I take a multidisciplinary approach to study the human visual system. I am interested in developing a better understanding of the relationship between structure and function in the visual system – both in health and disease. My primary focus is on applying high-resolution imaging tools (adaptive optics and optical coherence tomography) to the study of the human retina. In addition, I have broad interests in comparative color vision, foveal development, visual neuroscience, and behavioral aspects of human color vision (normal and aberrant).
I was born in Milwaukee and attended high-school in Tigerton, Wisconsin. It was here that my interest in science was sparked, thanks in large part to my science teacher, Gary Kuchenbecker. He encouraged me to attend the pre-college program sponsored by the Regional Center for Math and Science at UW Green Bay. As part of this program, we toured the Medical College of Wisconsin and were exposed to the various career options in math and science. While I always knew I was good at science, until that point, I was unaware of what one could do with such a skill set. After some false starts pursuing pharmacy and optometry, I decided to go to graduate school at MCW, under the guidance of Dr. Jay Neitz. During this time, I found that there were many questions that I wanted to answer, yet didn’t have the right tools to do so. Thus, after receiving my PhD in 2002, I did a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. David Williams at the University of Rochester. There I was trained in the technique of adaptive optics retinal imaging, which has opened numerous new avenues for research and discovery. I started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at MCW in 2006, and am currently a Professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology, Biophysics, and Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy.