Yuhua-Zhang Joins Doheny Eye Institute
Los Angeles (June 7, 2018) – Doheny and UCLA Stein Eye Institutes are excited to announce the arrival of optical engineer and retinal imaging specialist Yuhua Zhang, PhD, to the scientific faculty. Dr. Zhang’s research encompasses the state-of-the-art in tools to study blinding eye disorders, including next-generation 3-D imaging technology for viewing the retina in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at the cellular level. AMD is a leading cause of blindness in old age, affecting more than 10 million Americans.
Dr. Zhang joins Doheny – UCLA as a principal investigator and as an Associate Professor in the UCLA Department of Ophthalmology. He comes from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he established an early version of the instrument planned for Doheny Eye Institute’s new Laboratory for Advanced Retinal Imaging.
Dr. Zhang’s collaborators at Doheny – UCLA include AMD expert Dr. SriniVas Sadda, Doheny’s President and Chief Scientific Officer, and other specialists in AMD, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and even Alzheimer’s disease whose patients ultimately benefit from the new technology.
The technology integrates adaptive optics, scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, and optical coherence tomography (AO-SLO-OCT) to study the vision-producing cells and tiniest blood vessels of the eye. Understanding their interplay will help answer questions about causes of vision loss; improve prognoses for patients; and lead to directed treatments to slow or prevent vision loss.
“I’m especially interested in the therapeutic effect of treatments on the eye’s photoreceptor cells and early detection of retinal disease,” explains Dr. Zhang, whose own mother-in-law lost vision due to severe macular degeneration. He believes that advanced imaging technology capable of assessing the retina and its blood supply system at the cellular level may lead to the development of novel strategies to rescue vision.
Dr. Zhang received his PhD in precision metrology and instruments engineering in 1997 from Tianjin University in China. He came to the US in 2003 to join University of California – Berkeley experts on adaptive optics retinal imaging, before heading to the University of Alabama for a position in the Department of Ophthalmology.
He is the recipient of a prestigious R&D 100 Award for his development of a MEMS-based adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope. The award honors pioneers of revolutionary new ideas in science and technology. Dr. Zhang’s work has been acknowledged in numerous ways, including a 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to pursue his imaging studies of retinal lesions and photoreceptors in AMD.
About Doheny Eye Institute
For over 70 years, Doheny Eye Institute has been at the forefront of vision science. From seeking new ways to free blockages that prevent fluid drainage in glaucoma, to replacing retinal cells in age-related macular degeneration, to providing colleagues worldwide with standardized analyses of anatomical changes in the eyes of patients, Doheny clinicians and scientists are changing how people see — and also how they think about the future of vision.
Doheny Eye Institute and UCLA Stein Eye Institute have joined forces to offer the best in patient care, vision research, and education. This affiliation combines the strength, reputation, and distinction of two of the nation’s top eye institutions to advance vision research, education, and patient care in Southern California.