David R. Williams, Ph.D.

David R. Williams, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester
500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd.
Box 270268
Rochester, NY 14611

Appointment: (585) 275-URMC (8762)

Patient Care Bio

Research Interests
I use psychophysical, anatomical, and imaging techniques to study how the structure of the eye and brain affects visual experience. My Ph.D. thesis at the University of California, San Diego was completed under the direction of Donald I.A. MacLeod in 1979. In collaboration with Mary Hayhoe, we mapped the distribution of individual short-wavelength-sensitive photoreceptors in the human retina. These experiments demonstrated that it is possible to stimulate a single photoreceptor with light in the living human eye. They also showed that only 10 photons absorbed by a single photoreceptor are necessary to produce a visual sensation. In 1979 I joined the Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, working with John Krauskopf. We used a three-laser colorimeter to study the opponent mechanisms that underlie human color vision. In 1981, I joined the faculty at the University of Rochester. During my early years at Rochester I developed a new laser interferometer to stimulate the retina with interference fringes that are not blurred by the optics of the eye. Looking into this instrument, observers could detect interference fringes at very high spatial frequencies because of aliasing by the photoreceptor mosaic. These observations revealed clearly for the first time the theoretical limitations predicted by sampling theory on human visual resolution and allowed the first measurements of the spacing of cones in the living human eye. Walt Makous, Donald MacLeod, and I have also used interference fringes to measure the sizes of receptors in the living eye.



Current research projects in my laboratory use wavefront sensing and adaptive optics to explore the optical quality of the eye and the organization of the human retina. We measure the aberrations of the eye with a Hartmann-Shack wavefront sensor, first developed by Junzhong Liang. These measurements are used to control the shape of a deformable mirror. This mirror can be warped into the appropriate shape to correct most of the eye's aberrations, providing the eye with the best image quality ever achieved. When a subject looks through the mirror, psychophysical experiments can be performed to study the optical and neural limits on human vision. When the experimenter looks through the mirror at the subject's retina, he has a much sharper view of the retina than has ever been possible before. With this and other advanced imaging techniques, J. Liang, Don Miller, Mike Morris, and I have been able to resolve features at the spatial scale of single cells for the first time in the living retina. Adaptive optics may ultimately prove valuable in the diagnosis and treatment of retinal disease. Wavefront sensing has interesting applications for improving contact lens design and we are working closely with Ian Cox to fabricate lenses that correct vision better than conventional designs. We are also working closely with Scott MacRae to improve the outcome of laser refractive surgery based on wavefront techniques.

Patents

Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 08/772,977
Filed Date: December 23, 1996
Title: Method and Apparatus for Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 09/071,794
Filed Date: May 4, 1998
Title: Method and Apparatus for Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 09/346,309
Filed Date: July 2, 1999
Title: Method and Apparatus for Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 58062/98
Filed Date: December 23, 1997
Title: Apparatus for Improving Vision and Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 09/628,690
Filed Date: July 28, 2000
Title: Method and Apparatus for Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 2275762
Filed Date: December 23, 1997
Title: Apparatus for Improving Vision and Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 10-529067
Filed Date: December 23, 1997
Title: Apparatus for Improving Vision and Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 10/078,163
Filed Date: February 20, 2002
Title: Method and Apparatus for Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 90/006,588
Filed Date: April 4, 2003
Title: Method and Apparatus for Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 90/006,589
Filed Date: April 4, 2003
Title: Method and Apparatus for Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 90/006,591
Filed Date: April 4, 2003
Title: Method and Apparatus for Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 90/006,590
Filed Date: April 4, 2003
Title: Method and Apparatus for Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.:
Filed Date: January 1, 1899
Title: General
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 11/199,174
Filed Date: August 9, 2005
Title: Method and Apparatus for Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 12/145,265
Filed Date: June 24, 2008
Title: Method and Apparatus Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 12/145,264
Filed Date: June 24, 2008
Title: Method and Apparatus Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 12/145,302
Filed Date: June 24, 2008
Title: Method and Apparatus Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: 12/145,345
Filed Date: June 24, 2008
Title: Method and Apparatus Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: DE97954229.7
Filed Date: December 23, 1997
Title: Apparatus for Improving Vision and Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: GB97954229.7
Filed Date: December 23, 1997
Title: Apparatus for Improving Vision and Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Improving Vision and the Resolution of Retinal Images by Measuring and Correcting the Wave Aberration of the Eye

