Recent advances in technology have opened up new avenues for vision science research. One such area is ocular biomechanics, which is the study of the eye using traditional engineering principles and approaches. The UAB Department of Ophthalmology recognizes the bright future of ocular biomechanics and aims to become a global leader in the field with the establishment of the Ocular Biomechanics and Biotransport Program.
The program has already spurred recruitment of renowned scientists to UAB, including its founding director J. Crawford Downs, Ph.D. It has also accelerated research in this field, which possesses the potential for significant breakthrough in the treatment of blinding diseases.
Researchers in the program are studying glaucoma, myopia (commonly known as nearsightedness), age-related macular degeneration, and corneal biomechanics in keratoconus, as well as the biomechanics of ocular trauma. The new program brings together engineers, biologists, imaging experts, and clinicians to build the knowledge to further understand disease mechanism and improve treatments.