As part of the Department of Visual Sciences (DOVS), our residents have numerous opportunities for basic science, clinical, and translational research projects.  DOVS has a long and rich history of research and ranks 10th in terms of NIH ophthalmology research funding. The department is one of the nation’s top National Eye Institute (NEI) grant recipients and has numerous additional grant funding sources, including support from the Brightfocus Foundation, the Marfan Foundation, and the Reeves Foundation. There are 24 faculty in the department actively engaged in research programs, spanning a diverse range of topics in ophthalmology.   

Protected Research Time  

First-year ophthalmology residents work directly with research faculty mentors during 50 half-days of protected research time spread over three rotations during their PGY-2 year. Residents are expected to identify and develop a project to be presented at Grand Rounds as a PGY-3, and those who receive funding to present first-authorship research at societal meetings are also expected to present at the Annual Spring Update Symposium. While many of these projects are resident-designed, our faculty also have a number of ongoing projects available for resident participation as delineated here.

Meetings and Symposia  

Residents often present their work at national and international meetings. All third-year residents are supported to attend a major ophthalmological society meeting to explore fellowship opportunities and additional coursework. Residents of all years are encouraged to present first-author papers and are allowed two meetings per year in this capacity, with paid time off to attend. 

Research Funding and Awards  

Approved research projects will be funded to a maximum amount of $1,000 per project, and residents may also apply for independent funding outside of this stipend.  Notably, since 1998, we have had 12 graduates receive the prestigious Heed Fellowship for their subsequent fellowship research. The department also has multiple endowed research awards available to our residents as well as medical students interested in ophthalmology.  

Endowed Research Awards: 

  • Rosenbaum Research Award: An award of $1,000 presented for a research project of exceptional quality and originality  
  • The Doctor William Ellis Research Prize in Ophthalmology: For superior achievements in ophthalmological and visual sciences research of a senior medical student or resident  
  • Max & Evelyn Grand Prize: For research achievements of a Washington University medical student  
  • Doris P. and Harry I. Wexler Award: For outstanding research by a Washington University medical student or resident (alternates yearly between ophthalmology and multiple sclerosis research) 
  • Katie & Howard Venable Award: For a resident who has demonstrated high academic achievement, excellence in the field, and leadership potential, and who also has experience with or commitment to serving or working with historically underserved or underprivileged populations, or who has experience confronting challenging social, economic, educational, cultural or other life circumstances. 
  • Pepose Award: To fund travel to ARVO for research in vision and ophthalmology – determined by scientific integrity and clinical significance of research activity as summarized in an accepted ARVO abstract   

Recent Resident Publications 

Shah A, Apte RS. Optical coherence tomography angiography: a window into central nervous system neurodegeneration. Trends in Molecular Medicine. 2020. Abstract.

Santos MC, Lee AR. Iris stromal cyst in a 6-month-old with rapid progression to angle closure [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 5]. J GlaucomaAbstract.  

Xia T, Martinez CE, Tsai LM. Update on intraocular lens formulas and calculations. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2020;9(3):186-193. PMCID: PMC7299214.

Hong K, Lind J, Sheybani A. Safety and efficacy outcomes of the XEN45 gel stent use for refractory glaucoma: a surgery series from surgeon trainees at a tertiary teaching hospital. Eye Vis (Lond). 2020;7:5. PMCID: PMC6995155.

Kuo J, Liu JC, Gibson E, et al. Factors associated with adherence to screening guidelines for diabetic retinopathy among low-income metropolitan patients. Mo Med. 2020;117(3):258-264. PMCID: PMC7302017.

Liu J, Gibson E, Ramchal S, et al. Diabetic retinopathy screening with automated retinal image analysis in a primary care setting improves adherence to ophthalmic care [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 17]. Ophthalmol RetinaAbstract

Dixon MW, Moulin TA, Margolis MS, et al. Comparative outcomes of the Molteno3 and Baerveldt glaucoma implants. Ophthalmol Glaucoma. 2020;3(1):40-50. Abstract

O’Bryhim BE, Lin JB, Piggott KD, Rao PK, Apte RS. Anterior chamber angles after intravitreal injections for macular degeneration. Ophthalmol Retina. 2020;4(7):750-751. Abstract.

Honasoge A, Nudleman E, Smith M, Rajagopal R. Emerging insights and interventions for diabetic retinopathy. Curr Diab Rep. 2019;19(10):100. Abstract.

Smith LD, Couch SM. Nonsurgical periorbital rejuvenation. Advances in Cosmetic Surgery. 2019; 2(1):107-119. Abstract.

Sindhar S, O’Bryhim BE, Licata J, Piccirillo JF, Apte RS. Identification of retinal vascular lesions using ultra-widefield angiography in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia patients. Ophthalmol Retina. 2019;3(6):510-515. PMCID: PMC6557291.   

O’Bryhim BE, Li AS, Bayliss SJ, Tychsen L, Lueder GT, Rajagopal R. Successful treatment of an exudative choroidal hemangioma with oral propranolol in a 10-year-old boy. J AAPOS. 2019;23(4):236-238. PMCID: PMC6778008

O’Bryhim BE, Apte RS, Kung N, Coble D, Van Stavern GP. Association of preclinical Alzheimer disease with optical coherence tomographic angiography findings. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018;136(11):1242-1248. PMCID: PMC6248182.  

OʼBryhim BE, Sychev Y, Rao PK. Bilateral choroidal detachments secondary to ipilimumab and pembrolizumab use [published online ahead of print, 2018 Jul 23]. Retin Cases Brief Rep. 2018. Abstract

Dixon MW, Harocopos GJ, Li AS, Liu JC, Rajagopal R. Inadvertent intravitreous ink injection from subconjunctival tattooing causing intraocular inflammation and retinal trauma. Ophthalmol Retina. 2018;2(10):1080-1082. PMCID: PMC6287917.  

Enright J, Schroeder R, Waymack JR, Lueder G, Rajagopal R. High-dose intraocular delivery of epinephrine by an auto-injector causing retinal trauma without arterial occlusion. Ophthalmol Retina. 2018;2(6):639-641. PMCID: PMC6136451.

Palko JR, Qi O, Sheybani A. Corneal alterations associated with pseudoexfoliation syndrome and glaucoma: a literature review. J Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2017;12(3):312-324. PMCID: PMC5525502.

Enright JM, Karacal H, Tsai LM. Floppy iris syndrome and cataract surgery. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2017;28(1):29-34. Abstract.