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William H. Merigan, Jr., Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-4872

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments

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


Professional Background

Dr. Merigan's research examines the role of retinal ganglion cells in visual perception in the primate (human and macaque). The primate retina contains at least 14 different types of retinal ganglion cells, and each type forms a complete network across the retina. Because the size, shape and projections of each of the cell types is distinctive, it is thought that they may play quite different and possibly independent roles invisual function,but at present relatively little is known about this question. Some clues about possible functions of different ganglion cell classes comes from their structure (some extend across large swaths of retina, while others get input from tiny regions of retina), their physiology (some ganglion cells respond to color, while others are color blind), and their projections into the brain (some ganglion cells project to visual cortex while others reach the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is thought to be important in diurnal rhythms).



BA | Boston College

MS | Univ of Maryland

PhD | Univ of Maryland
Psychology, All Other


Journal Articles

Hunter JJ, Merigan WH, Schallek JB. "Imaging Retinal Activity in the Living Eye." Annual review of vision science.. 2019 Sep 15; 5:15-45.

Walters S, Schwarz C, Sharma R, Rossi EA, Fischer WS, DiLoreto DA, Strazzeri J, Nelidova D, Roska B, Hunter JJ, Williams DR, Merigan WH. "Cellular-scale evaluation of induced photoreceptor degeneration in the living primate eye." Biomedical optics express.. 2019 Jan 1; 10(1):66-82. Epub 2018 Dec 05.

Cheong SK, Strazzeri JM, Williams DR, Merigan WH. "All-optical recording and stimulation of retinal neurons in vivo in retinal degeneration mice." PloS one.. 2018 13(3):e0194947. Epub 2018 Mar 29.