Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2005
Home Department: Chemical Engineering, Ophthalmology
Faculty Advisors: Curtis Frank (Chemical Engineering) and Christopher Ta (Ophthalmology)

Research Title: Characterization of photopatterned, biomimetic hydrogels designed to replace corneal stroma

Research Description: Corneal blindness affects millions world-wide and requires a corneal transplant. An engineered artificial cornea has the potential to replace the need for human donor tissue while providing better surgical outcomes. David’s project was the design, fabrication, and characterization of an artificial cornea based on a novel class of hydrogel polymer alloys. These "biomimetic" materials have demonstrated great potential for emulating the transparency, biomechanics, and regenerative capacity of a human cornea. His aims were to characterize the unique properties of these polymers, engineer them to promote integration with host corneal tissue, and finally to study the cellular response to them in vitro.


David is currently an associate professor of ophthalmology at the Byers Eye Institute (BEIS) and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and, by courtesy, of chemical engineering at Stanford. He is also a Director of the Ophthalmic Innovation Program and the Director of the Stanford Automated Teleophthalmology and Universal Screening (STATUS) Program, which oversees a Bay Area-wide remote diabetic retinopathy testing program.