Yeni Yücel




Please note: Dr. Yücel is not accepting summer students at this time.

Dr. Yeni H. Yücel is an eye pathologist-scientist and the Director of Ophthalmic Pathology at the University of Toronto. He is a Professor at the University of Toronto in both the Departments of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences and Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology. 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, Physics, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Ryerson University.

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, and the entry of cerebrospinal fluid into the optic nerve via the glymphatic system. He received the 2010 New York Academy of Medicine Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Research Prize.

His team has developed non-invasive imaging methods to measure fluid dynamics in and around the eye. Dynamic visualization is made possible using a CFI-funded state-of-the-art molecular imaging facility combining in vivo photoacoustic tomography, dynamic near-infrared image mapping spectrometry, and nano-infrared tracers delivered into the eye and into the brain. This unique platform tests novel glaucoma drugs that aim to lower intraocular pressure in order to prevent blindness from glaucoma, and to map and quantify elusive fluid communication pathways between the brain’s cerebrospinal fluid, the eye, the optic nerve, and the lymphatic system. This work is highly relevant to understanding Spaceflight-Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS). Dr. Yücel’s work on this emerging field is supported by the Canadian Space Agency. Back on Earth, his team is using similar non-invasive imaging approaches to find novel retinal imaging biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, especially ALS.

Recent Publications

  1. Pires, L, Khattak, S, Pratavieira, S, Calcada, C, Romano, R, Yucel, Y et al.. Femtosecond pulsed laser photodynamic therapy activates melanin and eradicates malignant melanoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024;121 (14):e2316303121. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2316303121. PubMed PMID:38551838 PubMed Central PMC10998568.
  2. Li, J, Karakas, D, Xue, F, Chen, Y, Zhu, G, Yucel, YH et al.. Desialylated Platelet Clearance in the Liver is a Novel Mechanism of Systemic Immunosuppression. Research (Wash D C). 2023;6 :0236. doi: 10.34133/research.0236. PubMed PMID:37808178 PubMed Central PMC10551749.
  3. Stern, C, Yücel, YH, Zu Eulenburg, P, Pavy-Le Traon, A, Petersen, LG. Eye-brain axis in microgravity and its implications for Spaceflight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome. NPJ Microgravity. 2023;9 (1):56. doi: 10.1038/s41526-023-00300-4. PubMed PMID:37474624 PubMed Central PMC10359255.
  4. Fraenkl, SA, Simon, Q, Yucel, Y, Gupta, N, Wittwer, VV, Frueh, BE et al.. Impact of cerebral hypoperfusion-reperfusion on optic nerve integrity and visual function in the DBA/2J mouse model of glaucoma. BMJ Open Ophthalmol. 2022;7 (1):. doi: 10.1136/bmjophth-2022-001078. PubMed PMID:36161839 PubMed Central PMC9476133.
  5. Faragalla, H, Davoudi, B, Nofech-Moses, N, Yucel, Y, Jakate, K. The Use of Optical Coherence Tomography for Gross Examination and Sampling of Fixed Breast Specimens: A Pilot Study. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022;12 (9):. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12092191. PubMed PMID:36140591 PubMed Central PMC9498270.
  6. Alsarhani, W, Lam, PW, Kus, JV, Rowsell, C, Tsui, GK, Tadros, M et al.. Post-traumatic Fungal Keratitis and Endophthalmitis Caused by Coniochaeta Hoffmannii with Late Recurrence following Therapeutic Full-thickness Penetrating Keratoplasty. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2023;31 (4):826-829. doi: 10.1080/09273948.2022.2048028. PubMed PMID:35404731 .
  7. Hanna, J, Yücel, YH, Zhou, X, Kim, N, Irving, H, Gupta, N et al.. Beta-adrenergic glaucoma drugs reduce lymphatic clearance from the eye: A sequential photoacoustic imaging study. Exp Eye Res. 2021;212 :108775. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2021.108775. PubMed PMID:34599970 .
  8. Cardinell, K, Gupta, N, Koivisto, BD, Kumaradas, JC, Zhou, X, Irving, H et al.. A novel photoacoustic-fluorescent contrast agent for quantitative imaging of lymphatic drainage. Photoacoustics. 2021;21 :100239. doi: 10.1016/j.pacs.2021.100239. PubMed PMID:33520651 PubMed Central PMC7820935.
  9. Sharma, K, Amin Mohammed Amin, M, Gupta, N, Zinman, L, Zhou, X, Irving, H et al.. Retinal Spheroids and Axon Pathology Identified in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2020;61 (13):30. doi: 10.1167/iovs.61.13.30. PubMed PMID:33226405 PubMed Central PMC7691787.
  10. Yücel, YH, Cheng, F, Cardinell, K, Zhou, X, Irving, H, Gupta, N et al.. Age-related decline of lymphatic drainage from the eye: A noninvasive in vivo photoacoustic tomography study. Exp Eye Res. 2020;194 :108029. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2020.108029. PubMed PMID:32251650 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Director, Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory, Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto
  • Professor, Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto
  • Professor, Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology, University of Toronto
  • Founding Director, Human Eye Biobank for Research
  • Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Ryerson University