Vision Research at Yale

Yale scientists have always been at the forefront of vision research. Throughout the decades, the efforts of Yale researchers have led to many crucial discoveries, including:

  • Observations of Retinal Pigment Epithelium transdifferentiation (1950s)
  • Identification of cyclic GMP as an important photoreceptor messenger (1970s)
  • Preclinical development of Timolol (1970s)
  • Identification of the genes for Macular Degeneration (2005 and 2006)

It remains our mission to carry out groundbreaking research on the development, structure, and function of the visual system and uphold our position as a center of excellence. We take very seriously our obligation to translate these research findings into new treatments that can benefit those suffering from blinding eye diseases.

In addition, we provide a rigorous training environment for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and serve as a center for a wide range of international collaborations.

Bio Profile

Ron Afshari Adelman, MD, MPH, MBA, FACS

Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Director of the Retina and Macula Center

Research Interests

Diabetic Retinopathy; France; Germany; Macular Degeneration; Ophthalmology; Portugal; Retinal Detachment; Retinal Diseases; Spain

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Miguel Coca-Prados, PhD

Professor Emeritus of and Professor (Adjunct) of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Research Interests

Epithelium; Neuropeptides; Ophthalmology; Trabecular Meshwork; Chloride Channels

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Luciano V. Del Priore, MD, PhD

Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Robert R. Young Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University School of Medicine

Chief of Ophthalmology, Yale - New Haven Hospital

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Jonathan B. Demb, PhD

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and of Cellular And Molecular Physiology

Research Interests

Adaptation, Physiological; Neurophysiology; Retinal Ganglion Cells; Synapses; Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells; Retinal Bipolar Cells

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In-Jung Kim, PhD

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Human Development; Neurobiology; Neurosciences; Ophthalmology; Vision, Ocular

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Z. Jimmy Zhou, PhD

Marvin L. Sears Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and Professor of Neuroscience

Vice Chairman and Director of Research, Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Research Interests

Neurobiology; Ophthalmology; Physiology; Retina; Retinal Diseases

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Ron Afshari Adelman, MD, MPH, MBA, FACS

Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Director of the Retina and Macula Center

Research Interests

Diabetic Retinopathy; France; Germany; Macular Degeneration; Ophthalmology; Portugal; Retinal Detachment; Retinal Diseases; Spain

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Jessica H. Chow, MD

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Residency Director

Clinical Interests

Ophthalmology

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Luciano V. Del Priore, MD, PhD

Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Robert R. Young Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University School of Medicine

Chief of Ophthalmology, Yale - New Haven Hospital

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Michael S. Ehrlich, MD

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Director, Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery, Yale Ophthalmology

Fellowship Director - Oculoplastic Surgery

Research Interests

Blepharospasm; Conditioning, Eyelid; Eye; Ophthalmology; Reconstructive Surgical Procedures

Clinical Interests

Carcinoma, Basal Cell; Cosmetic Techniques; Dacryocystitis; Eyelids; Nasolacrimal Duct; Ophthalmology; Orbital Fractures; Reoperation; Skin Neoplasms; Surgery, Plastic; Chalazion; Reconstructive Surgical Procedures; Lacerations

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Jennifer A. Galvin, MD

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and of Pediatrics

Director, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

Principal Investigator, Yale site for PEDIG (Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group)

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Ji Liu, MD

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

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Kathleen M Stoessel, MD

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Director, Retina Fellowship Program

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Christopher Teng

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Director, Glaucoma Section and Glaucoma Fellowship

Clinical Interests

Cataract; Glaucoma

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Michael C Crair, PhD

William Ziegler III Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Deputy Chair, Department of Neuroscience

Director, Graduate Studies in Neuroscience

Research Interests

Brain; Cerebral Cortex; Child Development; Nervous System; Synaptic Transmission; Neuronal Plasticity; Neurosciences; Visual Cortex

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Josephine J Hoh, PhD

Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health) and of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Research Interests

Environmental Exposure; Environmental Health; Ophthalmology

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Lawrence James Rizzolo, PhD, FARVO

Professor of Surgery (Gross Anatomy)

Director of Medical Studies

Research Interests

Anatomy; Curriculum; Epithelial Cells; Ophthalmology; Pigment Epithelium of Eye; Retina; Models, Educational

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Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health) and of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Research Interests

Alcoholism; Aldehyde Dehydrogenase; Diabetes Mellitus; Environmental Health; Glutathione; Gout; Ophthalmology; Genomics

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Caroline J Zeiss, PhD, DACVP, DACLAM

Professor of Comparative Medicine and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Director, Mouse Research Pathology Core

Unit Chief, Pathology

Research Interests

Animal Diseases; Eye; Medical Informatics Computing; Neurobiology; Ophthalmology; Pathologic Processes; Neurodegenerative Diseases; Informatics

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David Zenisek, PhD

Professor of Cellular And Molecular Physiology and of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Research Interests

Cell Biology; Endocytosis; Exocytosis; Ophthalmology; Physiology; Presynaptic Terminals; Retinal Bipolar Cells

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Dr. Silvia Park receives a research award from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation for her research in Binocular Vision.

Binocular Vision Research Award

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science welcomed representatives of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation to present at our Resident Research Day proceedings in May 2016. The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is a charity, founded in 1956, that is sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. The Foundation’s mission is to improve vision by supporting research, education, and access to care. Each year, the Foundation invites applications for pediatric ophthalmology research grants and is committed to supporting “research that can launch the careers of clinical and basic researchers, focused on the prevention and cure of potentially blinding diseases in infants and children.” To Read more about their organization, click here.

Dr. Silvia Park, Associate Research Scientist, in the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Demb, received a Career Starter grant in the amount of $65,000 from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation in support of her work on binocular vision, described by Dr. Park as follows:

"Binocular vision is an important component of the healthy visual system and is required for normal depth perception. The binocular visual pathway starts with projections from the eyes to the brain. Nerve cells in the eye send long fibers to the brain. These nerve fibers, on their path to the brain, must make an important decision, either to cross to the opposite side of the brain (crossing fibers) or stay on the same side of the brain (non-crossing fibers).

"Normal binocular vision depends upon the proper balance between crossing fibers and non-crossing fibers. In albinism, the development of non-crossing nerve cells is abnormal, leading to impaired binocular vision. The goal of this proposal is to investigate the role of a newly identified molecule in the development of non-crossing nerve cells. Using a mouse model, we will manipulate a specific molecule and characterize non-crossing nerve cells with structural and functional experiments. Our findings could form the foundation for the development of therapeutic strategies for treating binocular dysfunction in albinism and related developmental disorders."

We thank Knights Templar Eye Foundation for their generous support of Dr. Park’s research.