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:
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.
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.