Faculty Research Interests

Faculty members at MBKU are engaged in research that delivers potential benefits to the health of our patients, to the education and training of our medical professionals, and to the study of vision science globally. This alphabetical list of research faculty provides information about areas of special interest.

Optometry Faculty Interests

Troy Allred, OD

  • Sports vision
  • Refractive error in infants and children
  • Amblyopia
  • Vision therapy

Carmen Barnhardt, OD, MS

  • Pediatric optometry
  • Refractive error
  • Strabismus
  • Amblyopia
  • Vision therapy

Eric Borsting, OD, MS

  • Investigating the etiology of accommodative disorders in children
  • Developing measures of visual discomfort for use by children and adults
  • Investigating the impact of visual processing disorders on children'’s academic ability
  • Evaluating accommodation and vergence in individuals with traumatic brain injury

Current Studies: Dr. Borsting is on the executive committee for the CITT-ART study.  This is a multi-center clinical trial investigating the impact of treating convergence insufficiency on reading and attention.  Dr. Borsting is working with Dr. Angela Chen on investigating factors associated with accommodative insufficiency in children. This project involves using objective measures on accommodation, along with surveys to measure possible environmental factors in accommodation dysfunction.  We are also investigating the impact of age on vergence functions.  This is a master’'s student project with Nutthakit Arthihirannorapat. 

Annie Chang, OD

  • Contact lenses and dry eye

Current Studies: Dr. Chang is involved in a study of reading ability and symptoms in dry eye with Dr. Borsting.

Angela Chen, OD, MS

  • Strabismus and amblyopia treatment
  • Accommodation and refractive error in infants and young children
  • Treatment of binocular vision disorders
  • Myopia control

Current Studies: Dr. Chen is conducting a research study with Dr. Huang and collaborators at Indiana University to assess accommodation in children with amblyopia. She is also involved in the amblyopia treatment studies, intermittent exotropia studies and the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial-Attention and Reading Trial.

Elaine Chen, OD

  • Contact lens management of irregular corneal surfaces including keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, post-penetrating keratoplasty, post-RK and post-LASIK.
  • Scleral lenses: Tear exchange beneath scleral lenses, effect on corneal physiology

Current Studies: Dr. Chen is conducting a research study to determine the long-term effect of scleral lenses on the corneal endothelium.  She is involved in a soft lens complication study, as well as an industry sponsored soft lens study.

Raymond Chu, OD, MS

  • Strabismus and amblyopia treatment
  • Myopia development and control
  • Treatment of binocular vision anomalies

Current Studies: Dr. Chu is involved in the Amblyopia Treatment Studies and the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial–Attention and Reading Trial.

George Comer, OD, MBA

  • Glaucoma diagnosis and management

Current Studies: Dr. Comer's most recent study involved the validation of the Topcon Maestro OCT.

Susan Cotter, OD, MS

Dr. Cotter's primary research interests are related to clinical management strategies for strabismus, amblyopia, convergence insufficiency, visual sequelae from concussion, and childhood refractive error (myopia and hyperopia).

Current Studies:

  • Childhood Atropine for Myopia Progression (CHAMP)
  • Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial: Attention & Reading Trial (CITT-ART
  • Amblyopia Treatment Study (ATS20): Binocular Dig Rush Game Treatment for Amblyopia
  • Intermittent Exotropia Study 5 (IXT5): A Randomized Clinical Trial of Overminus Spectacle Therapy for Intermittent Exotropia
  • Study of Adult Strabismus (SAS1): A Prospective Observational Study of Adult Strabismus

Tim Edrington, OD, MS

  • Contact lens management of irregular corneal surfaces including keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, post-penetrating keratoplasty, post-RK and post-LASIK
  • Silicone-hydrogels
  • Contact lenses for the correction of astigmatism
  • Tear exchange beneath scleral lenses

Catherine Heyman, OD

  • Visual impairment in children and pediatrics
  • Amblyopia and strabismus

Current Studies: Dr. Heyman is involved in a study with Dr. Borsting investigating accommodative accuracy in children younger than 17 with visual impairment. She is also part of the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG) investigating amblyopia, strabismus and intermittent exotropia.

Kristine Huang, OD, MPH

  • Binocular vision disorders
  • Strabismus and amblyopia
  • Accommodation and refractive error in infants and young children
  • Access to vision care

Current Studies: Dr. Huang is conducting a research study with Dr. Chen and collaborators at Indiana University to assess accommodation in children with amblyopia. She is also involved in the amblyopia treatment studies and the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial-Attention and Reading Trial.

