John S. Werner

John Werner

Position Title
Distinguished Professor Emeritus

  • Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, School of Medicine
  • Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences
  • UC Davis Eye Center

Research Interests

Neurophysiological computations and mechanisms that mediate human vision, particularly changes in vision across the life span and in diseases of the retina and optic nerve. Current studies use psychophysical and electrophysiological methods, together with high-resolution retinal imaging (adaptive optics and optical coherence tomography), to study both normal aging and age-related diseases leading to blindness.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Biomedical Engineering

Specialties / Focus

  • Vision Science
  • Systems Neuroscience


  • NPB90b/NPB164/NPB 261A,B,C / Psych 290 / NSC 261A Vision Science


  • Vision Science and Advanced Retinal Imaging Laboratory

Honors and Awards

  • Humboldt-Preis - 1994
  • Ninetieth Annual Distinguished Research Lecture, University of Colorado, Boulder - 1998
  • Jules and Doris Stein, RPB Professorship - 2000
  • National Institute on Aging, MERIT - 2001
  • Lighthouse International, Pisart Vision Award - 2008
  • Optical Society of America, Robert M. Boynton Lecture - 2013
  • International Colour Vision Society, Verriest Medal - 2015
  • W.S. Stiles, Memorial Lecture, Colour Group of Great Britain - 2016

    Professional Societies

    • American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow)
    • Optical Society of America (Fellow)
    • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (Fellow)


    • 1974, BA and MA, University of Kansas
    • 1979, PhD, Brown University


    Shinomori, K. & Werner, J.S. (2012) Aging of human short-wave cone pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 109, 13422-13427.

    Kim, D.Y., Fingler, J., Zawadzki, R.J., Park, S.S., Morse, L.S., Schwartz, D.M., Fraser, S.E. & Werner, J.S. (2013) Optical imaging of the chorioretinal vasculature in the living eye. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 110, 14354-14359.

    Werner, J.S. & Chalupa, L.M., Eds., (2014) The New Visual Neurosciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Werner, J.S. (2016) The Verriest Lecture: Short-wave-sensitive cone pathways across the life span. Journal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics, Image Science and Vision, 33, A104-122.

    Migacz, J.V., Gorczynska, I., Azimipour, M., Jonnal, R., Zawadzki, R.J. & Werner, J.S. (2019) Megahertz-rate optical coherence tomography angiography improves the contrast of the choriocapillaris and choroid in human retinal imaging.  Biomedical Optics Express, 10, 50-65