Professor of Computer Science; Vice-chair of Research, Director of Ocular Biomechanics and Biotransport Program, Professor — UAB Department of Ophthalmology

Dr. Downs is a professor of ophthalmology and vice-chair of research for the UAB Department of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Downs is the founding director of the department’s ocular biomechanics and biotransport program, a multidisciplinary effort to study the underlying disease pathophysiologies of blinding eye conditions through the framework of biomechanics and biotransport. As part of the program, Dr. Downs’ current research focuses specifically on the impact of intraocular pressure (IOP), aging, and African heritage on the development and progression of glaucoma.

Dr. Downs is a native of Alexandria, Louisiana. He received his BA and MA in economics from Tulane University in New Orleans. He then attended the University of New Orleans, where he completed the undergraduate coursework necessary to qualify for graduate school in engineering. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Tulane University under the direction of Richard T. Hart, Ph.D., and Claude F. Burgoyne, M.D. After a brief postdoctoral fellowship at the LSU Eye Center under Dr. Burgoyne, Dr. Downs transitioned to assistant research professor in August of 2002. He joined the faculty at the Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon, in 2005. There he directed the Ocular Biomechanics Laboratory and developed the IOP telemetry and computational and experimental ocular biomechanics methods he now employs.

Read more about Dr. Downs on the Department of Ophthalmology website.