24063-Elsner, Ann

Ann E. Elsner, PhD

Distinguished Professor

800 E Atwater Ave
Bloomington, IN
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Ann Elsner, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor at the Indiana University School of Optometry in Bloomington, Indiana, USA. 

The main focus of Dr. Elsner’s research has been to develop retinal imaging and visual function techniques to combat vision loss.  Her main areas of interest are aging, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. She introduced novel laser sources into imaging instruments with scanning designs, enlarging the wavelength range for probing pigments and fluorophores. She demonstrated the properties of normal and diseased tissues, enhanced by scanned illumination using confocal and multiply scattered light techniques, and also sodium fluorescein and indocyanine green. Dr. Elsner developed specialized techniques for presenting visual stimuli, with invisible near infrared imaging providing a live and distinct view of the patient’s retina where stimuli are displayed. New image processing techniques included analysis for multiply scattered light and polarization, which revealed structures previously unseen in living eyes. In recognition of her work, Dr. Elsner is a Fellow of Optica and the 2018 Edwin H. Land medalist, a Gold Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and a Fellow and the 2022 Prentice Award winner of the American Academy of Optometry.

She received her B.A. degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. Following a unique postdoctoral fellowship in a National Eye Institute program to provide intensive clinical training to scientists, she moved to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Carnegie-Mellon University, where she added research in eye movements, audition, and the vestibular system to her background in vision and tactile research. In 1987, she started a laboratory at the Schepens Eye Research, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, where she developed retinal imaging and visual function technologies.  She moved her laboratory to Indiana University in 2005, and also founded Aeon Imaging, LLC, to lower costs in healthcare and education.  Much of her technical work has been on simplifying designs to decrease cost and increase impact of advanced technology.  Further, she is currently studying methods to improve accuracy for clinical trials and measurements used in patient management, again driving towards efficiency. Service roles at Indiana University have included Director of the Borish Center for Ophthalmic Research, Associate Dean for Research in the IU School of Optometry, member of the BFC, and numerous committee memberships and chair positions for the IUSO and Bloomington campus.

Dr. Elsner has served as Principal Investigator and numerous other roles on NIH and other HHS grants, and DoD contracts. She is a frequent reviewer of NIH and other grants.  She has served a variety of leadership roles in support of vision science, particularly for ARVO and the International Ocular Circulation Society. She has served as an editorial board member, lead editor, author, and reviewer for numerous peer-reviewed papers.

Titles & Appointments

  • Distinguished Professor
  • Professor, School of Optometry, IU Bloomington
  • Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Education
    1977 PhD University of Oregon
    1974 MA University of Oregon
    1972 BA Indiana University

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