James N. Ver Hoeve

James N. Ver Hoeve, MS, PhD

Senior Scientist


BA 1972 William Paterson College
MS 1979 University of Wisconsin-Madison
PhD 1982 University of Wisconsin-Madison

1982-1985 Post-doctoral fellowship University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Photons entering the eye are captured by photoreceptors and initiate a complex series of cellular events resulting in changes in the electric field of the eye and brain. The light-evoked electric field of the retina (electroretinogram) consists of negative and positive voltage ‘waves’ that are similar across many species. These electric fields can be measured non-invasively and have proven useful in clinical diagnosis of inherited retinal disorders and toxic reactions. The electroretinogram is also a valuable tool for translational research: When working with an animal model of human disease the electroretinogram is used to determine whether retinal electrical function as been altered by a potential therapeutic compound.

In addition to my clinical interests in visual electrophysiology, I have been studying the effect of various neuroprotective strategies using the non-invasive electroretinogram and cortical visual evoked potentials as outcome measures. A significant portion of the recent research has been devoted to validating new assessment methods in various species. In collaboration with Dr. T. Michael Nork, we have used the multifocal electroretinogram to assess outer retinal changes in experimental glaucoma. We are currently investigating the role that outer retinal ischemia may play in ganglion cell death in this disease. Recently I have become interested in the effects of long-wavelength on wound healing in the retina using multifocal electroretinography and visual evoked potentials as outcome measures. In addition, I have collaborated with Dr. Chris Murphy of the UW school of veterinary medicine on a number of projects using electroretinography and cortical potentials to assess visual status in rats, dogs and hawks.