Assistant Professor

Areas of Interest
adaptive optics high-resolution retinal imaging; age-related macular degeneration

Dr. Zhang's research focuses on the development of advanced retinal imaging technology to facilitate study of the retinal structure and function in the living mammalian eye at the cellular and subcellular levels, with the promise of improving understanding and treatment of human retinal diseases.

Dr. Zhang has substantial experience in adaptive optics retinal imaging. He developed the first clinically deployable micro-electrical-mechanical system based adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope and demonstrated that this instrument is a promising tool for monitoring disease progression and response to therapy. He received a prestigious R&D 100 Award in 2007 for this invention.

Dr. Zhang joined the UAB Department of Ophthalmology in 2008 and established his adaptive optics retinal imaging lab. He has developed a new generation adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and optical coherence tomography (AO-SLO-OCT). This is an advanced, high-resolution retinal imaging instrument that can obtain cellular level retina images in the living human eye in both en face and cross-section planes. He also developed and optimized the imaging strategy for the study of elderly patients with age-related macular degeneration. Currently his research focuses on subretinal drusenoid deposits, a lesion recently recognized associated with AMD development. Dr. Zhang's research has been supported by the National Eye Institute, the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, theInternational Retinal Research Foundation.

Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in precision instrumentation engineering from Tianjin University, China, and received further training in adaptive optics high-resolution retinal imaging at University of California, Berkeley, supervised by Austin Roorda, Ph.D., a pioneer who developed adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy.

Education & Training

Undergraduate Education
Tianjin University, China

M.S., Optical Engineering
Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics & Physics

Ph.D., Precision Metrology & Instruments Engineering
Tianjin University, China

Post-doctoral Training
Beijing Institute of Technology; Auckland University, New Zealand

Contact Information

Volker Hall, 390C

Office Phone