Legacy Research Institute

Transforming medical care through science, technology, and innovation.

Hongli Yang, PhD

Hongli Yang, Ph.D.

Research Scientist
Optic Nerve Head Research Laboratory, Devers Eye Institute
Discoveries in Sight Research Laboratories

Phone: 503-413-5353  |  Email: hyang@deverseye.org

Peer Reviewed Publications
Optic Nerve Head Research Laboratory
Discoveries in Sight Laboratories  |  Devers Eye Institute

Short Bio:

Dr. Hongli Yang graduated from Tulane University after majoring in Biomedical Engineering and is a Research Scientist at Legacy Research Institute in Dr. Burgoyne’s Optic Nerve Head Research Laboratory (ONHRL), part of the Legacy Devers Eye Institute, Discoveries in Sight.

The ONHRL is NIH funded to study the effects of aging and glaucoma on the neural and connective tissues of the optic nerve head within 3D histomorphometric reconstructions, imaging and phenotyping monkey and human optic nerve head, macula and peripapillary sclera using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).

Her research expertise involves three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction, quantification, visualization and statistical data analysis of rat, monkey and human optic nerve head anatomy using post-mortem 3D histomorphometric reconstructions, axon counting and in-vivo and ex-vivo OCT images.  She has worked closely with IT director Mr. Juan Reynaud to use these techniques to study the monkey optic nerve head (ONH) tissues in early through end stage experimental glaucoma. These studies have allowed her to translate her quantification and data analysis strategies from monkey to rat and human eyes.

She has first-authored or co-first-authored more than 20 of ONHRL core publications on 3D Histomorphometric reconstruction and quantification, 3D OCT quantification and parameterization in monkey and human subjects, and several additional first-authored publications are in preparation or review. Currently she is a co-investigator on Dr. Burgoyne’s and Dr. Stuart Gardiner’s NIH R01 Grants

Publication Highlights:

The Connective Tissue Phenotype of Glaucomatous Cupping in the Monkey Eye - Clinical and Research Implications.
Yang H, Reynaud J, Lockwood H, Williams G, Hardin C, Reyes L, Stowell C, Gardiner SK, Burgoyne CF.
Prog Retin Eye Res. 2017; 59:1-52.

3D Histomorphometric Reconstruction and Quantification of the Optic Nerve Head Connective Tissues.
Yang H, Reynaud J, Lockwood H, Williams G, Hardin C, Reyes L, Gardiner SK, Burgoyne CF.  
Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1695:207-267.

Optical Coherence Tomography Structural Abnormality Detection in Glaucoma Using Topographically Correspondent Rim and Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Criteria.
Yang H, Luo H, Hardin C, Wang YX, Jeoung JW, Albert C, Vianna JR, Sharpe GP, Reynaud J, Demirel S, Mansberger SL, Fortune B, Nicolela M, Gardiner SK, Chauhan BC, Burgoyne CF.
Am J Ophthalmol. 2020;213:203‐216.

Research Interests:

  • Optic nerve head biomechanics, blood flow, and aging
  • Optic nerve head and macular imaging
  • Optic nerve head structural phenotype in healthy, glaucomatous and myopia eyes
  • Machine Learning in glaucoma

Research Focus:

For the past 17 years, Dr. Yang has been working in the Devers Eye Institute Optic Nerve Head Research Laboratory (ONHRL) which has been NIH funded to study the effects of aging, experimental glaucoma, and myopia on the neural and connective tissues of the monkey optic nerve head within 3D histomorphometric reconstructions. This work has now extended to use OCT to phenotype the monkey and human optic nerve head, macular tissues and peripapillary sclera. This work has contributed to a paradigm change in how human patients who have glaucoma or are at risk for developing the disease are imaged using OCT.

Dr. Yang recently expanded her research areas to study blood flow in glaucoma using Laser Speckle Flowgraphy and OCT Angiography techniques. She is also leveraging machine learning and statistical learning methods to discriminate glaucoma, glaucoma-suspect, and myopia from normal healthy eyes.