University of Pennsylvania Health System

Department of Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology Faculty

Faculty Overview

Jessica I.W. Morgan, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
Research Associate, University of Pennsylvania
Department: Ophthalmology

Contact information
3400 Civic Center Blvd.
Ophthalmology 3rd floor WEST 3-113W
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6100
Graduate Group Affiliations
BA (Mathematics with honors)
Wake Forest University, 2002.
BS (physics with honors)
Wake Forest University, 2002.
MS (Optical Engineering)
University of Rochester, 2005.
PhD (Optical Engineering)
University of Rochester, 2008.
Post-Graduate Training
Ophthalmology Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, 2008-2011.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Research Expertise

Inherited retinal degenerations are a major cause of incurable blindness. As a group, these diseases are characterized by progressive death of the cone and rod photoreceptor cells of the retina leading to blindness. Over 150 different types of inherited retinal degenerations have been identified by clinical and genetic studies. Through exciting recent discoveries, researchers are entering an era in which genetic therapies can restore vision to patients with these diseases. However the success of gene therapies remains dependent upon the quantitative characterization of pre-treatment disease phenotype, the proper selection of trial patients most likely to benefit from the therapy, and the quantitative assessment of treatment outcome.

Dr. Morgan's primary research interest is to characterize the phenotypes of normal, diseased, and treated retinas in order to develop quantitative measures of disease progression and treatment efficacy. To do this, she uses high-resolution retinal imaging (including retinal densitometry, adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, and autofluorescence imaging) to study the structure and function of the retina non-invasively. These techniques allow quantitative characterization of the cone and retinal pigment epithelial cell mosaics on an individual cellular level, and a quantitative assessment of rhodopsin function in the rods.

Measuring retinal structure and function will allow the etiology of retinal diseases to be studied and will provide high-resolution quantitative outcome metrics for assessing treatment efficacy. These types of quantitative evaluations will be required to develop therapies that will be successful at preventing vision loss in the long-term.

Selected Publications

Morgan JI, Han G, Klinman E, Maguire WM, Chung DC, Maguire A, Bennett J : High-resolution adaptive optics retinal imaging of cellular structure in choroideremia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 4(55): 6381-97, Sep 2014.

Morgan , J.I.W., Han, G., Maguire, A.M., Bennett, J. : Retinal structure – function comparison through adaptive optics imaging reveals disease pathogenesis in choroideremia. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual meeting May 2014 Notes: Abstract number 1653, Paper presentation

Martin J.P., Kim B., Joshi R., Han G., Dubra A., Morgan J.I.W. : Longitudinal Adaptive Optics Imaging of Active and Resolved Central Serous Retinopathy Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual meeting May 2014 Notes: Abstract number 1655, Paper presentation.

Han G., Sulai Y.N., Maguire A. M., Bennett J., Dubra A., Morgan J.I.W.: Adaptive optics imaging of ABCA4 Retinal Degeneration. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual meeting. Abstract number 1655, Paper presentation, May 2014.

Chung, D.C., Morgan, J.I.W., Charlson, E.S., Bennett, J., Maguire, A.M.: Structural findings in carriers and affected indiviuduals with choroideremia – an optical coherence tomography study. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual meeting. May 2014 Notes: Abstract number 3383, Paper presentation.

Bennett J, Morgan JIW, Chung DC, Maguire AM: Gene Therapy for Pediatric Retinal Diseases Philadelphia: Pediatric Retina, 2nd ed. Hartnett ME, Trese M, Capone A, et al. (eds.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Page: 278-294, 2014.

Rangel-Fonseca P, Gómez-Vieyra A, Malacara-Hernández D, Wilson MC, Williams DR, Rossi EA.: Automated segmentation of the retinal pigment erpithelium cells in fluorescence adaptive optics imagines. J Opt Soc Am 30(12): 2595-604, Dec 2013.

Morgan JI, Pugh EN Jr.: Scanning laser ophthalmoscope measurement of local fundus reflectance and autofluorescence changes arising from rhodopsin bleaching and regeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 54(3): 2048-59, Mar 2013.

Morgan JIW, Sivalingam M, Han GK, Maguire AM, Forbes BJ, Gai X, Pierce EA, Bennett J, Chung, DC : Adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and high resolution imaging in autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa caused by a novel PRPF31 momsense mutation. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual meeting 2013 Notes: Abstract number 3445.

Han GK, Bayabo JKT, Lujan BJ., Morgan JIW : Quantification and comparison of cone density, outer nuclear layer and Henle’s fiber layer thickness using high-resolution imaging. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual meeting 2013 Notes: Abstract number 3435.

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Last updated: 08/24/2015
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