I graduated in 1990 from the Indiana University School of Optometry. After graduation, I was active duty in the United States Air Force where I was the officer in charge of a hospital-based optometric practice. After five years of service, I returned to Indiana University, this time to the School of Medicine, to begin post-doctoral work in the field of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. While working on my doctorate, I was a part-time lecturer and clinical faculty with the Indiana University School of Optometry. After earning my doctorate in pharmacology, Dec 2002, I joined the University of Houston College of Optometry as an assistant clinical faculty in Jun 2004. I came to Houston with my husband and now, 22-month-old son, our pride and joy. Currently, I am learning to be a Houstonian, and lecturing in both basic and didactic optometry courses as well as facilitating laboratory and clinical instruction.
Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy: The role of oxidative stress and pharmacological interventions.
Primary care, geriatrics, therapeutic management of primary ocular disease, ocular trauma, and ocular manifestations of systemic diseases.
Dr. Jung-Sun Kim is a clinical optometrist with interests in primary care, ocular disease, and translational research. Dr. Kim received a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine and completed post-doctoral fellowship training in Epigenetics at Houston Methodist Research Institute. During her research training, she published several peer-reviewed publications, a book chapter and received multiple awards for her research presentations. After her biomedical research experience, Dr. Kim decided to pursue her dream of becoming an optometrist. She received her Doctor of Optometry degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Houston College of Optometry. In addition, Dr. Kim continued her clinical training by completing Family Practice residency at the University of Houston College of Optometry. We are excited to have Dr. Kim as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Clinical Sciences.
Dr. Julianne R. Knowles received her bachelor’s degree in Visual Science from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan in 1999. She received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Michigan College of Optometry in 2001 and completed her externships in Houston, Texas. Upon graduation, she served as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Navy at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California where she provided optometric care to US Carrier Battle groups, Navy and Marine Corp pilots, and Navy SEAL teams. Dr. Knowles moved back to Houston with her family to pursue working in a private practice that dedicated eye care to military veterans and NASA astronauts. Having grown up in a family of educators, Dr. Knowles made a natural transition to academia at the University of Houston in 2006.
As a Therapeutic Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Knowles is licensed to diagnose and treat ocular disease. She is certified by the Texas Optometry Board to practice as a Glaucoma Specialist. As a clinical assistant professor, she is involved in direct patient care and the supervision of optometric students and residents
Dr. Knowles is a member of the Texas Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Optometry.
Dr. Knowles clinical interests are in practice management and marketing, and primary care optometry, including geriatrics, pediatrics and ocular pathology.
Dr. Zanna Kruoch graduated from the University of Houston, College of Optometry with a Doctorate of Optometry in 2009. She continued on to pursue a residency specializing in cornea and specialty contact lenses at the Illinois College of Optometry with completion in 2010. Currently, Dr. Kruoch is clinical faculty for a Dallas-based indigent community clinic called Cedar Springs Eye Care where she works with 4th year extern students. Dr. Kruoch is also a Fellow of the American Acacdemy of Optometry. Her clinical interests include specialty contact lens and ocular disease.
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. Karen L. Lee received her bachelor’s degree in Physiological Science from University of California, Los Angeles. She received her Doctor of Optometry degree from Indiana University School of Optometry and completed a cornea and contact lens residency at Southern California College of Optometry. Prior to joining the University of Houston, Dr. Lee served as Director of the specialty contact lens clinic at the University of California, San Francisco Ophthalmology department.
As a Therapeutic Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Lee is licensed to diagnose and treat ocular disease. She is certified by the Texas Optometry Board to practice as a Glaucoma Specialist. As a clinical assistant professor, she is involved in direct patient care and the supervision of optometric students and residents.
Dr. Lee is a member of the Texas Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association and the Ocular Surface Society. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, Secretary of the Scleral Lens Education Society, and a GPLI advisory board member.
Dr. Logan received her Bachelor of Science in Health degree magna cum laude from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. She then graduated from Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where she completed her Doctor of Optometry degree with Honors and Professional Distinction. She subsequently completed a residency in Cornea and Contact Lenses at the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO). Currently, she is a Clinical Assistant Professor at UHCO and is a clinical attending in the Cornea and Contact Lens Service as well as the Family Practice Service. She also instructs students in the laboratory setting.
Specialty contact lens fitting including gas permeable corneal and scleral lenses, myopia control and orthokeratology.
