Graduate Center for Vision Research

Vision Science is the study of the structures and processes involved in the reception, neural processing, and perception of an image. It leverages numerous disciplines, including neuroscience, physics, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, molecular biology, genetics, behavioral sciences and applied mathematics and engineering.

The Graduate Center for Vision Research (GCVR) oversees and supports cutting-edge research, ranging from studies on the fundamental properties of the brain visual system to new ways to prevent, treat, or even reverse vision loss. The research initiatives, in the labs of our top-ranked faculty push the boundaries of basic, translational, and clinical vision science research.

At the backbone of our research is our graduate degree programs, an MS and PhD in Vision Science, which are also offered through the GCVR. This seamless integration of research and graduate programs allow us to provide students with a rigorous, intellectual platform of study within an interactive and collegial research community. Students receive individualized, expert mentorship, using cutting-edge tools to explore diverse areas of vision research.

Our flexible curriculum can be tailored to the research interests of individual students. Courses stress analysis and discussion of primary literature and provide training in key skills necessary for a research career in academia or industry. Students attend regular colloquia given by visiting scientists, participate in journal clubs, and are encouraged to take full advantage of our location in New York City, home to many universities and arguably the largest vision research community in the world.

Current Research

Current research at the College includes molecular and cellular biology, genetics, ocular structure and function, visual neuroscience, eye movements, neural plasticity, visual psychophysics, eye development, neuroprotection, accommodation and refractive error, and models of ocular pathology. Our clinical trials research is focused on the development of new eye treatments, vision therapy, lens development, and imaging techniques. These clinical studies are carried out in the modern facilities of the Center for Clinical Vision Research (CVRC), which maintains an experienced team of clinicians and research coordinators.

Eye Growth and Refraction

Researchers focus on visual control of eye growth, changes in vision function in Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma, biometric and physiological factors in human ocular perfusion, myopia and retinal defocus, and mechanisms of accommodation and refractive error.

Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology, and Genetics

Researchers study mechanisms underlying cell death related to glaucoma, ocular neuropathy, and retinopathy of prematurity and pursue new avenues of neuroprotection and cell regeneration in the retina and optic nerve.

Ocular Pathology and Visual Dysfunction

Researchers study pathology of the visual system related to mechanisms of corneal diseases, gating and pharmacology of gap junctions related to cataract, glaucoma, ischemic retinopathy and ROP, visual dysfunction in glaucoma and traumatic brain injury, computer vision syndrome, mechanisms of eye growth and refractive error in myopia.

Visual Neuroscience

Researchers study areas related to the retinal development, synaptic transmission in the retina and visual system, cortical mechanisms, pupillary reflex, intrinsic photoreceptive retinal ganglion cells, control of eye movements, glial function, color vision, and neural mechanisms of visual attention.

Clinical Trials

The Clinical Vision Research Center (CVRC) is housed in the Graduate Center for Vision Research. Researchers in the CVRC, in partnership with government and industry sponsors, conduct a broad range of investigator- and industry-initiated clinical trials aimed at advancing vision care and eye health. Researchers use advance technologies to evaluate novel treatments and devices and study various eye conditions including myopia, amblyopia, and binocular vision problems.