Dr. Van Gelder was born and raised in and around New York City. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University. He remained at Stanford for the MD/PhD program, earning his PhD in Neurosciences studying the molecular biology of circadian rhythms. Following internal medicine internship at Stanford, he completed his residency in ophthalmology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, and his medical retina and uveitis fellowship at the Barnes Retina Institute.

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Undergraduate Education: BS, Biological Sciences, 1985
Medical School: MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1994
Post Graduate Education: PhD, Neurosciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1994
Internship: Internal Medicine, Stanford University Hospital and VA Hospital, 1995
Residency: Ophthalmology, Washington University,1998
Fellowship: Uveitis and Medical Retina, Washington University School of Medicine, 1999
Board Certification: American Board of Ophthalmology Memberships: American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (WAEPS) Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Washington State Medical Association Sub Specialty Societies: American Uveitis Society American Association for the Advancement of Science Society for Research on Biological Rhythms Macula society

Academic Interests

Clinical Interests

Dr. Van Gelder specializes in uveitis, including iritis, pars planitis, retinitis, choroiditis and scleritis, medical retinal disease, and also in hereditary retinal disease and macular dystrophies

Research Focus

Dr. Van Gelder's laboratory is interested in the mechanisms of uveitic disease, including discovery of novel pathogens and understanding the role of auto-antibodies in uveitis. His laboratory is also interested in how the eye can sense light without seeing, and how these mechanisms can be used to treat blindness.

Awards & Honors 

2013-present Editorial Board, Ophthalmology
2012-2013 Chair, Council, American Academy of Ophthalmology
2010-2013 Trustee, American Academy of Ophthalmology
2010-2013 Inclusion in 'Top Doctors', Ophthalmology, Seattle Magazine


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Polosukhina A, Litt J, Tochitsky I, Nemargut J, Sychev Y, De Kouchkovsky I, Huang T, Borges K, Trauner D, Van Gelder RN, Kramer RH.  Photochemical restoration of visual responses in blind mice.  Neuron.  75:271-82, 2012.

Sexton TJ, Golczak M, Palczewski K, Van Gelder RN.  Melanopsin is highly resistant to light and chemical bleaching in vivo.  J Biol Chem.  287:20888-97, 2012.

Owens L, Buhr E, Tu DC, Lamprecht TL, Lee J, Van Gelder RN.  Effect of circadian clock gene mutations on non-visual photoreception in the mouse.  Invest Ophthal Vis Sci.  25:454-60, 2012. 

Muthappan V, Lee AY, Lamprecht TL, Akileswaran L, Dintzis SM, Lee C, Magrini V, Mardis ER, Shendure J, Van Gelder RN.  Biome representational in silico karyotyping.  Genome Res.  21:626-33, 2011

Johnson J, Wu V, Donovan M, Majumdar S, Renteria R, Porco T, Van Gelder RN, Copenhagen D.  Melanopsin-dependent light avoidance in neonatal mice.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 107: 17374-8, 2010.



Primary Clinical Office

UW Medicine Eye Institute

Harborview Medical Center
908 Jefferson St., 7th Floor
Seattle, WA
Clinic Phone: 206-744-2020
Clinic Fax: 206-897-4320

Mailing Address:
Box 359608
325 Ninth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
Academic Phone: 206-543-7250

Additional Offices

Vision Science
Van Gelder Lab

South Lake Union

Mailing Address:
University of Washington
Van Gelder Lab, E 510
750 Republican St.
Seattle, WA 98109-8058

Main Reception Tel: 206-897-1327
Phone: 206-221-3262


Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation






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