Our group seeks to determine the relations between dietary carbohydrate intake, protein quality control capacities (ubiquitin proteasome pathway and autophagic lysosomal pathways) and aging in the development of eye lens cataracts and retina diseases. We exploit basic science approaches as well as clinical and epidemiologic approaches to elucidate these relationships. We use human cohorts, animal models, and cell/tissue culture systems. We are revealing how carbohydrate-modified proteins are selectively removed by the proteolytic systems and why and how they are cytotoxic in consumers of higher carbohydrate diets and the elderly. We are using newer methods of metabolomics to identify potential surrogate biomarkers for future intervention studies of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the major blinding disease of the elderly in the developed countries. In addition, we have a significant interest in developing dietary modifications and pharmaceutical interventions by enhancing protein quality control systems to accelerate clearance of protein aggregates. We also contribute to understanding the impact of the ubiquitin proteasome pathways in regulating lens development and differentiation.