All residents are encouraged to pursue projects in laboratory or clinical investigation. Research familiarizes the resident with the limitations of laboratory methodology, provides a background for evaluating the literature, helps to develop critical thinking, and allows for a better informed choice for career goals. The type of project is the choice of the resident, and a wide range of opportunities are available. An annual Rosenbaum Research Award of $1,000 is presented to the resident who performs the most exciting research. The department emphasizes basic science research as well as clinical research. Basic science research currently involves five principal areas: Neurobiology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology/Physiology, and Clinical Studies and Outcomes Research. There are many opportunities for research in clinical areas as well.

Research projects offered through faculty members are presented below.

Basic Science Research

  • Dr. Steven Bassnett: Pseudoexfoliation syndrome and glaucoma, refractive development, mouse models of ectopia lentis
  • Dr. Shiming Chen: Bedside ⬌ Bench: Phenotype-genotype correlations of CRX retinopathies
  • Dr. Mae Gordon & Dr. Philip Ruzycki: Microbiome assays of normal eyes and eyes presenting with conjunctivitis
  • Dr. Lynn Hassman: Single cell transcriptomics of ocular inflammatory cells in uveitis.
  • Dr. Todd Margolis: Regulation of latent infection with herpes simplex virus
  • Dr. Joshua Morgan: Downstream circuit degeneration in mouse glaucoma model
  • Dr. Philip Williams: Retinal ganglion cell degeneration and axon regeneration in mouse glaucoma
  • Dr. Alan Shiels: Molecular genetics of pediatric cataracts and associated eye disorders
  • Dr. Carla Siegfried: Differential gene expression and mitochondrial function studies of trabecular meshwork cells, racial disparities of open angle glaucoma
  • Dr. Margaret Reynolds: Occupational therapy interventions for patients with low vision, inherited eye diseases, retinopathy of prematurity, refractive surgery, autism spectrum disorder

Clinical Research

  • Dr. Steven Couch: Genetic Correlates of Extrascleral Extension in Intraocular Melanomas
  • Dr. Andrew Lee: strabismus outcomes, retinopathy of prematurity, and healthcare disparities in pediatric ophthalmology
  • Dr. Todd Margolis: 1. Clinical studies of patients with ocular GVHD and superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis including role of the ocular surface microbiome. 2. Pathology studies of autonomic innervation of corneal buttons from HSV and VZV patients
  • Dr. P Kumar Rao: Vitreous Proteomics
  • Dr. Lawrence Tychsen: Amblyopia, eye movements and pediatric refractive surgery
  • Dr. Gregory P. Van Stavern: Opportunities in Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • Dr. Carla Siegfried: Ethical issues in patient care, Outcomes in glaucoma care
  • Dr. Leanne Stunkel: Opportunities in Neuro-Ophthalmology and diagnostic error in medicine

Quality Improvement Research

Translational Research

  • Dr. Robi Maamari: Translational research opportunities for those interested in development of ophthalmic diagnostic devices (i.e. image-based diagnostics)