Carmen Colitz, ’93, ’96

Author: UTIA Advancement

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Category: Award Winners

2020 College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumna — Private Practice

Carmen Coltz

Carmen Colitz, ’93, ’96, is the recipient of the Private Practice Award. Colitz has dedicated her career to furthering the reach of veterinary medicine through research and pharmaceutical development, in particular the understanding and treatment of ocular diseases.

Colitz’s research while pursuing her DVM and Ph.D. in Comparative and Experimental Medicine from UT involved the study of ocular embryology and molecular biology of cancer. She became a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist in 1999. During her residency training, she completed a one-year post-doctoral research project and successfully competed for a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health Eye Institute to study the role of telomerase in the lens.

Colitz has world for both the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Ohio State University’s veterinary teaching hospital, where she discovered telomerase (a cancer protein) in the normal and cataractous lens and researched the molecular biology of the cataractogenesis and posterior capsular opacification (PCO). PCO is the leading post-operative complication of cataract surgery. Colitz has written or co-written over seventy peer-reviewed publications and twenty-two book chapters and is the past-president of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

Her career accomplishments include the founding of Aquatic Animal Eye Care, LLC, in 2009, which is dedicated to understanding and improving the ocular diseases that affect marine mammals, penguins, and fishes under human care and in the wild. In 2006, she collaborated with Terri McCalla, a fellow board certified veterinary ophthalmologist, and Debby Smith, chemist and compounding pharmacist, to develop an innovative vision supplement for dogs and cats. This culminated with their company Animal HealthQuest, LLC, developing the vision supplement Ocu-GLO to support canine eye health and slow the progression of degenerative eye diseases.

Colitz also worked with Johanna Mejia-Fava in the development of Eye-SEA, a pharmaceutical grade nutraceutical specifically formulated for marine mammal eye support.