Dr. Manny received her OD and PhD from the University of Houston, College of Optometry. She has been teaching in the clinic and classroom since 1981. Prior to earning her PhD she worked part-time in a private practice. Her clinical expertise is pediatric eye care with an emphasis on children under the age of 6 years and those with special needs. As a clinician scientist she has served as the principal investigator for a variety of multi-center clinical studies funded by the National Eye Institute as well as industry. These studies included clinical trials looking at the development, progression and treatment strategies for nearsightedness (myopia) (COMET, COMET2, ACHIEVE, CLIP), large collaborative observational studies of myopia (CLEERE, COSMICC), and collaborations with the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator network (PEDIG) studying different treatment options for amblyopia and strabismus. Other research interests include improving screening methods used to identify infants and preschool children with vision problems or at risk for vision problems. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and serving as a Vice chair of PEDIG (2014-2016).
Development of Vision, Anomalies of Binocular Vision, Refractive Error, and Vision Screening
Infants and Preschool Children, Children with Special Needs
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.
Dr. Marsack completed a BS in Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, a MS in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in Physiological Optics and Vision Science at The University of Houston, College of Optometry. Currently, he conducts research investigating the optical and visual performance associated with custom corrections for highly aberrated optics of the eye. He was a two-time recipient of the American Optometric Foundation Ezell Fellowship.
Optical aberration of the eye, custom and pseudo-custom correction of optical aberration, visual performance, metrics predictive of visual performance.
Dr. Martinez graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Organismal and Integrative Biology with a double minor in Chemistry and Italian. She went on to obtain her Doctor of Optometry degree and Pediatric residency from the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO). Dr. Martinez is also a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at UHCO where her primary interest and focus is in pediatric primary care, specialty pediatric care, binocular vision, and brain injury eye exams. She also teaches in areas of pediatric binocular vision. Dr. Martinez was awarded the 2014 Terrance N. Ingraham Pediatric Optometry Residency Award by the American Optometric Foundation.
Pediatrics, Special needs pediatrics, binocular vision, amblyopia, myopia.
Dr. Modi is a Diplomate in Low Vision Rehabilitation, as well as a Fellow, of the American Academy of Optometry, and a member of the American Academy of Optometry, Low Vision Section. She was the President of the Harris County Optometric Society in 2016 and continues to be an active member of the Board of Directors, a member of the Texas Optometric Association, and the American Optometric Association. Dr. Modi practiced in a private optometry office before returning to teaching at the University of Houston College of Optometry.
She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Houston and teaches clinically in the University Eye Institute’s Center for Sight Enhancement. Dr. Modi is the Course-master of the Low Vision Rehabilitation didactic course and laboratory for optometry 3rd year students and is the Director of the Low Vision Rehabilitation Residency program. She has presented on low vision rehabilitation both nationally and internationally and the recipient of the Corning Low Vision Award and the Feinbloom Low Vision Award. Dr. Modi is an Advisor to the Houston Area Visually Impaired Network (HAVIN) non-profit organization.
Research interests include clinical low vision rehabilitation research, specifically studying the impact of low vision devices on visual function.
Research interests include clinical low vision rehabilitation research, specifically studying the impact of low vision devices on visual function.
Clinical interests include all areas of Low Vision Rehabilitation, especially regarding the needs of older adults and bioptic driving in all ages.
Cherlyn Ng was born and raised in Singapore, where she went on to earn her BSc in neuroscience and PhD in x-ray crystallography from the National University of Singapore. Drawing upon her earlier experiences with audio/visual production, she received postdoctoral training in computational modeling, psychophysics and developed a deep interest in visual perception. Her current interests focuses on how the brain processes and represents sensory information, with particular emphasis on binocular vision. However, traditional psychophysics does not distinguish between percepts that arise from neural mechanisms and visual limitations that are caused by the imperfect optics of the eyes. She addresses this conundrum by coupling psychophysics with adaptive optics technology. This method removes optical limitations by correcting for the optical aberrations in the eyes so that percepts brought about by the neural mechanisms can be measured in isolation. These measurements serve the eventual purpose of building a unified model that explains how the brain chooses between selecting and balancing information from the two eyes.
I am an assistant professor of vision science at the University of Houston College of Optometry. I received a Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Helsinki, and Ph.D. in Neuroscience advised by Dr. Simo Vanni jointly from the University of Helsinki and the Low Temperature Laboratory of Helsinki University of Technology, Finland. I completed postdoctoral training at the Moran Eye Center of the University of Utah under the guidance of Dr. Alessandra Angelucci. My postdoctoral work with Dr. Angelucci elucidated the neural circuit basis of receptive fields of primary visual cortex neurons in non-human primates. Part of my NIH K99 training was completed under the guidance of Dr. John Reynolds at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies where I worked with awake, behaving marmoset monkeys. My laboratory utilizes electrophysiology, optogenetics, and behavioral techniques in awake and behaving marmosets to elucidate the roles of recurrent connections between cortical areas in visual computation and perception.
