Dr. Yeni H. Yücel is an eye pathologist-scientist and the Director of the Ophthalmic Pathology at the University of Toronto. He is a Professor at the University of Toronto in both Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences and Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology. He is internationally recognized for his pioneering scientific work relating eye disease to brain pathology, and has been awarded numerous national (Glaucoma Research Society of Canada) and global awards (World Glaucoma Association) for research in glaucoma and neuroprotection. His team recently discovered lymphatic circulation in the eye and its role in aqueous humor drainage. He received the 2010 New York Academy of Medicine Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Research Prize. His team is developing methods to measure fluid drainage out of the eye via conventional, unconventional, and the recently described “uveolymphatic” pathway. Using the first in vivo photoacoustic tomography system in Canada, and dynamic near infrared retinal fundoscopy, nano-infrared tracers delivered into the eye can be dynamically visualized. This unique platform is used to test novel glaucoma drugs that aim to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in order to prevent blindness from glaucoma. In addition, this Canada Innovation Foundation-awarded platform is allowing Dr. Yücel to map the communication pathways between the brain’s cerebrospinal fluid and the eye. This work is highly relevant to understanding impaired vision in astronauts with intracranial pressure syndrome, recently described during and after manned space missions. Recently, Dr. Yücel was invited to give an update about his team’s research on drainage from the eye and the brain at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center, Houston.
He is also the founding director of the Human Eye Biobank for Research. He is a member of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering Science and Technology (iBEST) and an Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Ryerson University.