Brad Fortune, OD, PhD
I have been working in the field of glaucoma research, on pathophysiology and diagnostics, for the past 18 years, and have become increasingly interested in the use of advanced imaging techniques for characterization of glaucomatous changes within the retina and optic nerve head. During this time, I have been actively engaged in clinical studies of participants that have been diagnosed with glaucoma or high-risk ocular hypertension, as well as in laboratory-based studies on experimental glaucoma models in rodents and non-human primates. My research is focused on the pathophysiology of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon damage in glaucoma and detecting early-stage abnormalities by means of non-invasive imaging, psychophysical testing and electrophysiological measures such as electroretinography (ERG) and visually evoked cortical potentials (VEP). Specifically, the aims of recent projects were to determine whether axonal cytoskeletal disruption, transport abnormalities, and electrophysiological dysfunction occur prior to RGC death in experimental glaucoma (rodent and non-human primate models) and whether some of these phenomena are detectable by clinically-applicable means. Indeed, one important motivation for me is to facilitate the translation of laboratory findings to patient care. In this regard, I am always keen to determine how phenomena observed in the laboratory can be detected and monitored in a clinical setting. It is hoped that this project will provide clinicians with more useful tools to help decide which patients require the closest monitoring and earliest therapeutic intervention.