Yeni Yucel

Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences


St. Michael’s Hospital: Unity Health Toronto
30 Bond St., Room SW-5-038, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5B 1W8
Research Interests
Artificial Intelligence, Brain & Neuroscience, Human Development & Aging, Molecular & Cell Biology
Clinical Interests
Pathology: Neuropathology
Appointment Status
Accepting MSc students

Dr. Yeni H. Yücel is an eye pathologist-scientist and the director of the Ophthalmic Pathology at the University of Toronto. He is a professor at the University of Toronto in both Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences and Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology.

He is internationally recognized for his pioneering scientific work relating eye disease to brain pathology, and has been awarded numerous national - Glaucoma Research Society of Canada - and global awards - World Glaucoma Association - for research in glaucoma and neuroprotection.

His team recently discovered lymphatic circulation in the eye and its role in aqueous humor drainage. He received the 2010 New York Academy of Medicine Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Research Prize.

His team is developing methods to measure fluid drainage out of the eye via conventional, unconventional, and the recently described “uveolymphatic” pathway. Using the first in vivo photoacoustic tomography system in Canada, and dynamic near infrared retinal fundoscopy, nano-infrared tracers delivered into the eye can be dynamically visualized. This unique platform is used to test novel glaucoma drugs that aim to lower IOP in order to prevent blindness from glaucoma. In addition, this Canada Innovation Foundation-awarded platform is allowing to map the communication pathways between the brain’s cerebrospinal fluid and the eye.

This work is highly relevant to understanding impaired vision in astronauts with intracranial pressure syndrome, recently described during and after manned space missions. Recently, Dr. Yucel was invited to give an update about his team’s research on drainage from the eye and the brain at NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston.

He is also the founding director of the Human Eye Biobank for Research.   

Research Synopsis

My major research interests relate to retina and optic nerve as a model to study neurodegenerative diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We study the mechanisms underlying these pathologic conditions to develop new strategies to protect and regenerate neurons.

These research activities are integrated within a translational research program to improve the diagnosis and management of patients with various types of neural injury.

We are investigating also the role of the lymphatics in drainage of fluid and proteins from the eye and brain, in health and disease.

The state of the art techniques that we use are multispectral optoacoustic tomography, her optic coherence tomography, near infrared retinal imaging and hyperspectral microscopy.             

Selected Publications

Iakovlev E, Ghorab Z, Krema H, Iakovlev V, Kertes P, Yucel YH. Differentiation between Melanin-Laden Macrophages and Melanoma Cells in Vitreous Aspirates. Acta Cytol. 2016 Mar 4.

L McKetton, J Williams, JD Viviano, YH Yucel, N Gupta, KA Schneider. High-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging of the human subcortex in vivo and postmortem. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2015 Dec 30(106). Available from:

Yucel YH, Gupta N. A framework to explore the visual brain in glaucoma with lessons from models and man. Experimental Eye Research. 2015 Dec 1;141:171-178. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2015.07.004.

Yucel YH, Gupta N. Lymphatic drainage from the eye: a new target for therapy. Progress in Brain Research. 2015 Jul;220:185-198.

Squissato V, Yucel YH, Richardson S, Alkhotani A, Wong D, Nijhawan N, Chan C. Colletotrichum truncatum species complex: treatment considerations and review of the literature for an unusual pathogen causing fungal keratitis and endophthalmitis. Medical Mycology Case Reports. 2015 Jun 6.

N Gupta, YH Yucel. Lymphatic Outflow. In: TM Shaarawy, MB Sherwood, RA Hitchings, JG Crowston, editor(s). Spotlights to GLAUCOMA, Second Edition. Second. (United Kingdom): Elsevier; 2014. p. 45.

DB Rootman, MKS Heran, J Rootman, VA White, YH Yucel. Cavernous venous of the orbit malformations of the orbit (so called cavernous hemangioma): a comprehensive evaluation of their clinical, imaging and histologic nature. British Journal of Ophthalmology. 2014 Apr.

S Mullen, YH Yucel, M Cusimano, T Schweizer, A Oentoro, N Gupta. Saccadic eye movements in mild traumatic brain injury: A pilot study. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. 2014 Jan 3;41(1):58-65.

