Skip to Main Content

Daniel Pelaez, Ph.D.

Daniel Pelaez, Ph.D.

Dr. Daniel Pelaez 

Research Subject

Neurodegenerative Diseases, Endogenous Repair Mechanisms, Stem/Progenitor Cell Biology


Optic and Retinal Neuropathies, Progenitor Cell Neurogenesis, Axonal Guidance; Corneal/Ocular Surface Stem Cells; Orbital Tumors and Cancer

Published Articles


Research Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
Scientific Director, Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Orbital Vision Research Center



Current Research

Traumatic Optic Neuropathy

  • Use of stem cell therapies as a neuroprotective strategy for retinal ganglion cell survival following a traumatic event to the optic nerve
  • Guiding the neurogenic differentiation of stem cells to replace lost/injured nervous tissues
  • Understanding and exploiting axonal guidance cues to regenerate optic nerve axonal transmission

Orbital Tumors – Therapeutic Targets

  • Establishment of cell lines for adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lacrimal gland for in-vitro characterization and identification of their biomarkers, biology, and potential therapeutic targets
  • Identification of Biomarkers that can serve as therapeutic targets in adenoid cystic carcinomas, sebaceous cell carcinoma, optic nerve glioma, and other orbital neoplasms
  • Cancer stem cells: to identify and characterize the different cancer cell populations within orbital tumors. Identify and characterize the cell subpopulations capable of self-renewal and propagation of the tumor mass

Limbal Stem Cells

  • Ex-vivo expansion of limbal stem cells in undifferentiated state for use in transplantation for limbal stem cell deficiencies
  • Designing and testing biomaterial scaffolds for delivery of stem cells and tissue engineering of the ocular surfaces (including re-epithilezation of the cornea, conjunctiva and fornix)