Leading research

A multidisciplinary approach to discovery

The Department considers basic science and clinical research as a fundamental pillar of its academic mission and boasts interdisciplinary research programs ranging from translational and epidemiological studies to molecular, cellular, biochemical and genetic analyses of the visual system from the ocular surface to vision centers in the brain. Approximately one-half of our faculty members are actively engaged in research, evenly divided between basic research and epidemiological, or clinical research. These faculty members are supported by more than 150 other staff.

The research interests of faculty are diverse and include cellular and molecular immunology of the cornea and conjunctiva including virology of Herpes infections, trabecular meshwork cell biology and the pharmacology of outflow facility, RPE and retinal ganglion cell dysfunction in age-related disease, the genetics of retinal degeneration, epidemiology, nutritional biochemistry and human molecular genetics of age-related eye diseases, ocular oncology, ocular gene therapy, and human retinal development.

Our Researchers

As one of the leading research institutions in the country, our basic science and clinical researchers are proud to make impactful sight-saving discoveries through collaboration and innovation.

DOVS Basic Science Faculty

Curtis R. Brandt

UW Medical Foundation Professor; Vice Chair of Research


David M. Gamm

Professor, Director of the McPherson Eye Research Institute

Mrinalini Hoon

Assistant Professor

Paul L. Kaufman

Ernst H. Bárány Professor of Ocular Pharmacology, Department Chair Emeritus

Colleen M. McDowell

William and Phyllis Huffman Research Professor


Freya Mowat

Assistant Professor

Robert W. Nickells

Frederick A. Davis Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Professor

Terri L. Young

Peter A. Duehr Professor of Ophthalmology, Pediatrics and Medical Genetics; Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

DOVS Clinical Research Faculty

Michael M. Altaweel

Professor; Co-Director of the Fundus Photograph Reading Center

Barbara A. Blodi

Matthew D. Davis Professor; Medical Director of the Fundus Photograph Reading Center

Yasmin S. Bradfield

John W. Doolittle Pediatric Ophthalmology Professor, Co-Chair Global Ophthalmology Initiatives

Cat N. Burkat

Professor, ASOPRS Fellowship Faculty, Co-Chair Global Ophthalmology Initiatives

Karina A. Conlin

Clinical Optometrist, Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor

Daniel W. Knoch

Professor, Director Medical Student Education

Yao Liu

Assistant Professor

Mark J. Lucarelli

Program Director, Richard K. Dortzbach Professor of Ophthalmic Facial Plastic Surgery

Mihai Mititelu

Associate Professor, Medical Director of the Clinical Eye Research Unit

Anna C. Momont

Associate Residency Director, Clinical Assistant Professor

Sanbrita Mondal

Clinical Optometrist, Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor, Director — Low Vision Clinic

Nayan R. Patel

Clinical Optometrist, Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor

Melanie Schmitt

Assistant Professor, Director of the Pediatric Inherited Retinal Degeneration Clinic, Co-Director Ocular Genetics Program

Kimberly E. Stepien

Associate Professor; Director of the Adult Inherited Retinal Degeneration Clinic; Co-Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs; Co-Director of Ocular Genetics Program

Michael C. Struck

Professor, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus Fellowship Director

Andrew T. Thliveris

Vice Chair of Resident Education; Residency Director; Professor

Evan J. Warner

Assistant Professor

Affiliate Faculty

Anne Griep

Professor, Cell and Regenerative Biology

Olachi Mezu-Ndubuisi

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Bikash Pattnaik

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Donna Peters

Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Raunak Sinha

Assistant Professor, Neuroscience

DOVS PI Scientists

Amitha Domalpally

Assistant Professor, Research Director of the Fundus Photograph Reading Center

DOVS Research Trainees

Ryan J. Donahue

T32 Vision Research Trainee, Research Assistant


DOVS Research Administration Staff

Michelle E. Chizek

Senior Research Administrator



Inna V. Larsen

Research Administrator, Vision Core & T32 Administrator






Please join us at an upcoming event to learn about vision research and current discoveries.


Celebrating 50 years of Ophthalmology at UW-Madison
Jul 09

DOVS 50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

July 9 @ 8:00 am - July 10 @ 5:00 pm
Barbara Blodi, MD speaks at conference.
Oct 14

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Symposium

October 14 @ 8:30 am - 1:00 pm