E. Mathieu, N. Gupta, RL Macdonald, J. Ai, YH Yucel. In Vivo Imaging of Lymphatic Drainage of Cerebrospinal Fluid in Mice. Fluids and Barriers of the CNS. 2013 Dec 31;10:35. Available from:

ALC Tam, N Gupta, Z. Zhang, YH Yucel. Latanoprost stimulates ocular lymphatic drainage: an in vivo nanotracer study. Translational Vision Science and Technology. 2013 Aug 7;2(5):3. 2013;2(5):3,, doi: 10.1167/tvst.2.5.3. Available from: doi:

YH Yucel, N Gupta, DB Kagan, AM Khan, EV Navajas, Y Jin. Author Reply, Ciliary body lymphangiogenesis in uveal melanoma with and without extraocular extension. Ophthalmology. 2013 Jul 7;120(7):e42-e43.

Yucel YH. Central Nervous System Changes in Glaucoma. Journal of Glaucoma. 2013 Jul 1;22(5 Suppl 1):S24-S25.

Krema H, Fernandes B, Simpson R, Lutchman C, Yucel YH. Diffuse metastatic melanoma to the retina: a clincopathologic report. Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology. 2013 Apr;48(2):e20-1.

Juan P. Velazquez-Martin, Hatem Krema, Emiliano Fulda, Ronaldo Santiago, Yeni H. Yucel, E. Rand Simpson, Charles J. Pavlin. Ultrasound Biomicroscopy of the Ciliary Body in Ocular/Oculodermal Melanocytosis. American Journal of Ophthalmology. 2013 Apr;155(4):681-687.

AM Khan, DB Kagan, N Gupta, EV Navajas, Y Jin, YH Yucel. Ciliary body lymphangiogenesis in uveal melanoma with and without extraocular extension. Ophthalmology. 2013 Feb 7;120(2):306-10.

Krema H, Fernandes B, Simpson R, McGowan H, Yucel YH. Knapp-Rønne choroidal melanoma: a clinicopathological report. Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology. 2013 Feb;48(1):e14-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2012.09.014. Available from: 23419307.

R Kanjee, YH Yucel, MJ Steinbach, EG González, N Gupta. Delayed Saccadic Eye Movements In Glaucoma. Eye and Brain. 2012 Nov 27;4:63-68.

DB Rootman, HD McGowan, YH Yucel, CJ Pavlin, ER Simpson. Intraocular extension of conjunctival invasive squamous cell carcinoma after pterygium surgery and cataract extraction. Eye and Contact Lens. 2012 Mar;38(2):133-6.

B M Francis, J Kim, M E Barakat, S Fraenkl, YH Yucel, S Peng, B Michalski, M Fahnestock, J McLaurin, H T J Mount. Object recognition memory and BDNF expression are reduced in young TgCRND8 mice. Neurobiology of Aging. 2012 Mar;33(3):555-63.

GS Kirshenbaum, SJ Clapcote, S Duffy, C Burgess, J Petersen, KJ Jarowek, YH Yucel, MA Cortez, OC Snead III, B Vilsen, J Peever, MR Ralph, JC Roder. Mania-like behavior induced by genetic dysfunction of the neuron-specific Na+,K+- ATPase α3 sodium pump. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA.  2011 Nov 1;108(44):18144-9.

Kim M, Johnston MG, Gupta N, Moore S, Yucel YH. A model to measure lymphatic drainage from the eye. Exp Eye Res. 2011 Nov;93(5):586-91.

ALC Tam, N Gupta, Z Zhang, YH Yucel. Quantum dots trace lymphatic drainage from the mouse eye. Nanotechnology. 2011 Oct 21;22(42):425101.

BF Fernandes, D Weisbrod, YH Yucel, M Follwell, H Krema, N Laperriere, M Herdarian, W Xu, D Payne, H McGowan, ER Simpson, A Saghal. Neovascular glaucoma after stereotactic radiotherapy for juxtapapillary choroidal melanoma: Histopathologic and dosimetric findings. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 2011 Jun 1;80(2):377-384.

YH Yucel. Neurodegeneration in Glaucoma – Opinion? Autophagy dancing between cell death and survival: Chaperone or matchmaker? International Glaucoma Review. 2011. 2011.