Dr. Shulman received his Bachelor of Science degree, his Doctor of Optometry Degree, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Houston. After graduation from optometry school in 1981, Dr. Shulman practiced optometry in Houston in a private practice setting for ten years. He then returned to the University of Houston to obtain his Ph.D. degree in Physiological Optics and Vision Science. His primary area of research was retinal cell biology and his thesis concerned the effects of dopamine and lead on sodium - potassium ATPase in rat photoreceptors. After graduation in 1998, he spent several years in San Diego, California. Dr. Shulman then returned to the University of Houston, College of Optometry to teach the Ocular Anatomy laboratories and a portion of the Advanced Physiology course. In February 2005, he became the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. Dr. Shulman's favorite past-times are ice hockey (for which he is too old to play competitively now), baseball, and photography.
Retinal and neurophysiology, ocular morphology and cell biology, cell signaling and signal transduction including retinal dopamine involved in second messenger pathways.
Dr. Justin Simbulan graduated from the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO) with Magna Cum Laude in 2017. After graduation, he completed a residency in Primary Care at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where his training focused on ocular disease, specialty contact lenses, and low vision rehabilitation. After residency, Dr. Simbulan served as a full time staff optometrist at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center where he was involved with direct patient care and acted as an attending for optometry residents and intern students. In 2020, Dr. Simbulan joined UHCO as clinical faculty.
Dr. Simbulan enjoys a practice style that involves diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, as well as participating in the overall management of patients with systemic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension to evaluate for ocular complications. He maintains strong interest in the fitting of specialty contact lenses such as scleral lenses and gas permeable contacts, and involvement in the management of low vision rehabilitation.
Scott Stevenson received his PhD in Experimental Psychology from Brown University in 1987 for studies of visual suppression during eye blinks. He was an NRSA post-doc at UC Berkeley School of Optometry for three years, and then joined the research faculty there. Dr. Stevenson joined the faculty at UH in 1995.
Dr. Stevenson’s research concentrates on the visual control of eye movements, with emphasis on visually driven eye movement reflexes, such as for the control of eye alignment. Dr Stevenson is also active in the development of eye trackers based on high magnification retinal imaging in a broad collaboration involving researchers at a number of other institutions.
Dr. Stevenson teaches in courses on Vision Science, Perception, Optometry, Eye Movements, and Matlab for Vision Science.
Dr. Stevenson serves on the Editorial Board for Vision Research, and is a member of the Vision Sciences Society.
Vergence eye movements and binocular coordination, stereoscopic depth perception, modeling of binocular image matching processes.
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. Maria K. Walker received her Doctor of Optometry degree from The New England College of Optometry in 2013. She went on to complete a one-year Cornea & Contact Lens Residency at Pacific University in Portland. Throughout her education and early career, Dr. Walker has won several awards including the VSP student clinical excellence award, the Sheldon Wechsler contact lens residency award (2014), and the Founders’ Grant from the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists (2017). She is an active Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry, a Fellow and current President of the Scleral Lens Education Society, as well as an advisory board member of the Gas Permeable Lens Institute. We are pleased to have Dr. Walker join the Department of Clinical sciences as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track).
Dr. Walker’s major research interests include anterior segment physiology, scleral contact lens complications, and contact lens optics - specifically for presbyopia and myopia control modalities. She is currently an investigator in the Bifocal Lenses in Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) study, examining the effects of soft bifocal contact lenses in controlling childhood progression of myopia.
Dr. Samantha Wang grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition in 2016. She then moved to Texas for her optometric education at the University of Houston College of Optometry where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. After graduation, she completed a residency in Primary Care at the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida where she received extensive exposure and training on the management of ocular disease such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Her residency also allowed her to rotate through specialty clinics including uveitis, retina, oculoplastic, and neuro-ophthalmology. Following her residency, she returned to UHCO to serve as clinical assistant professor. Her clinical interests include primary care optometry and ocular disease, especially diseases associated with systemic conditions.
Joe Wheat received his bachelor’s degree in biology from The University of Texas at Austin followed by his Doctor of Optometry from The University of Houston College of Optometry. He completed an optometric residency at the Baltimore VAMC, and returned to the University of Houston College of Optometry to complete a PhD. Prior to his return to UHCO in 2017, he worked at the Michael E. DeBakey VAMC, where he was in charge of the optometric residency program. Past honors include the William C. Ezell fellowship award, the Institutional Ruth Kirschstein National Research Post-Doctorate Award, and the NIH Mentored Clinician K award. He is currently a member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society.
Structure-function relationships in glaucoma, imaging techniques of the optic nerve, retina, and choroid
Dr. Geunyoung Yoon obtained his B.S. in Physics from Sung Kyun Kwan University, South Korea and his M.S. and Ph.D., in Laser and Optical Engineering from Osaka University, Japan. Dr. Yoon went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester’s Center for Visual Science. His laboratory’s research projects focus on the optics of the eye, vision, and eye diseases. His research goals are to objectively understand optical quality of the eye and to improve visual performance by correcting the optical defects in the eye. He has successfully developed various advanced optical systems for eye research including large dynamic range wavefront sensor for highly aberrated eyes, binocular adaptive optics vision simulator and customized ophthalmic lenses/refractive surgery.
He is a recipient of the Dolly Green Special Scholars Award, Research to Prevent Blindness and David E. Bryant Trust Research Award. He is currently a panel member for the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
Dr. Yoon joins the Department of Vision Sciences as a Professor.
Dr. Zhijing Zhang received his B.S. in Clinical Medicine from Tianjin Medical University, China, and a master’s degree in neuroscience from Peking Union Medical College. Dr. Zhang also holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His post-doctoral training was completed at MD Anderson Cancer Center where he focused on epigenetics and the development of the nervous system. Dr. Zhang’s research interests investigate how circadian mechanisms and gap junctions affect retinal functions. Dr. Zhang also spent time in Dr. Christophe Ribelayga’s lab at the University of Texas Health Science Center, to study vision with a focus on retinal functions. Dr. Zhang will join the Department of Vision Sciences as a Research Assistant Professor.