Ophthalmology & Ocular Biology

Ophthalmology & Ocular Biology

Brian Leonard

Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences

(see also: Immunology/Infectious Disease)

My research focuses on ocular surface health and immunity. I am particularly interested in the factors that promote tear film stability and the pathologies that lead to destabilization and ocular surface disease. Additionally, I am interested in the innate immune system of the ocular surface and the potential for modulating host responses to limit microbial keratitis.

I can be reached at bcleonard@ucdavis.edu for questions.

Faculty Bio


Bianca Da Costa Martins, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVO, DCLOVE (Hon)

VM: Surgical & Radiological Sciences

Dr. Bianca Martins is a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist and clinician-scientist at the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California – Davis. Her overall focus are include ocular surface reconstruction with an emphasis on the use of biological and synthetic grafts. My research program has three focus area: 1) corneal banking for corneal transplantation; 2) the use of amniotic membrane for ocular surface reconstruction; 3) equine ocular surface health.

Contact information: bcmartins@ucdavis.edu

Faculty Bio


Christopher Murphy, DVM, PhD

VM: Ophthalmology, Biomedical Engineering, Glaucoma, Corneal Diseases, Wound Healing, Comparative Ocular Anatomy and Physiological Optics

Dr. Christopher Murphy is a clinician-scientist and practicing veterinary ophthalmologist whose laboratories are focused on discovery and translational research. He co-manages a large (approx 30 personnel) highly collaborative interdisciplinary laboratory with Dr Paul Russell, an expert in the biology of glaucoma. The laboratory conducts research at the intersection of biomaterials, cell biology,  biomedical engineering, interfacial science and clinical need. Their laboratories are fully equipped for cell and molecular biology studies as well as in vivo studies. The lab has a fully equipped suite for advanced ocular imaging of the anterior and posterior segment. There are several active areas of research including cell-biomaterial interactions, use of engineering inspired approaches for accelerating wound healing, development of an improved artificial cornea, development of improved surgical approaches for corneal transplantation, biophysical attributes of the extracellular matrix and their relevance to health and disease of the eye, and finally, comparative ocular anatomy and physiological optics. He also has clinical areas of expertise in exotic animal ophthalmology and diseases and surgery of the cornea.

With the breath of projects available, the 1st task for a Star student working in our labs is to identify a project that the student is motivated by and that is accomplishable within the time frame provided.  Murphy Russell Vision Science Lab: Tupper Hall, room 1220.

Dr. Murphy can be reached via email at cjmurphy@ucdavis.edu.

Faculty Bio


Sara Thomasy, Dip. ACVO, DVM, Ph.D.

Corneal endothelial disease, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye), corneal wound healing, glaucoma

VM: Surgical & Radiological Sciences

Dr. Sara Thomasy is a veterinary ophthalmologist and clinician-scientist with strong interests in advanced ocular imaging, corneal disease and glaucoma. She is a PI in the Murphy-Russell-Thomasy laboratory, a large (approx 15 personnel) highly collaborative interdisciplinary laboratory which conducts research at the intersection of biomaterials, cell biology, biomedical engineering, interfacial science and clinical need. Their laboratories are fully equipped for cell and molecular biology studies as well as in vivo studies. The lab has a fully equipped suite for advanced ocular imaging of the anterior and posterior segment.  With the breath of projects available, the initial task for a STAR student working in our labs is to identify a project that the student is motivated by and that is accomplishable within the time frame provided.  

CONTACT INFORMATION:  Murphy Russell Thomasy Vision Science Lab: Tupper Hall, room 1220; smthomasy@ucdavis.edu

Faculty website pg:  http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/results.cfm?fid=20599


Glenn Yiu, MD, PhD 

Med: Ophthalmology & Vision Science

Dr. Yiu is a clinician-scientist and vitreoretinal surgeon at the UC Davis Medical Center who uses advanced ocular imaging technologies to study diseases of the eye. Examples include optical coherence tomography (OCT), which allows visualization of retinal pathology in vivo with near-histological details. OCT imaging allows physicians to identify age-related or pathologic changes in the structure of the retina or vasculature, particularly in diseases such as age-related macular degeneration in humans, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

Through collaborations with veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Sara Thomasy, they are now using OCT technology to study retinal anatomy in rhesus macaques at the California National Primate Research Center. Potential projects for STAR students include:

1) Comparison of normal retinal and vascular structure between humans and rhesus macaques

2) Evaluation of retinal pathology such as "drusen" deposits in geriatric rhesus macaques

3) Assessment of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in relationship to intraocular pressures in rhesus macaques

More details about Dr. Yiu are available at: https://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/eyecenter/yiulab/index.html

Contact Dr. Yiu: gyiu@ucdavis.edu