From its opening in 1992, the Eye Institute has grown in terms of the breadth of expertise in vision related research. Due to the efforts of six basic scientists, well-established research programs in cellular and molecular biology, biomedical instrumentation, electrophysiology, optics, psychophysics, and visual performance have been developed.

In addition, there is a strong clinical science expertise in many areas including epidemiology, ocular pathology, ocular genetics, neuro-ophthalmology, cornea, uveitis, and glaucoma.

Basic Sciences Group

The Eye Institute offers a unique multidisciplinary research experience. We welcome applications from medical students, North American and International medical school graduates, Postdoctoral Fellows, and graduate students. A brief description of ongoing clinical and basic discovery research is indicated below. Interested candidates should forward a copy of their CV, statement of research interest and an indication of their time commitment directly to the researcher whose program interests them.

Basic Scientists

Picture of Dr. Catherine Tsilfidis

Dr. Catherine Tsilfidis

Research interests in the lab are focused on gene therapy approaches for the treatment of retinal degenerations, and on studying the regenerative capabilities of the newt Notophthalmus viridescens. Research projects require a full-time commitment of at least one year, although applications from summer students, and 4thyear honors students are also welcome. For more information, please read Dr. Tsilfidis' research profile.


Picture of Dr. Ralf Buhrmann

Dr. Ralf Buhrmann

Dr. Buhrmann directs the Ophthalmic Surgical Simulation Center and has a research interest in microsurgical skills development with particular interest in simulation models, curriculum development and evaluation. He also has research interests in population disease management – research program in forecasting the epidemic of age-related eye disease in Canada; population disease management approaches and guidelines for the prevention of blinding eye disease. In addition, Dr. Buhrmann conducts research in international ophthalmology - guideline development of vision care for immigrants and refugees to Canada. For more information, email Dr. Buhrmann at [email protected].

Picture of Dr. Michael O'Connor

Dr. Michael O'Connor

Research interests are in medical education, particularly post-graduate surgical skills development using virtual reality technology. In addition, Dr. O'Connor is interested in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, particularly retinopathy of prematurity, pediatric glaucoma and cataract, and amblyopia. Time commitment will vary depending on the project, but applicants should be prepared to make a substantive commitment. Interested candidates may email Dr. O'Connor at [email protected].

Research Day

Our Department’s Research Day consists of presentations by the PGY 2, PGY-3 and PGY-4 Residents, the Ophthalmic Medical Technology (OMT) students in their final year, and the basic science students as well as the JD Allen Lecturer, an invited guest.

Each presenting resident can apply for internal funding for their Research Day project for up to $5,800 and each OMT student may apply for up to $2,000 annually from our Research Day and Department of Ophthalmology Research Fund (DORF) Committees following a set of guidelines, which were established by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and by our Department of Ophthalmology Research Day/DORF and Executive Committees. Our Department’s Executive Committee provides final approval of the funded projects.

The Research Day is held in May, with an invited guest speaker who generally presents Grand Rounds to the Department and the J.D. Allen named lecture during the early afternoon. About 80-100 registered attendees, predominantly members from the Department of Ophthalmology as well as other invited guests, usually attend the Rounds and the remainder of the Research Day. The remainder of the Research Day consists of presentations of the research projects by all the above-mentioned 3 groups of presenters. During our lunch break, all the registered attendees have an opportunity to attend the poster presentation session. The Research Day is followed by a reception where prizes are awarded to the most highly ranked presentations.