Vincenzo Pennisi

Assessment of interactions of physiology, intraocular pressure (IOP), and visual function in glaucoma


Dr. Lars Choritz (

Prof. Dr. Michael Hoffmann (

Background & Interest

My name is Vincenzo Pennisi and I am from Italy. I got a master´s degree in Pharmacy at the University of Catania. My thesis was a comparative study between Rapamycin and Temsirolimus and the anticancer effects in an animal model of prostate cancer. After that I worked as visiting researcher at the University Hospital “Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele” section of Virology. Thanks to all these experience I have had the possibility to work with animals, cells and of course with patients!

Aim of the project

Individually elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is an important pathophysiological risk factor for the development and progression of glaucoma. Despite the fact, that lowering IOP is currently the only clinically available strategy for the therapy of glaucoma, in the current standard of care often a single measurement of IOP every three months is used to determine therapeutic choices. There is a vast lack of information about the regulation and variability of IOP.

Recently, an implantable pressure sensor was developed by partner IMP that allows non-invasive quasi-continuous telemetric measurement of IOP. The device was implanted in more than 20 patients during a clinical trial and is currently being evaluated for its safety and efficacy. After more than 12 months of follow-up and several thousands of data points for some of the patients, the device has already shown great utility for therapeutic adjustments, a surprising variability of IOP throughout the day and dependence on physical activities, emotional states and external conditions. The aim of this project is to systematically investigate the influence of various physiological parameters (e.g. blood pressure, body position, intra-thoracic pressure, etc.) on IOP and visual function in this uniquely equipped patient population.

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