University of Pennsylvania Health System

Department of Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology Faculty

Faculty Overview

Tomas S. Aleman, MD

faculty photo
Irene Heinz-Given and John LaPorte Research Associate Professor
Attending Physician, Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Director of the Retinal Structure and Function Laboratory, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Department: Ophthalmology

Contact information
Scheie Eye Institute
51 North 39th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-614-4100
Fax: 215-615-0527
Education:
B.S. (Sciences - High Honors)
F. Engels Vocational Schools, 1982.
M.D. (Medicine)
University of Havana (High Honors), 1988.
Post-Graduate Training
Transitional Internship, Hospital Salvador Allende, Havana, Cuba, 1987-1987.
Junior Resident Medical Officer, Solwezi General Hospital, Republic of Zambia, 1988-1988.
Resident in Family Medicine, Policlinico Turcios Lima, Havana, Cuba., 1990-1990.
Resident in Ophthalmology, Hospital Salvador Allende, Havana, Cuba, 1991-1991.
Postdoctoctoral training in Hereditary Retinal Degenerations, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, 1995-1995.
Research Fellow, Center for Hereditary Retinal Degenerations, Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 1997-1997.
Internship in Internal Medicine, Brookdale University Hospital, New York, NY, 2010-2010.
Resident in Ophthalmology, Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 2011-2011.
Certifications
Instituto Superior de Ciencias Medicas de la Havana, Havana, Cuba, 1994.
American Board of Ophthalmology, 2019.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Aleman has extensive expertise in the study of hereditary retinal degenerations. He is part of the Retinal Degeneration Center at Scheie Eye Institute and the CAROT center of the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Pennsylvania. His research expertise includes state-of-the-art psychophysical, electrophysiological and imaging studies in patients and animal models of the human disease. Most of the studies in which Dr. Aleman is an investigator are aimed to lead patients with these incurable retinal degenerations into clinical trials as well as in the detailed characterization of patients, both children and adults, with these conditions.

Clinical Trials
Dr. Aleman is a co-principal investigator in an ongoing gene therapy trial for choroideremia.

Key Words
Hereditary Retinal Degenerations, retinitis pigmentosa, choroideremia, cone rod dystrophy, optical coherence tomography, electroretinogram

Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Aleman cares for children and adults with retinal degenerations, hereditary or acquired, at Scheie Eye Institute and at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine. He is also a staff physician at Puentes Clinic. He is the co-principal investigator of a gene therapy trial for choroideremia. He is also responsible for all clinical electrophysiological investigations within this department, which provides this service to a large number of specialists in the region.

Description of Other Expertise

Fluent in Spanish

Selected Publications

Aleman TS, O’Neil EC, O’Connor K, Jiang YY, Aleman IA, Bennett J, Morgan JIW, Toussaint BW : Bardet-Biedl Syndrome-7 (BBS7) shows treatment potential and a cone-rod dystrophy phenotype that recapitulates the non-human primate model. Ophthalmic Genetics 2021 Notes: Epub ahead of print.

Scoles D, Bracha P, Aleman TS, Bhatt N: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Challenge: Unilateral Uveitis. Retina Nov 2020 Notes: Epub ahead of print.

Waldman AT, Sollee JR, Datta R, Lavery AM, Liu G, Aleman TS, Banwell BL, Gaetz WC: Structural correlates of atypical visual and motor cortical oscillations in pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis. Hum Brain Mapp 10(41): 4299-4313, Jul 2020.

Uyhazi KE, Aravand P, Bell BA, Wei Z, Leo L, Serrano LW, Pearson DJ, Shpylchak I, Pham J, Vasireddy V, Bennett J, Aleman TS: Treatment Potential for LCA5-Associated Leber Congenital Amaurosis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 61(5): 30, May 2020 Notes:

MacDonald IM, Moen C, Duncan JL, Tsang SH, Cehajic-Kapetanovic J, Aleman TS: Perspectives on gene therapy: Choroideremia represents a challenging model for the treatment of other inherited retinal degenerations. Trans Vis Sci Tech 9: 17, Feb 2020.

Weed L, Ammar MJ, Zhou S, Wei Z, Serrano LW, Sun J, Lee V, Maguire AM, Bennett J, Aleman TS: Safety of Same-Eye Subretinal Sequential Readministration of AAV2-hRPE65v2 in Non-human Primates. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 3(15): 133-148, Sep 2019 Notes: eCollection 2019.

Garnai, Sarah J; Brinkmeier, Michelle L; Emery, Ben; Aleman, Tomas S; Pyle, Louise C; Veleva-Rotse, Biliana; Sisk, Robert A; Rozsa, Frank W; Ozel, Ayse Bilge; Li, Jun Z; Moroi, Sayoko E; Archer, Steven M; Lin, Cheng-Mao; Sheskey, Sarah; Wiinikka-Buesser, Laurel; Eadie, James; Urquhart, Jill E; Black, Graeme C M; Othman, Mohammad I; Boehnke, Michael; Sullivan, Scot A; Skuta, Gregory L; Pawar, Hemant S; Katz, Alexander E; Huryn, Laryssa A; Hufnagel, Robert B; Genomic Ascertainment Cohort; Camper, Sally A; Richards, Julia E; Prasov, Lev.: Variants in myelin regulatory factor (MYRF) cause autosomal dominant and syndromic nanophthalmos in humans and retinal degeneration in mice. PLoS Genetics 15(5): e1008130, May 2019.

Nti AA, Serrano LW, Sandhu HS, Uyhazi KE, Edelstein ID, Zhou EJ, Bowman S, Song D, Gangadhar TC, Schuchter LM, Mitnick S, Huang A, Nichols CW, Amaravadi RK, Kim BJ, Aleman TS: FREQUENT SUBCLINICAL MACULAR CHANGES IN COMBINED BRAF/MEK INHIBITION WITH HIGH-DOSE HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE AS TREATMENT FOR ADVANCED METASTATIC BRAF MUTANT MELANOMA: Preliminary Results From a Phase I/II Clinical Treatment Trial. Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.) 39(3): 502-513, Mar 2019.

Morgan JIW, Young G, Han G, Bennett J, Maguire A, Tuten W, Aleman T, Brainard D: Visual function at the atrophic border in choroideremia assessed with adaptive optics microperimetry. Ophthalmology Retina 3: 888-899, 2019.

Aleman TS, Uyhazi KE, Serrano LW; Vasireddy V, Bowman SJ, Ammar MJ, Pearson DJ, Maguire AM, Bennett J: RDH12 Mutations Cause a Severe Retinal Degeneration With Relatively Spared Rod Function. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 59(12): 5225-5226, Oct 2018.

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Last updated: 08/10/2021
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