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. Patel graduated from the Southern College of Optometry, Memphis Tennessee in 2002, after which he completed a residency in Family Practice at Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry. He completed his graduate work at the University of Houston, earning a PhD in 2012, and has been on the faculty since. His current research is on improving structural measures of the optic nerve head, retinal nerve fiber layer and macula regions using optical coherence tomography, and investigating the relationship between these structural measures and visual function. He also teaches students in the classroom, laboratory and clinical settings.
Optical coherence tomography, structure-function relationships in glaucoma, algorithm development for early detection of optic nerve pathology.
Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography:
Dr. Ryan Patel received his Bachelor of Science degree, with high distinction, in Biochemistry at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. As a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Visual Science and a Doctor of Optometry. Additionally, Dr. Patel completed a Primary Care/Low Vision Residency at the VA Medical Center in Lake City, Florida.
Following his residency, Dr. Patel served as the Director of Optometric Services at a multi-specialty ophthalmology practice in North Carolina. There, he managed pre- and post-operative care for cataract, glaucoma, anterior segment lasers and refractive surgery patients. He developed a dry eye clinic specializing in LipiFlow® technology and managed the practice’s optometric referral network and continuing education programs.
In 2016, Dr. Patel was named the Clinical Director of nJoy Vision at the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO), as well as, joined the UHCO faculty as a course instructor and attending clinical optometrist. Currently, he is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Director for the UHCO Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC). As Clinical Director, Dr. Patel provides and supervises the pre- and post-operative education for third- and fourth-year optometry students, residents and fellows. He manages the clinical operations of the ASC, as well as facilitates optometric co-management network programs.
Dr. Patel has conducted several FDA/Clinical Studies in the evaluation of surgical equipment and software, the use of toric IOLs in cataract patients, and corneal cross-linking products. He has lectured nationally on a variety of topics including surgical procedures, glaucoma, contact lenses and anterior segment disease.
He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and holds memberships with the Texas Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association.
Research interests include intraocular lenses, aphakic aberrometry, and various applications of corneal collagen cross-linking.
Clinical interests include the surgical management of the anterior and posterior segment, refractive surgery, keratoconus, and specialty contact lens fitting.
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. Mandy Polacco earned a Bachelor of Science degree from a small liberal arts college in Minnesota, Gustavus Adolphus College. From Minnesota, Dr. Polacco traveled west and completed her Doctor of Optometry degree at Southern California College of Optometry in 2017, earning the Good-Lite Pediatric Award. Her residency was completed in Vision Therapy and Neuro-optometric Rehabilitation at the State University of New York College of Optometry in 2018, where she received the Burnbaum Award for Excellence in Vision Therapy. Dr. Polacco is a former full-time Assistant Clinical Professor for the State University of New York College of Optometry in the areas of neuro-optometry, vision therapy, and pediatrics. Dr. Polacco joins the Department of Clinical Sciences as a Clinical Assistant Professor.
Visual quality is limited by a host of factors, including imperfections (or aberrations) in the optics of the eye and the health of various cell types in the retina used to detect light and process this information for subsequent delivery to the brain. Using psychophysical, optical and functional imaging techniques, my primary goal is to better understand how the eye's optics and structure of the retina and optic nerve head affect vision in normal and diseased eyes. After completing my BS degree in Optics from the University of Rochester in 1997, I continued my graduate work in Optics at the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics under the advisement of David Williams. My graduate research focused on constructing a clinical wavefront sensor to measure the optical quality of a large population of normal and postoperative laser refractive surgery eyes, and on investigating the sources of aberrations induced in conventional and customized LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) procedures. In collaboration with Ian Cox (Bausch & Lomb) and Scott MacRae (University of Rochester), I examined changes in the eye’s optical quality after cutting a corneal flap and after performing a laser ablation, how aberrations were induced due to static shifts of the pupil (such as changes in pupil center location with dilation), and characterized dynamic eye movements that occur during surgery. I also assisted in the design of the Rochester Adaptive Optics Ophthalmoscope, an instrument capable of both imaging individual photoreceptors and of conducting visual psychophysics in living human eyes.
