Gillian McLellan, BVMS, PhD, DECVO, DACVO, FARVO

Credentials: Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, SMPH
Department of Surgical Sciences, SVM

Position title: Department Chair, Surgical Sciences
Tim and Nancy Speaker Chair in Canine Health
Associate Professor


Phone: (608) 265-9848

Room 594 Medical Sciences
Medical Sciences Center
1300 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706

Keywords: Glaucoma, ocular imaging, ocular pharmacology and toxicology

Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery 1990, University of Glasgow Veterinary School
Certificate in Veterinary Ophthalmology 1993, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
PhD 2000, Ophthalmology and Cell Biology, University of London
Diploma in Veterinary Ophthalmology 2001, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Diplomate European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, 2003
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, 2004

Clinical Interests
Glaucoma in all species, feline ophthalmology, ocular pharmacology and toxicology, ocular imaging, retinal disease and vitamin E deficiency in dogs, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive dysfunction and dementia in aging and glaucoma.

Research Interests
Dr. McLellan’s main area of research focus is glaucoma, including imaging of the retina and optic nerve, electrophysiology, aqueous humor dynamics, and the genetics and pathology of glaucoma. Dr McLellan has identified a pedigree of cats with a spontaneous, recessively inherited form of congenital glaucoma that is caused by mutation in a gene that is also responsible for an identical spectrum of pediatric glaucoma in children. Her highly collaborative laboratory continues to examine structure/function correlations in these animals including the role of TGF beta signaling, neuroinflammation, and the extracellular matrix on individual susceptibility to vision loss due to glaucoma. Her goal is to identify new treatments for this disabling disease in humans and animals.  Other recent and ongoing research projects include collaborative studies involving a mouse model of retinal disease that occurs as a disabling side-effect of an epilepsy medication that limits its potentially life-saving use in children, and molecular genetic studies that aim to identify the cause of inherited glaucoma in dog.

Dr. McLellan is program director for a shared, NIH-funded instrument for multimodal imaging of ocular tissues in vivo. This core resource encourages and facilitates non-invasive longitudinal studies in a wide range of species, limiting the number of animals needed for vision research studies.

Dr. McLellan also has a strong research interest in comparative ophthalmic pathology and has co-authored a textbook on the subject, as well as a popular manual of ophthalmology for veterinary general practitioners.  She is a member, and former President, of the Executive Committee of the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, serves on the Board of Directors of the ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation and the Editorial Board of the journal “Veterinary Ophthalmology” and mentors graduate students in the Comparative Biomedical Sciences graduate program at UW Madison.

McLellan Lab