Skip to main content
Melissa Skala
January 26, 2022

Skala to develop new imaging approach for retinal diseases

Written By: Tom Ziemer


Melissa Skala, a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has landed a grant from the National Eye Institute to develop a new imaging method for quantifying melanin levels in human eyes.

The approach could allow for earlier disease detection and monitoring, as well as better treatment evaluation in retinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration.

Skala’s project is another collaboration with Joseph Carroll, an ophthalmology professor and director of the Advanced Ocular Imaging Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Through the two-year, $480,135 grant, Skala will develop a technique called photothermal optical coherence tomography, which would yield quantitative 3D images of melanin concentration in living retinal tissues. Changes in melanin levels are an early disease marker for conditions such as age-related macular degeneration.

Skala also holds the Retina Research Foundation Daniel M. Albert Chair through the McPherson Eye Research Institute at UW-Madison and is an investigator at the Morgridge Institute for Research on campus.