Yanjun (Judy) Chen, MD, PhD

Yanjun (Judy) Chen, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Neuro-ophthalmology Service Chief


Appointments and Honors

Neuro-ophthalmology Service Chief



Medical and Surgical Interests

  • Abnormal eye movement, double vision and nystagmus
  • Abnormal pupil
  • Optic nerve disease
  • Pseudotumor cerebri
  • Vision loss associated with MS, brain tumor and stroke
  • Visual loss due to nutritional deficiency and toxicity

Research Interests

  • Pupil research, neuroscience, optic nerve disease
  • Study physiology of pupil reactivity
  • Correlate pupil reactivity with ocular diseases that affect vision and ocular motility
  • Correlate pupil reactivity with brain function
  • Impact of lighting on general health and brain aging

Research Highlights

Dr. Chen is an experienced neuro-ophthalmologist with expertise in pupil research. Having applied infrared pupillography in a variety of clinical and research fields, her recent work collaborated with the University of Wisconsin researchers, including Drs. Barb Klein, Ronald Klein and Karen Cruickshanks, and provided the first evidence that pupil reactivity was associated with neuropsychologic cognitive measures. The significant finding warrants future studies to evaluate the role of pupil reactivity as a potential biomarker of brain aging. Dr. Chen was also involved in developing standards in pupillography that are required for this burgeoning field of study.
The post-illumination pupil response (PIPR) is associated with cognitive function in an epidemiologic cohort study
Standards in pupillography


Fellowship: Neuro-ophthalmology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA

Residency: Neurology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; Ophthalmology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China

Medical School: Beijing Medical University, Beijing, China

Additional Studies: Graduate School, State University of New York, New York, NY