Colleen McDowell

Position title: Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences


Phone: (608) 265-3996


Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences


Ph.D. in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
Postdoctoral in Visual Sciences, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX, USA

Research Description:

I have been involved in visual sciences research for over 15 years. The major focus of my research has been directed at discovering the molecular pathogenesis of glaucoma in the trabecular meshwork (TM), retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), and optic nerve head (ONH) in order to design diseasemodifying therapies. I have a broad background in glaucoma biology. Throughout my career, I have characterized several mouse models of ocular hypertension and glaucoma including a mouse model of exfoliation syndrome, inducible mouse models of ocular hypertension using viral vectors, and most recently a novel transgenic mouse model of glaucoma. In addition, I have extensive experience isolating, characterizing, and utilizing primary human TM cells in culture to study the molecular pathology of the glaucomatous TM. My laboratory focuses on the development and regulation of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), as well as the effect of elevated IOP on RGC survival and ONH damage.

Research Key Words:

Molecular Pathology, Ocular Hypertension, Glaucoma, Retina

Diversity Statement:

I serve on two Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive committees supporting other graduate programs on campus, highlighting my dedication to providing and promoting an inclusive and supportive scientific environment. I have trained two under-represented minorities and have received NIH funding as a Diversity Supplement to support their training and careers.

Link to Lab Website

Link to Publications