About Casey Eye Institute

View of OHSU Casey Eye Institute with Portland Aerial Tram in the background.

A leader in eye care, vision research and ophthalmology training programs

OHSU Casey Eye Institute has become a world-recognized academic eye center by continually seeking to transform the future of vision care. We offer more than world-class specialists and technologies. We provide truly personalized treatment and the confidence that comes with knowing that here, you will receive the best care.

Our work is driven by our mission: "Eliminate preventable blindness and improve quality of life through leadership in the art, science and technology of 21st century eye care.

Our experts have changed -- and continue to change -- how vision care is provided across the nation and the world, and we provide the best eye care possible -- supported by our expert providers, our pioneering research and our service to the community.

Casey is one of only seven regional eye research centers in the U.S. sponsored by Research to Prevent Blindness, the world's leading voluntary organization in support of eye research.

Building a foundation for discovery

Casey’s leaders are visionaries. They understand the importance of building a solid foundation, then supporting continual innovation and discovery.

Because of seeds that were planted years or even decades ago, Casey is a national and international leader in:

  • Gene therapy: in which doctors surgically inject a healthy gene to help or replace a gene that's causing eye disease. Because of our expertise, we host more gene therapy clinical trials than any other eye center in the world. Learn more about our Gene Therapy Center
  • Informatics: which is the use of technology and data to better understand a problem - in our case, to better understand and treat eye conditions.
  • OCT and OCT-A: Our team includes the co-inventor of optical coherence tomography, considered the most important advancement in diagnosing eye conditions in the past 100 years. The co-inventor, David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., is also a pioneer in a more advanced version of OCT, called OCT angiography, which may transform the diagnosis and treatment for a range of common eye disease.
  • Community outreach programs: An important part of our mission is the work we do in our community. We provide free vision screening for preschool children, operate a mobile clinic that provides vision exams and other services to adults around the state, and help train ophthalmologists in developing countries around the world. Learn more about our community programs.
  • Research: The OHSU Casey Eye Institute is one of the top eye research centers in the United States and is an international leader in vision research. Our doctors and scientists conduct research in all ophthalmology specialties and are investigating new approaches to treat both common and rare eye diseases, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, inherited retinal conditions and inflammatory eye disease. We are usually ranked in the top 10 for NIH funding, and support T-32 and K-12 research programs. We explore with our ultimate goal always in mind: to end preventable blindness. Learn more about our research program.

Our history

Casey's roots reach back to the end of World War II. In 1945, Kenneth Swan, M.D., founded the Department of Ophthalmology at what was then the University of Oregon Medical School -- now OHSU.

Dr. Swan, considered the "Father of Oregon Ophthalmology," was the school's first chair and its first full-time instructor, and started the first three-year ophthalmology residency program in the Pacific Northwest.

Over the following decades, the OHSU ophthalmology department grew to become one of the most respected in the United States. In 1991, we became the Casey Eye Institute, named for James and George Casey, founders of United Parcel Service. And in the quarter-century since then, we've become an even stronger national and international leader — in our pioneering research, our expert clinical care and innovations, and our teaching.

Teen boy with glasses has his eyes examined at Casey Eye Institute

Our partner, the Oregon Elks

Since 1949, OHSU and Casey have had a special relationship with the Oregon Elks. It started during a time when one in four premature babies faced possible blindness – including the two sons of Judge Robert Mulvey of the Oregon City Elks Lodge. The plight of those infant boys inspired the Oregon Elks to invest in what became the Elks Children's Eye Clinic.

In the seven decades since, the Elks have contributed more than $40 million and thousands of volunteer hours to OHSU and Casey. Their contributions have:

  • Helped pay for new treatment programs and pioneering ophthalmology research at Casey
  • Established eye screening programs in preschools across the state
  • Most recently, provided a $20 million commitment to build a new state-of-the-art facility — also to be called the Elks Children Eye Clinic — next to our main building on OHSU's Marquam Hill campus.

Through their decades of generosity, the Oregon Elks have provided vital support to treat and prevent eye disease, and have helped to prevent blindness in thousands of children.

Learn more about our partnership and the programs supported by the Oregon State Elks Association.

Our facilities

  • We have several locations around the OHSU campus, including the Casey Eye Institute building and the 2nd floor of the Biomedical Research Building, and we are also located on the 11th floor of the Center for Health and Healing on Portland's South Waterfront.
  • Satellite clinics in Astoria, Hood River, The Dalles, Longview, Wa. and Vancouver, Wa.
  • The new Elks Children Eye Clinic. The 60,000 square foot building will house new childhood vision screening and treatment programs, space for clinical trials in macular degeneration and other eye diseases, and our Gene Therapy Center.
 Rendering of the new Elks Children's Eye Clinic building
Rendering image of the Elks Children's Eye Clinic building