Upon receiving my PhD in Optics in 2004, I conducted my postdoctoral work with David Williams at the Center for Visual Science (University of Rochester) in the area of high-resolution retinal imaging using adaptive optics. Adaptive optics is a relatively new technology that can measure and correct for the eye’s aberrations, leading to substantial improvements in image quality when a subject looks through an adaptive optics system. Conversely, the same instrument can provide an extremely sharp view of a subject’s retina with the capability of imaging individual cells in a living eye. As a postdoc, I contributed to the construction of a fluorescence adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) that can noninvasively acquire in vivo reflectance and fluorescence images of individual photoreceptors, ganglion cells and retinal pigment epithelium cells. In September 2006, I joined the faculty at the University of Houston’s College of Optometry.
Our lab’s main goals are to learn more about the mechanisms responsible for the development and progression of retinal diseases (such as glaucoma and photoreceptor-based degenerations) and how the retina develops in the normal eye. To this end, we have built a dual deformable mirror, fluorescence AOSLO to image single cells in living eyes, thereby allowing us to conduct experiments that could only otherwise have been done in excised tissue. These experiments are often complimented with the use of other clinical and research-based imaging techniques (such as spectral domain optical coherence tomography) and visual function examinations (including perimetry, electroretinography, etc.) to investigate structure-function relationships. Several projects in the lab revolve around imaging retinal and optic nerve head structures in normal and glaucomatous eyes, as well as in eyes with color vision deficiencies and retinal disease. For example, through our currently funded NIH R01 grant , we seek to better understand the relation between in vivo changes in lamina cribrosa and optic nerve head geometry, axonal damage and vision loss in glaucoma. We also conduct engineering research, often to help facilitate our scientific goals, in areas such as optimal methods for controlling deformable mirrors and non-traditional methods of wavefront sensing and adaptive optics correction. Our AOSLO provides the opportunity to non-invasively monitor normal and diseased retinal structure and function on a cellular level in the same eyes over time. The ability to see cellular structures in vivo could enhance our ability to better diagnose retinal diseases and track the efficacy of potential treatments.
My research focus is to understand ocular homeostasis and to characterize the host response to environmental stress and disease progression using mass spectrometry-based omics tools. These tools include crosslinking mass spectrometry, proteomics, lipidomics, metabolomics, and glycomics. Using these tools, we are mapping the proteome-wide interactions (interactome) of the ocular surface at a molecular level. Specifically, my research interests are: 1) to characterize the ocular homeostasis at the proteome, metabolome, and microbiome level with a focus on tear film; 2) to determine the effect of environmental stress on ocular homeostasis with a focus on contact lens wear; 3) to understand the molecular mechanisms involving contact lenses related complications with a focus on infection and dry eye, and 4) to develop novel contact lens-based ophthalmic therapeutics
Rachel Redfern received her bachelor's degree in biology from Texas A&M University and then her OD/PhD from the University of Houston, College of Optometry. In 2006, Dr. Redfern received the Institutional Ruth Kirschstein National Research Post-doctorate Award and the ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award. Dr. Redfern is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Optometry and the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society. She is also a past William C. Ezell Fellow.
Her laboratory is interested in ocular surface inflammation/infection, the impact of contact lenses (e.g. scleral gas permeable lenses) on normal and diseased eyes and the functional and anatomical changes that occurs in the meibomian glands with age and disease. They perform human subject, animal and in vitro studies. Dr. Redfern’s laboratory is NIH funded to examine the impact of toll-like receptors on the production of damaging cytokines and matrix metalloproteases and beneficial antimicrobial peptides on the ocular surface.
Dr. Ribelayga received his M.S. (1995) and Ph.D. (2000), both in Neuroscience, from the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France. He then did post-doctoral work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) (1999-2005). During this time, he used techniques of single cell recording in the retina to examine how circadian clocks within the retina control the light responses of retinal cells. He joined The Ohio State University (OSU) School of Medicine in Columbus, OH as a Research Assistant Professor (2005-2009) and subsequently moved to The University of Texas at Houston (UTHealth) McGovern Medical School as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology. Dr. Ribelayga was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2016 and awarded the Bernice Weingarten Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology in 2019. Dr. Ribelayga joined the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO) in 2021, where he is Professor of Physiological Optics and Vision Science. His work has long focused on two areas of research: 1) the role of circadian clocks in the development, maintenance, and function of retinal cells, and 2) the functional architecture of the network of coupled photoreceptors, its plasticity, and the impact of this plasticity on retinal circuit processing and visual perception. Although Dr. Ribelayga’s research accomplishments are primarily in basic science, his work may have important clinical relevance and has been continuously supported by NIH.
