown as a polarized monolayer on ultrathin parylene substrate. More recently, his laboratory developed a new immunodeficient Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat disease model to study cell replacement therapies.