Bärbel (Barb) Rohrer is professor and endowed chair in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical University of South Carolina and is an academic and innovative leader in diseases of the retina. She earned her diploma from Tübingen University (Germany) and her Ph.D. from the University of Calgary (Canada) before completing postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco, in visual neuroscience.
Her lab is investigating mechanisms of photoreceptor degeneration and neuroprotection, focusing on two areas: targeting complement activation in models of age-related macular degeneration and improving mitochondrial metabolism as a means to promote lifespan in neurons.
Rohrer has published more than 90 manuscripts and mentored more than 70 trainees. In addition to the numerous intramural committees on which she serves, she is a Foundation Fighting Blindness Scientific Advisory Board member. She is also a member of multiple professional societies, including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the New York Academy of Sciences, as well as an elected member of the National Academy of Inventors. She holds eleven U.S. and international patents, with an additional 24 applications pending. Her intellectual property provided the foundation for three start-up companies, one of which she co-founded.