Jesse Schallek

The neural cells that line the back of our eyes are sensitive to light and initiate our ability to see. These cells are among the most metabolically active tissues in the human body and are nourished by a dense network of capillaries that circulate blood to deliver nutrients and remove waste products from these hard-working cells. However, dysfunction of this neural-vascular system associates with a variety of retinal diseases and collectively gives rise to the leading cause of blindness in the developed world.

Our lab investigates blood flow in the living eye by using a specialized camera called an Adaptive Optics Scanning Light Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) to correct for small imperfections of the optics of the eye. Once corrected, we can image the microscopic integrity of the smallest vessels that are ten-times thinner than a human hair. Additionally, capturing videos of this tissue enables study of the movement of single blood cells flowing within this network. We are developing and applying this cutting-edge technology to study blood flow in the retina in conditions of health and disease.

Assistant Professor
Department of Ophthalmology
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
Center for Visual Science
University of Rochester
Box 319
601 Elmwood Ave.
Rochester, NY 14642
Office: Medical Center G-4113
Telephone: (585) 273-4848
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Flaum Eye Institute Web Page

Selected Publications

  • Guevara-Torres A, Joseph A, & Schallek JB (2016). Label free measurement of retinal blood cell flux, velocity, hematocrit and capillary width in the living mouse eye. Biomed. Opt. Express, BOE 7, 4228–4249.
  • Guevara-Torres A, Williams DR, and Schallek JB (2015). Imaging translucent cell bodies in the living mouse retina without contrast agents. Biomed. Opt. Express 6, 2106-2119.
  • Schallek J., Geng, Y., Nguyen, H., and Williams, D.R. (2013). Morphology and topography of retinal pericytes in the living mouse retina using in vivo adaptive optics imaging and ex vivo characterization. Invest Ophthal Vis Sci. In process PMID- 24150762
  • Schallek J, McLellan G, Viswanathan S, Ts'o D (2012) Retinal Intrinsic Optical Signals in a Cat Model of Primary Congenital Glaucoma. Invest Ophthal Vis Sci 53, 1971 –1981 PMID- 22395886
  • Schallek, J. and Ts'o, D. (2011) Blood Contrast Agents Enhance Intrinsic Signals in the Retina: Evidence for an Underlying Blood Volume Component. Invest Ophthal Vis Sci 52, 1325 -1335. PMID- 21051719
  • Schallek J, Li H, Kardon R, Kwon Y, Abramoff M, Soliz P, Ts'o D (2009a) Stimulus- Evoked Intrinsic Optical Signals in the Retina: Spatial and Temporal Characteristics. Invest Ophthal Vis Sci 50:4865-4872. PMID-19420337
  • Schallek J, Kardon R, Kwon Y, Abramoff M, Soliz P, Ts'o D (2009b) Stimulus-Evoked Intrinsic Optical Signals in the Retina: Pharmacologic Dissection Reveals Outer Retinal Origins. Invest Ophthal Vis Sci 50:4873-4880. PMID-19420331

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Awards & Honors

  • 2016-2020 Research to Prevent Blindness Career Development Award
  • 2013-2015 Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Award F32EY023496-01
  • 2013 Edmund Optics Higher Education Grant Program finalist
  • 2012 Schmitt Program on Integrative Brain Research Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2012 ARVO Member in Training (MIT) Outstanding Poster Award
  • 2012 Retina Research Foundation/J.M. and E.C. Lawrence Travel Award
  • 2012-2013 Center for Visual Science Training Fellowship T32EY007125-22
Center for Visual Science University of Rochester