Justin Kwan, OD

  • Dry Eye: aqueous tear deficiency, meibomian gland dysfunction, allergic conjunctivitis, Demodex, in-office treatments
  • Contact lenses: multifocals, orthokeratology, scleral lenses, contact lens discomfort, patient reported outcomes
  • Corneal topography: surface regularity index, contact lens fitting
  • Refractive technology: higher order aberrations, refractive surgery, cataract surgery
  • Anterior segment photography

Current Studies:  Dr. Kwan is conducting a research study with other universities to understand the relationship of Meibomian glands to contact lens discomfort.  Another multicenter study he is part of seeks to understand the performance of scleral lenses in patients and practitioners.  Lastly, he is investigating the relationship of various degrees of myopia to the sensitivity of the central visual field.

Dawn Lam, MSc, OD

  • Contact lens assessment in youth (CLAY) study group
  • Contact lens care and compliance
  • Contact lens related complications

James LaMotte, OD, PhD

  • Blink recording via high-speed video
  • Wearable device to monitor IOP

John Lee, OD

  • Sports vision
  • Video games and vision
  • Driving and vision

Rachelle Lin, OD

  • Acquired brain injury
  • Ocular nutrition
  • Low vision rehabilitation

Edeline Lu, OD

  • Ocular disease topics

Eunice Myung Lee, OD

  • Pediatric contact lenses
  • Contact lens solutions
  • Contact lenses
  • Myopia control in children

Jason Ng, OD, PhD

  • Color vision
  • Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity
  • Visual electrophysiology (i.e. VEP, ERG)
  • Lighting for best vision
  • Teaching methodology

Current Studies: Dr. Ng is currently working on several color vision projects involving prevalence, color naming, and color vision testing and management.  He is also conducting projects assessing visual acuity test methodology and teaching methodology of teaching signal detection theory.

Monique Nguyen, OD

  • Amblyopia
  • Strabismus
  • Binocular vision anomalies
  • Pediatric optometry
  • Vision-related learning disorders
  • Vision therapy

John Nishimoto, OD, MBA

  • Ocular disease
  • Dry eye
  • Glaucoma

Reena Patel, OD

  • Pediatric optometry
  • Amblyopia (in children and adults)
  • Strabismus
  • Binocular vision disorders
  • Vision therapy
  • Myopia control

Current Studies:

  • Amblyopia Treatment Study (ATS20): Binocular Dig Rush Game Treatment for Amblyopia
  • Intermittent Exotropia Study 5 (IXT5): A Randomized Clinical Trial of Overminus Spectacle Therapy for Intermittent Exotropia
  • Study of Adult Strabismus (SAS1): A Prospective Observational Study of Adult Strabismus
  • Treatment Response in Accommodative Insufficiency Study (TRAIn)

Jerry Paugh, OD, PhD

  • Dry eye research (e.g., evaluating clinical tests such as interferometry, testing of experimental products, measuring the residence time of topical formulations)
  • Test efficacy of clinical tests for dry eye (e.g., TBUT, MGD diagnostic tests)
  • Measuring residence time of topical formulations
  • Corneal research (e.g., measurement of epithelial barrier function)
  • Fluorescent techniques (e.g., for measuring tear exchange, barrier function and residence time) since they are safe and effective in illuminating anterior segment behavior

William Ridder III, OD, PhD

  • Electrophysiological testing of the visual system
  • Investigating the visual pathway in normal and abnormal visual conditions
  • Visual effects of artificial tears
  • Causes of visual discomfort in students
  • D-serine in adult amblyopia
  • Contrast sensitivity in ARMD

Mark Sawamura, OD

  • Information technology in patient care and teaching
  • Diagnostic imaging of the anterior and posterior segment
  • Neuro-ocular disease
  • Ophthalmic pharmaceutical agents

Dr. Sawamura can also provide insights on specific eye and systemic disease conditions that may be used for case based presentations.

Julie Schornack, OD, MEd

  • A variety of contact lens areas, including presbyopic correction using contact lenses
  • Education in optometry

David Sendrowski, OD

  • Ocular disease of the anterior and posterior segment (specifically, neurological testing, glaucoma, macular degeneration and optic nerve head)
  • Clinical studies with topical medications for the eye and anterior adnexae

Lawrence Stark, PhD

  • Eye focusing (accommodation), with an emphasis on the multiple types of information that drive the focusing response
  • The eye's optics, including optical aberrations and retinal photoreceptor optics
  • Visual acuity testing
  • Higher education, particularly the aims and objectives of education

Donna Weiss, OD

  • Contact lens research including but not limited to the management of irregular corneas with custom rigid, hybrid and soft designs for Keratocones, Pellucid, PKP, Post-RK, Post-LASIK, Post Lasik Keratectasia)
  • Corneal reshaping
  • Multifocals (rigid, hybrid and soft designs)
  • New soft lens designs/materials (i.e. astigmatism)
  • Research and development of various ocular implants (i.e. IOL, ICL, Scleral Implants, etc.)

