Formerly a study director in targeted discovery research at MPI Research, Dr. Vihtelic is now Director and Senior Study Director of Experimental Therapeutics at Charles River. In this role, he assists Sponsors in the design of preclinical studies in support of ophthalmology, inflammation, parasitology, and infectious disease therapies. Earlier in his career, he was a research associate professor of Biology at the University of Notre Dame using molecular genetic strategies to study eye lens development and establishing a model of light-induced photoreceptor degeneration to characterize adult stem cell roles in the regenerating zebrafish retina.
He received a DVM from Michigan State University and a doctorate in molecular genetics from the University of Notre Dame. His doctoral research, which focused on characterization of Drosophila retinal degeneration genes, was followed by postdoctoral work at the University of Chicago (Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences) and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Howe Laboratory of Retina Molecular Genetics and Harvard Medical School) using mouse retinal degeneration mutants and transgenic lines. Dr. Vihtelic has presented and published in the field of experimental ophthalmology and maintains memberships in the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists.