The diverse group of researchers at UHCO study normal and abnormal visual processes, as well inherited and acquired diseases and disorders of the eye and visual pathways. They work on ways to prevent loss of vision using a variety of approaches ranging from cellular and molecular, to behavioral or optical. Local and multi-center clinical research is carried out in dedicated areas of the University Eye Institute. The research efforts at UHCO are funded externally for individual projects by the National Eye Institute (NEI), other federal agencies, as well as by private foundations, and industry. The vision research group also has support from the NEI for shared Core facilities and resources, and for training Graduate and professional students to do research.
UHCO houses three research centers: The Texas Eye Research and Technology Center (TERTC) , the Visual Optics Institute (VOI), and The Ocular Surface Institute (TOSI). TERTC carries out research on contact lens wear and various aspects of ocular health and pathology, including studies on the effects of refractive surgery and the environment on ocular tissues. In the VOI, vision scientists, students and clinicians work to improve our understanding and function of the optics of the eye as well as the instrumentation associated with the diagnosis and treatment of various eye diseases. TOSI is a world-class translational research center with an interdisciplinary research team, which brings together clinical and basic scientists to advance the field of ocular surface health. UHCO's world-renowned vision research is regularly presented at national and international conferences and appears frequently in high-profile refereed journals and other scholarly texts.