Xiangrun Huang, Ph.D.
- Research Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Non-invasive imaging diagnosis of ocular diseases
Understanding the optical properties of the tissues of the eye, especially the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), damage mechanisms of the RNFL in the context of glaucoma, and translating basic knowledge into improvements in clinical diagnosis of glaucoma.
Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness, is characterized by retinal ganglion cell death and optic nerve degeneration. Delays in detecting glaucoma can lead to inadequate treatment and irreversible visual loss. The retina nerve fiber layer (RNFL) in human eyes consists of the axons of retinal ganglion cells. Recognizable loss of the RNFL precedes measurable loss of vision and thus measurement of RNFL may provide early diagnosis of glaucoma. Several quantitative methods for optically assessing the RNFL promise enhanced sensitivity and objectivity over previous methods, such as visual field testing. All these techniques measure some aspect of the optical properties of the RNFL. These properties however, and their damage mechanisms under the development of glaucoma are only partly known. The goals of Dr. Huang’s research are to provide a comprehensive quantitative description of the optical properties of the RNFL and their changes in the context of glaucoma, to study the anatomic origins underlying the RNFL optical properties, and to translate basic knowledge into improvements in clinical diagnosis of glaucoma.