Dr. Richdale joined the University of Houston College of Optometry in 2017. She was previously an Associate Professor and founding director of the Clinical Vision Research Center, and established the Myopia Control Clinic at the State University of New York College of Optometry. Dr. Richdale teaches and conducts research primarily in cornea and contact lenses and her work has been supported by federal, private and industry grants. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) study group. Dr. Richdale received her OD, PhD, and Cornea and Contact Lens Advanced Practice Fellowship from The Ohio State University.
Contact lenses, presbyopia, accommodation, anterior segment effects of diabetes and obesity
Cornea and contact lenses, presbyopia, myopia control, multifocals, orthokeratology
Eric Ritchey, OD, PhD, FAAO is a 2001 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry. After graduation, Eric completed a 2-year Advanced Practice Fellowship in Cornea and Contact Lenses at Ohio State, where his research focused on overnight orthokeratology and extended wear contact lenses. Following fellowship, Eric served as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis College of Optometry before beginning his PhD training at Ohio State. During his PhD training, Eric’s research in the laboratory of Dr. Andy Fischer focused on the mechanisms behind refractive error development. After completing the PhD, Eric joined Johnson and Johnson Vision Care as a Principal Research Optometrist in the Emerging Technologies Group, where he worked on contact lens technologies to control myopia progression. After 4 years in industry, Eric decided to return to academia and will teach Ophthalmic Optics to 2nd year optometry students. Eric’s clinical interests are in specialty contact lens fitting, anterior segment disease and ocular prosthetics. His research activities will focus on myopia development and contact lenses.
Dr. Abirami Santhanam received her doctorate degree in Biochemistry at the National Taiwan University, Taiwan. She got the opportunity to work with Dr. Steven Wilson from Cleveland Clinic on corneal wound healing and regeneration during her postdoctoral career and has contributed to the understanding of the role of growth factors and receptors in corneal development that are important to treat the pathophysiological conditions that affect the cornea after surgery, infection, or trauma. She established the Laser capture-based microdissection technique on the cornea to understand the role of stromal proteins. Then she got the opportunity to work with Dr. John O’Brien on retina regeneration. The regenerative power of Zebrafish combined with single-cell transcriptome analysis provided an excellent system to understand the exciting molecular mechanisms of regeneration in the retina. She has established a Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) model in the zebrafish to understand the regeneration of rod cells that are degenerated in human RP conditions. Currently, her lab is in the process of identifying the key factors that turn on and regulate this regeneration that can be translated into the mammalian system to turn on regeneration successfully. Her long-time research interest is to contribute more towards the understanding of the complex controls and molecular mechanisms in signal transduction pathways involved in vision restoration.
Retina regeneration, Microglia in regeneration, vision restoration, cornea wound healing
Dr. Kaitlyn A. Sapoznik received her Doctor of Optometry from Illinois College of Optometry in 2013 and then completed a one-year ocular disease residency at Indiana University School of Optometry in Bloomington, IN. Following her residency, she completed her Ph.D. in Vision Science at Indiana University. Her research uses high-resolution retinal imaging techniques like adaptive optics retinal imaging to better understand retinal microvascular remodeling in aging and disease with an emphasis on diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Sapoznik was awarded the Vision Impact Institute Ezell Fellowship for two-consecutive years.
Dr. Pat Segu graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Cell Science in 1988. She continued her education at the University of Houston College of Optometry receiving her doctorate degree in 1992. Dr. Segu completed her residency in hospital-based optometry at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center Tacoma, WA. Dr. Segu holds a therapeutic license in the state of Texas with glaucoma privileges. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a member of the American Optometric Association, the Texas Optometric Association, and Harris County Optometric Society. Dr. Segu is actively involved and serves on the Advisory board for Eye Care for Kids Foundation, consultant for Accreditation Council of Optometric Education, member of the AAO Vision and Aging Sig steering committee, member of Sugar Land Lions Club, and member of Prevent Blindness of Texas Houston Branch. Dr. Segu is currently a clinical associate professor, director of the family practice community based residency program, clinical director for the Houston vision collaboration project-See to Succeed, and director of optometry services at the Good Neighbor Healthcare Center for the University of Houston College of Optometry. She has received state and local recognition for her teaching abilities. Dr. Segu is the recipient of the 2013 Texas Optometric Association Educator of the Year Award, Class of 2007 Outstanding Faculty Award, and 2005 AOSA Most Supportive Faculty Award. Under her leadership, Good Neighbor Eye Clinic received the 2003-2004 Prevent Blindness Partners in Prevention Award for the state of Texas. Dr. Segu's interests include primary care optometry and ocular disease.