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

The IOP is very 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. Most recently, the IOP is developing new drugs for the treatment of dry-AMD which lacks any drugs available for the 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 1980's in the IOP which changes the concept of glaucoma etiology and improves the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness.

The IOP is currently 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 IOP not only emphasizes basic-research but also clinical applications and usefulness to improve the welfare of human beings. 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 IOP to society is to insure the healthy vision of the senior population so that they can enjoy the later years of their lives. What is the purpose of living a long life if a person has poor vision, or is blind?