Ezell Fellows Present: Progress in Glaucoma Research

Glaucoma is a group of optic neuropathies in which loss of retinal ganglion cells and their axons can have a significant impact on the patient’s visual function, and ultimately lead to blindness.  These investigators are working on various aspects of glaucoma, from the etiology of elevated IOP, a risk factor for the most common form of the disease, to characterization of the nature and relative timecourse of structural and functional losses, and the pathophysiologic mechanisms leading to those losses. Their exciting research findings have implications for early detection and strategies for treatment of the disease to prevent loss vision loss.

Thom Freddo

The Elusive Nature of Aqueous Outflow

Now, in 2018, Dr. Thomas Freddo is an Adjunct Professor at MCP Health Sciences University and was recently named a Senior Fulbright Fellow by the U.S. Dept of State. He is a past-Director of the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Waterloo. He completed his B.A. at The University of Connecticut, his Doctor of Optometry degree at The New England College of Optometry and Ph.D in Anatomy/Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine, where he also completed a Fellowship in Surgical Ophthalmic Pathology. For 25 years, Dr. Freddo served as Professor of Ophthalmology, Pathology and Anatomy at Boston University School of Medicine where he also served as Vice-Chairman for Research in the Department of Ophthalmology. At Boston Medical Center, Dr. Freddo also maintained a hospital-based practice, and directed an active, NEI-funded, research program in anterior uveitis and glaucoma. He also Directed the Surgical Eye Pathology Service for the Boston Medical Center hospitals. During that period, Dr. Freddo also taught Anatomy at The New England College of Optometry. He is a Gold Fellow of ARVO, and has served on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Research to Prevent Blindness.  Thom has served on the editorial boards of the journals Optometry and Vision Science and Experimental Eye Research. He was the first optometrist to serve on the U.S. National Institutes of Health Anterior segment disease grant review committee. Dr. Freddo was the 1992 recipient of the American Optometric Foundation's Glenn A. Fry Award for excellence in eye/vision research and has received a total of 11 teaching awards from two institutions. He is a founding member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society and served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Optometry from 2000-2006.

  In 2004, Dr. Freddo received an honorary Doctorate from The State University of New York and in 2010 received an honorary doctorate from the University of Montreal. In 2010, Dr. Freddo was honored by the American Academy of Optometry with the Carel Koch award for his work at the interface between optometry and medicine, including his service as the first optometrist President of The International Society for Eye Research. He currently serves on the Board of Regents of Beta Sigma Kappa, the International Optometric Honor Fraternity.  In 2017, Dr. Freddo published a new textbook entitled “Anatomy of the Eye and Orbit: The Clinical Essentials”.

Brad Fortune

Axonopathy in Glaucoma: Implications for Diagnosis and Clinical Management


  • B.S., Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • O.D., State University of New York College of Optometry, New York, NY
  • Ph.D., Vision Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Postgraduate education

  • Residency, Hospital Based Optometry, Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, Electrophysiology & Glaucoma, Discoveries in Sight, Devers Eye Institute, Legacy Health, Portland, OR


  • 2012 - President’s Award, Optometric Glaucoma Society
  • 2004 - Irvin and Beatrice Borish Award, American Academy of Optometry

Professional affiliations

  • American Academy of Optometry, Fellow 
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 
  • International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision
  • International Perimetric Society
  • North American Perimetric Society
  • Optometric Glaucoma Society 
  • Association of International Glaucoma Societies

Clinical interests and expertise

  • Characterization of vision function and diagnosis of vision disorders using electroretinography, visual evoked cortical potentials, color vision assessment, spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity, dark and light adaptometry, and perimetry.

Previous clinical trials

  • ERG Reading Center, Protocol No: EOP1014, OSI/Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Research interests and expertise

  • Measurement of vision function in human glaucoma and experimental models of glaucoma, particularly by electrophysiological means
  • Electrophysiological assessment of vision function in human and experimental retinal disease models
  • Imaging retinal nerve fiber layer and optic disc structure, correlations with vision function
  • Glaucoma pathogenesis

Nimesh Patel

Measuring Structure in Glaucoma

Dr. Patel is an outstanding young clinician-scientist who, as a young investigator, has demonstrated exceptional promise to conduct independent research in the area of structure-function relationships in glaucoma. 

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