United States Serial NO.: FR97954229.7
Filed Date: December 23, 1997
Title: Apparatus for Improving Vision and Resolution of Retinal Images
Invented by: David Williams, Junzhong Liang
Rapid, Automatic Measurement of the Eye's Wave Aberration

United States Serial NO.: 09/421,892
Filed Date: October 21, 1999
Title: Rapid, Automatic Measurement of the Eye's Wave Aberration
Invented by: David Williams, Heidi Hofer, Pablo Artal, Juan Aragon, Pedro Prieto, Fernando Vargas, William Vaughn III, Benjamin Singer, Geunyoung Yoon
Rapid, Automatic Measurement of the Eye's Wave Aberration

United States Serial NO.: 09/533,809
Filed Date: March 24, 2000
Title: Rapid, Automatic Measurement of the Eye's Wave Aberration
Invented by: David Williams, Heidi Hofer, Pablo Artal, Juan Aragon, Pedro Prieto, Fernando Vargas, William Vaughn III, Benjamin Singer, Geunyoung Yoon
Rapid, Automatic Measurement of the Eye's Wave Aberration

United States Serial NO.: 2001-531011
Filed Date: October 20, 2000
Title: Rapid, Automatic Measurement of the Eye's Wave Aberration
Invented by: David Williams, Heidi Hofer, Pablo Artal, Juan Aragon, Pedro Prieto, Fernando Vargas, William Vaughn III, Benjamin Singer, Geunyoung Yoon
Rapid, Automatic Measurement of the Eye's Wave Aberration

United States Serial NO.: 10/125,436
Filed Date: April 19, 2002
Title: Rapid, Automatic Measurement of the Eye's Wave Aberration
Invented by: David Williams, Heidi Hofer, Pablo Artal, Juan Aragon, Pedro Prieto, Fernando Vargas, William Vaughn III, Benjamin Singer, Geunyoung Yoon
Rapid, Automatic Measurement of the Eye's Wave Aberration

United States Serial NO.:
Filed Date: January 1, 1899
Title: Legal Ref 687.00258A
Invented by: David Williams, Heidi Hofer, Pablo Artal, Juan Aragon, Pedro Prieto, Fernando Vargas, William Vaughn III, Benjamin Singer, Geunyoung Yoon
Method to Optimize the Optical Quality of the Eye in Polychromatic Light

United States Serial NO.: 09/559,643
Filed Date: April 28, 2000
Title: Apparatus and Method for Improving Vision and Retinal Imaging
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao, Geunyoung Yoon
Method to Optimize the Optical Quality of the Eye in Polychromatic Light

United States Serial NO.: 90110091
Filed Date: April 30, 2001
Title: Apparatus and Method for Improving Vision and Retinal Imaging
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao, Geunyoung Yoon
Method to Optimize the Optical Quality of the Eye in Polychromatic Light

United States Serial NO.: 10-2002-7013851
Filed Date: April 16, 2001
Title: Improving Vision and Retinal Imaging
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao, Geunyoung Yoon
Method to Optimize the Optical Quality of the Eye in Polychromatic Light

United States Serial NO.: 010624/02
Filed Date: April 16, 2001
Title: Improving Vision and Retinal Imaging
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao, Geunyoung Yoon
Method to Optimize the Optical Quality of the Eye in Polychromatic Light

United States Serial NO.: P2001-579674
Filed Date: April 16, 2001
Title: Improving Vision and Retinal Imaging
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao, Geunyoung Yoon
Method to Optimize the Optical Quality of the Eye in Polychromatic Light

