Gillian McLellan, BVMS, DACVO, DECVO, PHD

Gillian McLellan, BVMS, DACVO, DECVO, PHD



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Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Affiliate Appointment

Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine

Research Interests

  • Glaucoma, neuroprotection, ocular development, drug development, genetic ocular disease in animals
  • Comparative glaucoma, including imaging of the retina and optic nerve, electrophysiology, aqueous humor dynamics, genetics and pathology of glaucoma in animals and humans

I discovered and fostered a colony of cats that develop glaucoma. These cats have elevated eye pressures and although the disease – as in humans – is not painful, damage to the optic nerve occurs at a very early age. They are social creatures and a pleasure to work with, and they are contributing to treatments for humans and for other animals. The glaucoma in cats is similar to a congenital glaucoma that also affects humans. Using this cat colony, and working with collaborators at the UW and at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, we have discovered a mutation in a gene that plays a role in this type of glaucoma. This discovery will help design treatments for humans and for our pets.

As a glaucoma researcher, I collaborate with a variety of colleagues investigating the disease, including clinical researchers working on the human form of the disease, other veterinarians and bench scientists. For glaucoma research, UW Madison is one of the top places to be because we share ideas and work with the common goal of eliminating blindness that results from this disease in humans and in animals.


Residencies 1993-2000, Alternative Residency, ECVO, RCVS, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, London, UK; 2000-2001, Alternative Residency, ACVO, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA; 2001-2003, Alternative Residency ACVO, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

PhD 2000, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, London, UK

Certificate in Veterinary Ophthalmology 1993, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, London, UK

BVMS 1990, Glasgow University School of Veterinary Medicine, Glasgow, UK