The diverse group of researchers at UHCO study normal and abnormal visual processes, as well inherited and acquired diseases and disorders of the eye and visual pathways. They work on ways to prevent loss of vision using a variety of approaches ranging from cellular and molecular, to behavioral or optical. Local and multi-center clinical research is carried out in dedicated areas of the University Eye Institute. The research efforts at UHCO are funded externally for individual projects by the National Eye Institute (NEI), other federal agencies, as well as by private foundations, and industry. The vision research group also has support from the NEI for shared Core facilities and resources, and for training Graduate and professional students to do research.
UHCO houses two research centers: the Texas Eye Research and Technology Center (TERTC) and the Visual Optics Institute (VOI), both of which involve several of UHCOs vision scientists, their students, and clinicians from the UEI. TERTC carries out research on contact lens wear, and various aspects of ocular health and pathology, including studies on the effects of refractive surgery, and the environmental on ocular tissues. In the VOI researchers work to improve our understanding and function of the optics of the eye, the instrumentation associated with the diagnosis and treatment of various eye diseases, and the vision of patients with poor visual optics. UHCOs world-renowned vision research is regularly presented at national and international conferences, and appears frequently in high profile refereed journals and other scholarly texts.