United States Serial NO.: 01808692.6
Filed Date: April 16, 2001
Title: Improving Vision and Retinal Imaging
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao, Geunyoung Yoon
Method to Optimize the Optical Quality of the Eye in Polychromatic Light

United States Serial NO.: CA 2407082
Filed Date: April 16, 2001
Title: Improving Vision and Retinal Imaging
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao, Geunyoung Yoon
Method to Optimize the Optical Quality of the Eye in Polychromatic Light

United States Serial NO.: 200205202-5
Filed Date: April 16, 2001
Title: Improving Vision and Retinal Imaging
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao, Geunyoung Yoon
Method to Optimize the Optical Quality of the Eye in Polychromatic Light

United States Serial NO.: 257042/01
Filed Date: April 16, 2001
Title: Improving Vision and Retinal Imaging
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao, Geunyoung Yoon
Method to Optimize the Optical Quality of the Eye in Polychromatic Light

United States Serial NO.:
Filed Date: January 1, 1899
Title: Apparatus and Method for Improving Vision and Retinal Imaging
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao, Geunyoung Yoon
An Objective Method to Determine the Ocular Refraction from Wavefront Aberration Data and to Design an Optimum Customized Correction of a Set of a Few Higher-Order Aberrations

United States Serial NO.: 09/969,600
Filed Date: October 4, 2001
Title: Determination of Ocular Refraction from Wavefront Aberration Data and Design of Optimum Customized Correction
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao
An Objective Method to Determine the Ocular Refraction from Wavefront Aberration Data and to Design an Optimum Customized Correction of a Set of a Few Higher-Order Aberrations

United States Serial NO.: 04100159.3
Filed Date: October 4, 2001
Title: Determination of Ocular Refraction from Wavefront Aberration Data
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao
An Objective Method to Determine the Ocular Refraction from Wavefront Aberration Data and to Design an Optimum Customized Correction of a Set of a Few Higher-Order Aberrations

United States Serial NO.: GB 01977449.6
Filed Date: October 4, 2001
Title: Determine Ocular Refraction From Wavefront Aberration Data and Design of Optimum Customization Correction
Invented by: David Williams, Antonio Guirao
A Metric for Computing Subjective Sharpness From Wave Sensor Data

United States Serial NO.: 10/428,159
Filed Date: August 29, 2003
Title: Sharpness Metric for Vision Quality
Invented by: David Williams
A Metric for Computing Subjective Sharpness From Wave Sensor Data

United States Serial NO.: 11/349,104
Filed Date: February 8, 2006
Title: Sharpness Metric for Vision Quality
Invented by: David Williams
Simultaneous Image Acquisition For Removing Motion Artifacts From Low Signal Images

United States Serial NO.: 11/798,902
Filed Date: May 17, 2007
Title: Method and Apparatus for Imaging in an Eye
Invented by: David Williams, Jessica Wolfing Morgan, Daniel Gray, Alfredo Dubra
Simultaneous Image Acquisition For Removing Motion Artifacts From Low Signal Images

United States Serial NO.: 13/461,880
Filed Date: May 2, 2012
Title: Method and Apparatus for Imaging in an Eye
Invented by: David Williams, Jessica Wolfing Morgan, Daniel Gray, Alfredo Dubra
Application of Structured Illumination for In-Vivo Human Retinal Imaging

United States Serial NO.: 12/100,723
Filed Date: April 10, 2008
Title: Structured Illumination for Imaging or Stationary and Non-Stationary, Fluorescent and Non-Fluorescent Objects
Invented by: David Williams, James Fienup, Sapna Shroff

Current Appointments

Director - Center for Visual Science A&S (RC)
Professor - Department of Brain/Cognitive Sciences RC (RC)
Professor - Department of Ophthalmology (SMD)

Education

PhD | Psychology | Univ of Cal San Diego1979
MA | Psychology | Univ of Cal San Diego1976
BS | Psychology | Denison University1975