Current Studies: Dr. Weiss is conducting beta testing of a new hybrid design for keratoconus— - an advanced design of the SynergEyes KC lens. She is also a sub-investigator in a FDA monitored IDE clinical trial for scleral spacing implants targeting presbyopia.

Robert Yacoub, OD

  • Ocular disease topics, including diabetic changes in the eye and transient vision loss.

Patrick Yoshinaga, OD, MPH

  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Environmental vision
  • Population based epidemiology
  • Low vision rehabilitation

Tina Zheng, OD

  • Glaucoma management and diagnosis
  • Optic neuropathies
  • Posterior segment disease

Current Studies:  Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) study group, Age-Related Macular Degeneration Study

Pharmacy Faculty Interests

Pharmacy Practice

Azita Alipour, PharmD

  • Psychiatric, geriatric & addiction medicine pharmacotherapy, pain management in psychiatric & addiction medicine patients

Ashleigh-Anne Au, PharmD, RPh

  • Impact of drug information communication in Limited English Proficiency communities

Nhu Quyen Dau, PharmD

  • Heart failure and anticoagulation

Joshua Garcia, PharmD

  • Antimicrobial stewardship, antimicrobial therapy for immunocompromised patients, and pharmacy practice pedagogy

Herman Johannesmeyer, PharmD

  • Effects of antibiotic timing on clinical outcomes
  • ​Implementation methods of preceptor developmental programming

Michal Mingura, PharmD

  • Veterinary pharmacy, medical Spanish, scholarship of teaching and learning, pharmacy school education and curricula

Puja Patel, PharmD

  • Feasibility of extended dosing intervals of Denosumab and pharmacy school education 

Genene Salman, PharmD

  • Management of hypoglycemia, parenteral nutrition, vasopressin, septic shock, pharmacokinetics

Javad Tafreshi, PharmD

  • Inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular pharmacotherapy, scholarship of teaching, and post-graduate education

Eglis Tellez, PharmD

  • Achieving optimal pharmacotherapy outcomes using pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and pharmacogenomic tools
    Kidney and pancreas transplantation pharmacotherapy 

Monica Trivedi, PharmD

  • Advanced pharmacy practice, community pharmacy services, medication therapy management, immunizations; pharmacy administration, communication, leadership; experiential education; professionalism

Eva Wong, PharmD

  • Pharmacist ambulatory care and chronic disease management

Joycelyn Yamzon, PharmD

  • Asthma, COPD, medication therapy management, immunizations, as well as pharmacy and interprofessional education

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Young Cho, PhD

  • In vitro testing of anti-neoplastic cytostatic actions of various natural plant extracts in mammary carcinoma model system, non-genomic actions of natural products, and examination of insulin-mimetic effects of orphan nuclear receptors.

Ajoy Koomer, PhD, EMBA

  • Pharmacy Assessment: Determining criteria for academic and professional success of students through correlation of student performance from multiple appraisal methods with admissions variables; Miscellaneous Interests: Educational aspects of Pharmacogenomics

Charitha Madiraju, PhD

  • Innate immune response pathways, cell survival and cell death mechanisms

Andromeda Nauli, PhD

  • Dietary fat absorption, chylomicron biogenesis, oral lipophilic drug bioavailability, and red meat allergy

Jozef Stec, PhD

  • Discovery and development of antimicrobial agents with the emphasis on antitubercular agents

Rajesh Vadlapatla, PhD

  • Extended-release drug delivery systems, analytical method development and stability studies; scholarship of teaching

Zhijun Wang, PhD

  • Improving cancer chemotherapy by using herbal medicines; pre-clinical and clinical pharmacokinetic studies; sublingual formulation development

Social and Administrative Sciences

Henry Hua, PhD

  • Pharmacist communications, the psychology of the pharmacist-to-patient relationship and educational outcomes

Elvin A. Hernandez, DrPH

  • Mixed-methods research techniques, outcomes research relative to public health, pharmacoepidemiology, disease outcomes in patients undergoing treatments for various diseases, predicting patient adherence behaviors, and elucidating patient-provider interactions that influence these behaviors