Benjamin Thomson, PhD

I was born in Vancouver, BC, and attended the University of Toronto before earning my PhD from Northwestern University in 2015, focusing on angiogenesis and the role of vascular growth factors on the development of Schlemm’s canal, a unique vessel in the ocular anterior chamber essential for intraocular pressure homeostasis. I completed postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Susan Quaggin and was part of a team that discovered a loss of function variants in TEK and ANGPT1 in primary congenital glaucoma and described their role in Schlemm’s canal dysregulation. These findings, since replicated by other groups, led to the identification of one of the few genetic causes of glaucoma with a known pathogenic mechanism. My academic focus as a vascular biologist has been on understanding the connections between endothelial dysfunction and vision loss in both chambers of the eye. My current work is focused on the back of the eye and the choriocapillaris, a unique vascular network that maintains the retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptors.