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 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
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, 1987-1988.
Junior Resident Medical Officer, Solwezi General Hospital, Republic of Zambia, 1988-1990.
Resident in Family Medicine, Policlinico Turcios Lima, Havana, Cuba., 1990-1991.
Resident in Ophthalmology, Hospital Salvador Allende, Havana, Cuba, 1991-1994.
Postdoctoctoral training in Hereditary Retinal Degenerations, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, 1995-1997.
Research Fellow, Center for Hereditary Retinal Degenerations, Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 1997-1999.
Internship in Internal Medicine, Brookdale University Hospital, New York, NY, 2010-2011.
Resident in Ophthalmology, Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 2011-2014.
Fellowship in Medical Retina, Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 2014-2015.
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

Mehnert JM, Mitchell TC, Huang AC, Aleman TS, Kim BJ, Schuchter LM, Linette GP, Karakousis GC, Mitnick S, Giles L, Carberry M, Frey N, Kossenkov A, Groisberg R, Hernandez-Aya LF, Ansstas G, Silk AW, Chandra S, Sosman JA, Gimotty PA, Mick R, Amaravadi RK.: BAMM (BRAF Autophagy and MEK Inhibition in Melanoma): A Phase I/II Trial of Dabrafenib, Trametinib, and Hydroxychloroquine in Advanced BRAFV600-mutant Melanoma. Clin Cancer Res Jan 2022.

Grudzinska Pechhacker MK, Jacobson SG, Drack AV, Scipio MD, Strubbe I, Pfeifer W, Duncan JL, Dollfus H, Goetz N, Muller J, Vincent AL, Aleman TS, Tumber A, Van Cauwenbergh C, De Baere E, Bedoukian E, Leroy BP, Maynes JT, Munier FL, Tavares E, Saleh E, Vincent A, Heon E.: Comparative Natural History of Visual Function From Patients With Biallelic Variants in BBS1 and BBS10. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 62: 26, Dec 2021.

Nadelmann JB, O'Neil EC, Kim DS, Juusola J, Aleman TS: Compound Heterozygous Mutations in ZNF408 in a Patient with a Late Onset Pigmentary Retinopathy and Relatively Preserved Central Retina. Doc Ophthalmol 143(3): 305-312, Dec 2021.

Li Y, Aleman TS, Quinn CC, Xia T, Miller CG, Kim BJ, Tamhankar MA.: Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Associated With a Novel Mutation in MFN2 Presenting With Subacute Vision Loss. J Neuroophthalmol Dec 2021.

Kalmar CL, Carlson AR, Zapatero ZD, Kosyk MS, Aleman TS, Bartlett SP, Liu GT, Avery RA, Taylor JA, Swanson JW: Unicoronal Craniosynostosis: Is There a Lateral Difference in Retinal Morphology? J Craniofac Surg. 32(7): 2370-2372, Oct 2021.

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 42(3): 252-265, Jun 2021.

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 Genet 42(3): 252-265, Jun 2021.

Aleman, TS, Miller, AJ, Maguire,KH, Aleman, EM, Serrano,LW, O’Connor, KB, Bedoukian, EC, Leroy, BP, Maguire, AM, Bennett, J: A virtual reality orientation and mobility test for inherited retinal degenerations: Testing a proof-of-concept after gene therapy. Clinical Ophthalmology 15: 939-952, 2021.

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:

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Last updated: 02/15/2022
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