Dr. John O’Brien is a native of Maryland growing up just outside the nation’s capital in a thriving community of naturalists, scientists, and government servants. He earned his B.A. in Biochemistry at Bowdoin liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of California San Diego. He also completed post-doctoral work at the University of Illinois at Chicago in vision research. There he cloned connexins that form electrical synapses in retinal neurons, setting the stage for a large fraction of the research he has performed since then. In 1998, Dr. O’Brien joined the faculty of University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in which his lab conducted research on retinal electrical synapses. Dr. O’Brien has published extensively on the topic of retinal neuroscience and continues to receives funding to further research in this area from National Institutes, such as the National Eye Institute. We are happy to welcome Dr. O’Brien as a Professor for the Department of Vision Sciences.
Lisa Ostrin received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. She then completed the combined OD/PhD program at the University of Houston College of Optometry in 2006. Following graduate work focused in accommodative physiology, she went to John Hopkins University for post-doctoral research in low vision and retinal prosthetics. From there, she worked as a Clinician Researcher at the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry, with a focus on myopia and associations with glaucoma. She has returned to the University of Houston as an Assistant Research Professor to continue her work in myopia and glaucoma. Dr. Ostrin is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a recipient of the American Optometric Foundation Ezell Fellowship.
My research interests include environmental and behavioral influences on circadian rhythm and eye growth. Light exposure has a close link with numerous aspects of human physiology and has been implicated in several different pathological processes including myopia development, circadian rhythm disturbances, mood disorders, cancer, and metabolic disorders. The intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are an inner retinal photoreceptor type that respond directly to short wavelength blue light, and are responsible for non-image forming functions including circadian rhythm entrainment and pupil size. Ongoing projects in the lab include 1) measuring and correlating light exposure with ipRGC activity, circadian rhythm patterns, melatonin levels and refractive error, 2) determining the effects of blue light emitting devices (computers and hand held electronic devices) on ipRGC function and sleep/wake patterns, and 3) developing devices to continuously and objectively measure behaviors related to eye growth.
Dr. Deborah Otteson joined the faculty of the College of Optometry at the University of Houston in September 2005. Prior to joining the UHCO faculty, Dr. Otteson received her Bachelors of Science degree in Microbiology and Public Health from Michigan State University and spent the following years studying patterning during embryonic development in Drosophila. In 1994, she returned to pursue a PhD at the University Michigan in Cell, Developmental and Neural Biology, working with Dr. Peter Hitchcock studying retinal development and regeneration at the Kellogg Eye Center. She did her post-doctoral training in molecular ophthalmology with Dr. Donald Zack at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, studying transcriptional regulation of photoreceptor-specific gene expression.
The overall goal of my research is to understand the transcriptional regulatory networks that regulate cell-specific patterns of gene expression in retinal development, differentiation and degenerative retinal disease. Current research focuses on identifying transcription factors that regulate ganglion cell-specific gene expression, analyzing the effects of transcriptional regulatory genes on proliferation and differentiation of retinal cells in culture and establishing retinal cell lines for the development of high throughput assays.
1 - 3 of 3 total faculty Members
Faculty with Joint Optometry/Vision Science Appointments