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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, PhD

UW Medical Foundation Professor; Vice Chair of Research

David M. Gamm, MD, PhD

Professor, Director of the McPherson Eye Research Institute

Paul L. Kaufman, MD

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

Colleen M. McDowell, PhD

William and Phyllis Huffman Research Professor

Robert W. Nickells, PhD

Frederick A. Davis Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Professor

Nader Sheibani, PhD

Professor, Retina Research Foundation Alice R. McPherson Research Chair

Terri L. Young, MD, MBA, FARVO

Chair, Peter A. Duehr Professor of Ophthalmology, Pediatrics and Medical Genetics

DOVS Clinical Research Faculty

Michael M. Altaweel, MD

Professor, Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship Director

Barbara A. Blodi, MD

Matthew D. Davis Professor, Wisconsin Reading Center Medical Director

Yasmin S. Bradfield, MD

John W. Doolittle Pediatric Ophthalmology Professor

Jonathan S. Chang, MD

Associate Professor; Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship Assistant Director; Residency Program Associate Director

Yanjun (Judy) Chen, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Neuro-ophthalmology Service Chief

Karina A. Conlin, OD, FAAO

Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor, Optometry Service Chief

Justin L. Gottlieb, MD

Professor, Retina Service Chief

Daniel W. Knoch, MD

Professor, Vice Chair of Education and Faculty Development, Director of Medical Student Education

Yao Liu, MD, MS

Assistant Professor, Director of Teleophthalmology, Glaucoma Service Chief, Glaucoma Fellowship Director

Mark J. Lucarelli, MD, FACS

Richard K. Dortzbach Professor of Ophthalmic Facial Plastic Surgery, Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service Chief, UW Health University Station Eye Clinic Medical Director

Alexander R. Miranda, MD

Assistant Professor, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus Service Chief, Director of Informatics

Mihai Mititelu, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Clinical Eye Research Unit Medical Director

Anna C. Momont, MD

Assistant Professor; Vice Chair of Resident Education; Residency Program Director

Sanbrita Mondal, OD

Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor, Chief of the Vision Rehabilitation Clinic

Sarah M. Nehls, MD

Professor, Cornea and Anterior Segment Service Chief

Nayan R. Patel, OD

Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor

Heather Potter, MD

Professor, Ophthalmic Pathology Service Chief

Melanie Schmitt, MD

Assistant Professor, John W. and Helen Doolittle Professor

Kimberly E. Stepien, MD

Professor, Co-Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs, John W. and Helen Doolittle Professor

Affiliate Faculty

Anne Griep, PhD

Professor, Cell and Regenerative Biology

Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, MPhil

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Donna Peters, PhD

Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Raunak Sinha, PhD

Assistant Professor, Neuroscience

DOVS PI Scientists

Amitha Domalpally, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Wisconsin Reading Center Research Director

DOVS Research Trainees

Raymond Doudlah

Predoctoral T32 Vision Research Trainee


Jacob Khoussine

Predoctoral T32 Vision Research Trainee


Philip Mzyk

Postdoctoral T32 Vision Research Trainee


DOVS Research Administration Staff

Christina Thomas-Virnig, PhD

Director of DOVS Translational Research


(608) 265-3483

Inna V. Larsen

Multi-Functional Research Administrator, Vision Core & T32 Administrator


(608) 265-2572

Vaqar Adhami, PhD

Multi-Functional Research Administrator


(608) 263-3901