The Institute of Ocular Medicine is an institute that differentiates itself from other eye institutes in the nation and world. The major function of the IOP is to invent new drugs for eye diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts, ischemic retinopathy, uveitis, dry eyes, myopia and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The Institute of Ocular Medicine published the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the official journal of the Association of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, from 1985 to 2004, and Ophthalmic Toxicology in 1992 and 1999.

The Institute of Ocular Medicine is active in research, inventing new drugs, elucidating drug action mechanisms, improving formulations for better bioavailability of new and old drugs, and researching the safety of effective eye drugs. New drugs developed in the IOP include Timolol, dopamine antagonists, serotonin antagonists, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, and cholinergic drugs for glaucoma treatment, synthetic CK-compounds, as well as natural compounds, such as osthole, matrine, etc., for uveitis and various types of inflammation. The IOP is developing new drugs for the treatment of dry-AMD, which lacks any drugs available for treatment at the present time.

Traditionally, ocular hypertension was considered to be the major cause of glaucoma. A new factor, ocular blood flow, was introduced in the 1980s in the IOP, which changes the concept of glaucoma etiology and improves the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness.

The Institute of Ocular Medicine  collaborating internationally with numerous researchers in various institutions, including: Dr. T. Okawara of Kumarnoto University in Japan; Drs. Z.D. Min and Y.H. Zhang of China Pharmaceutical University in China; Dr. Q.S. Yao of Nanjing Institute of Materia Medica in China; Drs. T.S. Hu and Y.H. Zou of Peking Union Medical College in China; Dr. S.J. Hong of Kaohsiung Medical College in Taiwan; and Dr. P.T. Hung of National Taiwan University Medical School in Taiwan. These international collaborations have resulted in the development of new eye drugs, as well as non-eye drugs for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, ischemic strokes, and systemic inflammatory diseases.

The Institute of Ocular Medicine not only emphasizes basic research but also clinical applications and usefulness to improve the welfare of humans. Because of the aging of the general population, maintenance of healthy eye sight becomes more and more important, both now and in the future. The major mission of the Institute of Ocular Medicine is to insure the healthy vision of seniors so they can enjoy the later years of their lives.