Steve Burns School of Optometry, Indiana University

 The Burns Lab studies retinal structure and function and the impact of retinal disease, particularly diabetic retinopathy.  To do this we develop and apply state of the art optical technology based on Adaptive Optics  

Brett, Nick, Kaitlyn, Brittany, Steve, Tom, Robert and Ray

Vision Science at IU

Our lab is in  the School of Optometry's Vision Science Program in Bloomington, 

 The Bloomington campus is about 50 miles from Indianapolis, in the rolling hills of southwest Indiana.

Stephen A. Burns, Professor, School of Optometry, Indiana U


Lab Mission

Vascular Structure and Function


 The Burns Lab is involved in understanding the  fundamentals of retinal structure, including individual variations in normal  retinal structure.  We are also very interested in how retinal function and  structure are influenced by disease.  To do this we develop state of the  art optical technology based on Adaptive Optics, and we then apply these techniques to the study of the impact of disease on reitnal structure and function.



Vascular Structure and Function


Currently we use Adaptive Optics Retinal Imaging to study the cone photoreceptors and how aging and disease impact the photoreceptors.  We have shown that there are changes occurring early in disease and in addition about 1/4 of patients with diabetes have localized regions of cones that are poorly reflective.   In our current grant we are studying the relation of these areas to vascular changes to both the retinal and choroidal circulation


Vascular Structure and Function

Vascular Structure and Function

Vascular Structure and Function

We are currently supported by the National Eye Institute to use Adaptive Optics to better understand the early changes in diabetic retinopathy.  We have developed precise techniques for measuring changes to vascular structure , as well as to measure blood velocity over the entire range of retinal vessels in the living human retina.

Opportunities , IU Bloomington

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor, Vision Science

The Vision Science Program of the Indiana University School of Optometry seeks candidates for a tenured or tenure-track faculty position. Applications are invited from scientists using innovative approaches to study human vision or visual performance. The successful candidate will complement existing strengths of the School’s visual optics, retinal imaging, ocular motor function, neuroscience, low vision, clinical translational and/or ocular biology groups, as well as campus strengths in psychological and brain sciences, public health, cognitive science, neuroscience and computer science. A Ph.D. or equivalent degree is required. Responsibilities will include developing or maintaining an independent research program; attracting extramural funding; and teaching in the professional (Optometry) and graduate programs, including the supervision of Ph.D. students. Depending on the candidate’s interests and needs, there is the possibility of a joint appointment with another campus department (

Indiana University is a major research University founded in 1820. It currently enrolls over 38,000 undergraduates and 10,000 graduate and professional students on the Bloomington campus with over 114,000 students in the University system. The School of Optometry has very active research and graduate programs with numerous collaborations with other disciplines within the university. The School has several major teaching clinics as well as outreach affiliations. Bloomington is a relaxed community located in a beautifully wooded and hilly area of the state where cultural and recreational opportunities abound, housing costs are low, schools are excellent, and commuting time is short. More information about the School is available at, and about the University at

Applicants are invited to apply for this tenured or tenure-track faculty position with a proposed start date of fall 2020. For consideration, please submit a letter of application, curriculum vita, statement of research and teaching interests, and names and contact information of at least three references. Interested candidates should review the application requirements and submit their application at: Questions regarding the position or application process may be directed to: Dr. Hassan at or submitted via postal mail to Indiana University School of Optometry, Attn: OAA#21910-14, c/o Dr. Shirin Hassan, 800 E. Atwater Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405.

All applications received by January 15, 2020, will be assured consideration. The search will remain open until the position is filled. Salary and rank will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Indiana University is an equal employment and affirmative action employer and a provider of ADA services. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, disability status or protected veteran status.


Each section of the website has some relevant papers available for download.  Here are a few that cover the range of topics that the Burns Lab and our collaborators have investigated over the years.  These include some that represent firsts or unusual studies for me.  For instance the Chen et al paper has some of the first ever MRI images of the shape of myopic eyes.  This work was done with Ann Fulton's group.  The Warnicki et al paper was work performed using an imaging board in a North Star Horizon computer to generate raster sterographic measurements of corneal shape.  I also include a paper using color matching to measure photopigment kinetics and Adaptive Optics to study blood flow and how the velocity profile differs from the classic shape.