Dr. Twa was appointed Dean of the College of Optometry on June 1, 2019. He previously served as a faculty member at the college from 2007 to 2014. From 2014 to 2019, Dr. Twa served as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. His undergraduate training in biology was completed at UC San Diego and his clinical doctoral training in optometry was completed at UC Berkeley. He practiced for more than 10 years in the department of ophthalmology at UC San Diego before pursuing a Ph.D. in machine learning, data sciences, and biomedical image analysis at the Ohio State University. Dr. Twa currently serves as a grant reviewer for the NIH/NEI, he is a member of the AOA Council on Research, the AAO Research Committee, and is the current Editor in Chief of Optometry and Vision Science.
I have a longstanding interest in biomedical imaging, image analysis and using machine learning methods to improve clinical decision making. My current research is related to the development of new imaging technology for sensing tissue biomechanics (optical coherence elastography) and I am also working to address adherence behavior in glaucoma.
Deep learning, clinical informatics, ocular imaging, glaucoma, and corneal biomechanics
Dr. Frishman received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie N.Y. and her MS and PhD in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She did postdoctoral training in visual neuroscience at Northwestern University and the University of California San Francisco where she also was a research faculty member. She joined the Optometry faculty in the College of Optometry in 1990, and she has taught in both the professional and graduate programs. Her research has focused on refining noninvasive electrophysiological approaches for evaluating retinal and anterior visual pathway function in normal subjects and subjects with inherited or acquired diseases that affect visual function.
Dr. Frishman is on the editorial board of Translational Vision Science and Technology (TVST) an academic editor for Plos One, and she was Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Visual Neuroscience (2001-2007), and Documenta Ophthalmologica (2006-2013). She has served on federal grant review panels, the NIH/NEI National Advisory Eye Council, and she is a fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (FARVO), American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) and a board member of the International Society for the Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV).
Retinal physiology, noninvasive evaluation of visual function, analysis and modeling of components of the electroretinogram (ERG), clinical ERG, glaucoma and disease affecting the optic nerve, study of retinal mechanisms of adaptation.
Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography:
Marcus G. Piccolo, O.D. received his optometric training in Philadelphia, where he attended the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He moved to Houston in 1980 to join the faculty of the University of Houston College of Optometry. While at the University of Houston, Dr. Piccolo held posts as the Director of the Contact Lens Services, Chief of Primary Care Services, Coordinator of Ophthalmology Services and Chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences. Dr. Piccolo is currently an Associate Professor, and the Associate Dean for Professional Advancement at the University of Houston College of Optometry. He is certified as a Therapeutic Optometrist and an Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and his interests include contact lens practice, diagnosis and management of ocular disease and laser and other refractive procedures. In addition, Dr. Piccolo is a Past President of the Texas Optometric Association and currently serves as the Chair of the TOA Legal and Legislative Committee. Dr. Piccolo was honored in 1991 by being named the ""Young Optometrist of the Year"" and in 1999 by being named the “Optometrist of the Year” by the Texas Optometric Association. Dr. Piccolo received the William D. Pittman Leadership Award for outstanding leadership and unflagging support for the Optometric Profession and the prestigious Cora and J. Davis Armistead Faculty Teaching Award in 2002 both from the University of Houston College of Optometry. He is also a member of the American Optometric Association, where he is the past Chair of the AOA New Technologies Committee and a sitting member of the Federal Relations Committee. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and is a Past President of the South West Council of Optometrists. Dr. Piccolo currently sits on the American Medical Association Eye Care Work Group, which is responsible for developing quality standards for eye care providers in the US. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Piccolo maintains a private practice in Houston, Texas.
Clinical interests include the care of the Glaucoma Patient, Anterior Segment Disease and Primary Care Optometry including Contact Lens Care and Refractive Surgery.
Dr. Lambreghts is a graduate of Pace University with an RN in Nursing and a BA in Biology. She worked as an orthopedic surgical nurse until entering optometry school. After graduating from SUNY College of Optometry in 1993, Dr. Lambreghts completed a dual residency in rehabilitative and primary care optometry at the Northport Veterans Administration Medical Center in Northport, NY. She served as staff optometrist at the Northport VAMC and an associate in private practice until coming to the UH College of Optometry in 1997. Currently she is a Clinical Associate Professor, Director of the Family Practice Service and serves as Family Practice Residency Director at the University Eye Institute. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.
Research interests includes on-line student clinic evaluation, cultural sensitivity/ awarness in health care and scanning laser technology in the diagnosis of optic nerve and retinal pathology.
Clinical interests include all aspects of primary care optometry incuding geriatrics, pediatrics and ocular pathology.
Dr. Ralph Herring is a native Texan and third-generation optometrist. He was born and raised in Amarillo and came to the University of Houston to complete his undergraduate as well as Doctor of Optometry degrees. This was followed by a Residency in Family Practice Optometry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. Following one year of private practice in Lubbock, Dr. Herring returned to his alma mater to join the University of Houston faculty where he has now been for over thirty years.
Dr. Herring currently serves as the Assistant Dean for Professional Studies as well as the Director of External Education and Third-Year Clinic Course master... As Director of External Education, Dr. Herring administers the senior level clinical training program which utilizes a network of over seventy affiliated public and private clinics located locally, statewide, and across the country.
