Kimberly Gokoffski MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the Roski Eye Institute, University of Southern California. She started her medical training in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)at the University of California, Irvine. Under the tutelage of Prof. Anne Calof, PhD, Dr. Gokoffski performed her thesis work elucidating the signals that underlie neural stem cell decisions of fate in the olfactory epithelium. Subsequently, she was a post-doctoral research fellow in the lab of Prof. David Sretevan MD, PhD at the University of California San Francisco, where she investigated signals that promote axon growth. After matriculating from medical school, she completed her residency in Ophthalmology at University of California Davis. During her residency, with the support of Prof. Min Zhao, MD, she investigated the in vitro effects of electric field application on retinal ganglion cell axon growth. She then completed a Neuro-ophthalmology fellowship at the University of Southern California, during which she was awarded the Young Investigator Award from the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS), and has since stayed on as faculty. All of these experiences have allowed Dr. Gokoffski to develop the expertise necessary to direct a multi-disciplinary research group whose goal is to 1) develop electric field (EF) application into a breakthrough technology that will enable stem cell-based therapies to regenerate the optic nerve and restore vision to patients blinded by optic neuropathies and 2) elucidate mechanisms by which EFs direct cell behavior.
This work is performed in collaboration with biomedical engineers, including Prof. Gianluca Lazzi, PhD and has led to national and international recognition in the field of optic nerve regeneration. Her potential to conduct impactful research was acknowledged by the NIH, which awarded her with a KL2 Career Development Award—a K08 Career Development Award is currently pending. Dr. Gokoffski has also received competitive research awards from USC and NANOS. Her clinical practice involves treating patients with diseases that cause degeneration, compression, inflammation, and demyelination of the optic nerve. She performs strabismus surgery as well as optic nerve sheath fenestrations and enjoys training undergraduate students, medical students, residents, and fellows.