gamlin web

Professor; Director of Basic and Translational Research 

Areas of Interest
neural control of eye movements, retinal and central visual processing, circadian rhythms, autonomic control of the eye, ocular gene therapy

Secondary Appointments
Professor of Neurobiology; Professor of Psychology; Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Senior Scientist, Vision Science Research Center; Senior Scientist, School of Medicine Center for Aging; Senior Scientist, Civitan International Research Center

Dr. Gamlin’s research focuses on the visual system and eye movements in health and disease. He is currently investigating the neural pathways involved in coordinated movement of the eyes, and the non-image forming retinal pathways involved in circadian rhythms, light-evoked pupillary responses, sleep, migraine, and mood. He is also developing novel gene therapy techniques to treat individuals with photoreceptor loss due to disease or injury.

He has authored or coauthored more than 140 journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters. He serves as a referee for both neuroscience- and vision-related journals, and as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the NIH where he currently serves as Chair of the Mechanisms of Sensory, Perceptual, and Cognitive Processes (SPC) Study Section. He also serves on the Program Planning Committee for the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). His active research program, which has been funded continuously by grants from the National Eye Institute since 1989, has also been funded by grants from the NSFFoundation Fighting BlindnessThe EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, and Research to Prevent Blindness.

Dr. Gamlin received his undergraduate training in zoology (University of Cambridge), and graduate training in neurobiology and behavior (Stony Brook University). He received his postdoctoral training in the neural control of eye movements from Drs. Lawrence Mays and David Sparks (University of Alabama at Birmingham). He has previously served as director of the UAB Vision Science Research Center and the UAB Neuroscience Graduate Program, as well as chair of the UAB Department of Vision Sciences. He is a past recipient of the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Research Program

Dr. Gamlin’s research focuses on the visual system and eye movements in health and disease. In one line of research, Dr. Gamlin is studying the way in which the brain controls those eye movements that are required to look at objects at different distances i.e. vergence, ocular accommodation, and pupillary responses. The goal of this line of research is to investigate the ways in which the brain normally processes visual information to guide these eye movements in order to better understand the abnormal processing that underlies amblyopia and strabismus. To investigate these questions, he uses electrophysiological, behavioral, fMRI, and neuroanatomical techniques. Research is also directed to characterizing the role that intrinsically-photosensitive retinal ganglion cells play in mediating both the pupillary light reflex and circadian rhythms in primates. In a separate line of research, Dr. Gamlin is investigating the use of gene therapy targeted to either photoreceptors or retinal ganglion cells for the treatment of blinding diseases. 

Education & Training

Undergraduate Degree
University of Cambridge, England

Graduate Degree
State University of New York Stony Brook (PhD)

Postdoctoral Training
University of Alabama at Birmingham