Dr. Herring is a Clinical Professor and is a clinical instructor in multiple patient services in the University Eye Institute. He has also served on many college committees.
Dr. Herring became a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry in 2014. He completed a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from Texas Woman’s University in 2001. Professional memberships include the American Optometric Association, the Texas Optometric Association and Beta Sigma Kappa.
Dr. Herring continues his family’s strong commitment to volunteer service. He has been a Special Olympics volunteer for nearly 25 years and is now a Regional Clinical Advisor for the Special Olympics Lions Club International Opening Eyes program. Dr. Herring also serves on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Texas. He has been a member of Lions Club International since 1983, and he currently serves on the Endowment Board of the Montrose Center
Primary Care Optometry Geriatric Optometry Public Health Optometry Public Health Optometry Health Care Access
After receiving her doctor of optometry degree from the University of Houston College of Optometry, Dr. Marrelli completed a residency in hospital-based optometry at the Ft. Howard/Baltimore VA Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. She is currently a clinical professor at UHCO, where she is the service director of the Ocular Diagnostic Service. In the classroom, Dr. Marrelli teaches in the ocular pharmacology, glaucoma and case-based learning courses. She is the director of the ocular disease residency program. Dr. Marrelli is a diplomate in the ocular disease (glaucoma) section of the American Academy of Optometry, and serves on the executive board of the Optometric Glaucoma Society.
Dr. Marrelli's primarily clinical interests are in glaucoma and other ocular disease.
Melissa Mares received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1996. She completed additional coursework at UHCL in the area of cross-cultural studies with a focus on anthropology, psychology and sociology. She joined UHCO in the fall of 2001 as the Director of Development overseeing college fundraising efforts, including the college’s capital campaign resulting in the Molly and Doug Barnes Vision Institute. Currently she serves as the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and the Executive Director for Optometry Relations.
I received my undergraduate degree from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India in 1992 majoring in Electronics Engineering. I then moved to the United States for graduate studies and completed a M.S and Ph.D. degree in 1998 in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. My work, carried out under the mentorship of Dr. John Leigh, primarily examined the interactions between visual-oculomotor and vestibular systems. I did post-doctoral work at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University with Dr. Michael Mustari from 1999 to 2002. During this time I learnt the technique of single cell extracellular recording in the awake-behaving monkey and also became interested in examining visual-oculomotor mechanisms in the strabismic primate. I was appointed to the faculty at Emory University in 2002 and received an independent investigator award from the National Institutes of Health in 2004 to study neural circuits mediating binocular coordination of eye movements in the strabismic monkey. I have since maintained continued NIH funding. I joined the faculty of the College of Optometry, University of Houston in 2009. The goal of research in my laboratory is to continue to uncover the disruption of neural processing in various brain areas in the strabismic monkeys. A better understanding of neural mechanisms that are affected in the different forms of strabismus will help develop rationally based therapy.
The focus of research in my laboratory is to investigate disruption of eye movement control in animal models for strabismus (ocular misalignment). Strabismus is a common visual developmental disorder affecting 2?5% of all human infants. Though the exact etiology of strabismus is still unknown, it is clear that disruption of binocular visual information in infancy plays a critical role in development of strabismus. Many seminal behavioral, anatomical and physiological studies have revealed various aspects of visual sensory deficits that are associated with the strabismic condition. By the same token, we know relatively little about disruptions in neural oculomotor (eye movement) circuits, though these structures must also be involved in maintaining the steady-state strabismus. The possible involvement of such structures ranges from altered eye muscle lengths to neural mechanisms that alter eye muscle tone or contractility. Our research is therefore directed towards identifying and understanding the roles of specific areas in the brain that may be involved in producing oculomotor properties describing the strabismus state. Our strategy is to utilize a basic science approach with studies in animal models, incorporating concepts, tools and techniques developed via basic science studies of the oculomotor system. To this end, we use a multi-pronged strategy involving behavioral studies of eye alignment, eye movements and ocular accommodation, MRI studies evaluating extraocular muscle (EOM) structure and single cell recording studies of information processing in neural oculomotor circuits.
David A. Berntsen, OD, PhD, FAAO completed his Doctor of Optometry degree in 2002 at the University of Houston College of Optometry in Houston, TX. He then completed a Cornea and Contact Lens Advanced Practice Fellowship at The Ohio State University College of Optometry in Columbus, OH. The fellowship program combined a two-year residency with a Master of Science degree in Vision Science, which Dr. Berntsen completed in 2004. He then completed a PhD in Vision Science at Ohio State in 2009.
Dr. Berntsen's research interests include myopia, contact lenses, and aberrations of the eye. He conducted the Study of Theories about Myopia Progression (STAMP), a two-year clinical trial evaluating theories of juvenile-onset myopia progression. He has conducted adult and pediatric studies involving contact lenses and higher-order aberrations of the eye. Dr. Berntsen is the Principal Investigator of the University of Houston clinical site for the Bifocal Lenses In Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) Study, a multicenter randomized clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute. The BLINK Study is a collaborative effort between the University of Houston and The Ohio State University that will determine whether commercially available soft bifocal contact lenses slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.