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Prof. Dr. Frank Schaeffel

Organization: University Hospital Tübingen, Ophthalmic Research Institute


Calwerstr. 7
72076 Tübingen

Phone number: +49 (0)7071 29 80739

Department: Section of Neurobiology of the Eye

Area: CIN Members

Scientific topic: Eye Growth and Myopia

Field of Research

Although the optics of vertebrate eyes is surprisingly optimized to the visual needs, human eyes tend to grow out of focus in industrialized populations. While genes determine the probability for myopia, visual experience provides the trigger. Using optics, systems analysis, pharmacology, molecular biology, psychophysics and electrophysiology, we try to understand the biological mechanisms of "visual control of eye growth", both in animal models and humans and to suggest strategies for intervention of myopia.


Measurements of optical properties of vertebrate eyes (photorefraction), behavioral studies (contrast sensitivity by automated OKN measurements), molecular biology (various techniques, including microarray), pharmacology, psychophysics, electrophysiology (microelectrode arrays, ERGs), chicken, mouse


behavioural neuroscience; developmental neurobiology; molecular & cellular neurobiology; neuro-pharmacology; visual system

  1. Ohlendorf A, Schaeffel F (2009). Contrast adaptation induced by defocus - a possible error signal for emmetropization? Vision Res. 49(2):249-56.
  2. Feldkaemper MP, Neacsu I, Schaeffel F (2009). Insulin acts as a powerful stimulator of axial myopia in chicks. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 50(1):13-23.
  3. Schaeffel F (2008). Test systems for measuring ocular parameters and visual function in mice. Front Biosci. 13:4904-11.