Young Scientists Honored

Featured photo caption, above: Swanand Koli, PhD, received recognition from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation for his study of genetic factors in the development of nearsightedness. Marty Cusing (left) and Gregg Hall presented the award.


Seventeen doctoral and postdoctoral fellows labor at the heart of UCSF Ophthalmology’s research enterprise.

Unseen by patients, these young laboratory scientists investigate the nature of sight and vision disorders, seeking breakthroughs toward ending blindness. Guided by faculty mentors, they develop original research, advance faculty investigations, and prepare to lead teams of their own.

Knights Templar Award

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation recently gave a prestigious national award and funding support to postdoctoral fellow Swanand Koli, PhD. His proposed research, under the guidance of faculty geneticist Saidas Nair, PhD, addresses the rampant rise in myopia (nearsightedness), a risk factor for

For Huinan (Marcus) Li, PhD, the Best Poster distinction led to opportunities to present his research at key ophthalmology conferences. (Mentor: Erik Ullian, PhD)

several blinding diseases. Dr. Koli’s investigation into molecular mechanisms contributing to refractive development will help lay the groundwork for potential interventions to slow or halt myopia.

Research Day 2018

Fellows’ accomplishments were celebrated and shared on ResearchDay 2018. Awards for outstanding research papers and posters by residents or fellows in the ophthalmology department were determined by faculty panels. Vision scientists shared investigations to spark new learning, ideas, and connections. An outstanding keynote address, “Experiences in Translational Research for Inherited Blindness,” was provided by eminent translational vision scientist Jean Bennett, MD, PhD.


Janette Tang, MD, took the honor for Best Clinical Research Poster for “High-resolution measures of disease progression over 36 months in patients with retinal degenerations.” (Mentor: Jacque Duncan, MD
David Copenhagen, PhD (left), congratulated Ivan Anastassov, PhD, winner of the David and Joyce Copenhagen Award for the year’s best paper. Dr. Anastassov presented “Protein distribution and connectivity at the rod-rod bipolar cell synapse in the developing retina.” (Mentor: Felice Dunn PhD)