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Michael Twa, O.D., Ph.D. Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

Welcome! The Department of Vision Sciences incorporates an interdisciplinary group of faculty, students, and staff who are focused on understanding how vision works and using that knowledge to ameliorate debilitating eye diseases. Our work covers a wide range of scientific disciplines such as optics, biophysics, anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, cognitive science, physiology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, imaging, genetics, immunology, computational neuroscience, and visual perception. The faculty of the Department of Vision Sciences have an uncompromising commitment to basic and translational research. A brief list of our departmental research areas are:

Basic Research

  • Corneal and tear biochemistry
  • Retinal anatomy and physiology
  • Eye movement control
  • Central visual processing
  • Visual psychophysics
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

Translational Research

  • Cataract formation
  • Glaucoma
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Animal models of myopia
  • Retinal imaging

As evidence of the caliber of our research efforts, members of the Department published over 120 papers between 2008-2013, representing the fruit of $2M per year in extramural funding. In addition to research, faculty members in the Department of Vision Sciences provide instruction to optometry, medical, and dental students, to graduate students in the Vision Science Graduate Program, and to other graduate and undergraduate programs. Vision Sciences faculty have consistently received the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, garnering 9 awards since its inception. Vision Sciences faculty members serve nationally and internationally through professional organizations and collaborations, by presenting invited seminars, by participation on study sections, and by reviewing grants and manuscripts. They also serve locally and statewide by speaking to school groups and a variety of service organizations. I hope you find the information at our website useful and informative. If there is any additional information that you would like to receive, please contact us.