Danielle M. Robertson, O.D., Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and member of the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine (CRSM). She is part of the Immunology and Cell and Molecular Biology graduate programs and directs the Advanced Dry Eye Specialty Clinic at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Robertson completed her clinical training at the University of Houston College of Optometry, where she later earned a Ph.D. in physiological optics and vision science. She joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2007.

She is a Diplomate in the Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technologies section of the American Academy of Optometry; a Fellow of the British Contact Lens Association; a Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology; and a council member for the International Society of Contact Lens Research. She serves on the editorial board of The Ocular Surface and several other journals.

Dr. Robertson is an IF/THEN Ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a program designed to inspire young girls to pursue careers in STEM fields. Additionally, she is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Society for Microbiology, the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles, and the International Society for IGF Research.

Dr. Robertson’s laboratory is funded by two major research grants from the National Eye Institute. She also directs a training grant for medical student research that is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her laboratory is focused on investigating the impact of systemic and infectious diseases on the cornea and ocular surface. This includes clinical, translational, and basic studies aimed at elucidating the cellular and molecular signaling pathways that are altered during disease. She was a two-time Ezell Fellow and the only optometrist in the nation ever to receive a prestigious Scientific Career Development Award from Research to Prevent Blindness.


Undergraduate School
Washington State University (1996)
Other Post Graduate Training
University of Houston College of Optometry (2002)
Medical School
University of Houston College of Optometry (2002)
Graduate School
University of Houston College of Optometry (2002)
Other Post Graduate Training
University of Houston College of Optometry (2007)
Graduate School
University of Houston College of Optometry (2007), Vision Science

Research Interest

  • Contact Lenses
  • Corneal Cell Biology
  • Corneal imaging
  • Diabetes
  • Exosomes and microvesicles
  • Sjögren's Syndrome


Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 mediates hyperosmolar stress–induced mitophagy through the mechanistic target of rapamycin
Stuard Sambhariya W, Trautmann IJ, Robertson DM Journal of Biological Chemistry 2023 Nov 299
Pseudomonas aeruginosa-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Modulate Corneal Inflammation: Role in Microbial Keratitis?
Ramachandran RA, Lemoff A, Robertson DM Infection and immunity 2023 Apr 91
Loss of Corneal Nerves and Corneal Haze in Patients with Fuchs’ Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy with the Transcription Factor 4 Gene Trinucleotide Repeat Expansion
Gillings M, Mastro A, Zhang X, Kiser K, Gu J, Xing C, Robertson DM, Petroll WM, Mootha VV Ophthalmology Science 2023 Mar 3
The roles of autophagy and mitophagy in corneal pathology: current knowledge and future perspectives
Ayilam Ramachandran R, Sanches JM, Robertson DM Frontiers in Medicine 2023 10
Chronic Hyperglycemia Compromises Mitochondrial Function in Corneal Epithelial Cells: Implications for the Diabetic Cornea
Mussi N, Stuard WL, Sanches JM, Robertson DM Cells 2022 Aug 11
Temporal and Spatial Assessment of the Corneal Response to UV Cross-Linking Using 3-Dimensional In Vivo Confocal Microscopy
Parsa S, Rodriguez A, Robertson DM, Bowman RW, Petroll WM Eye and Contact Lens 2022 Jul 48 308-312
Differential effects of obstructive sleep apnea on the corneal subbasal nerve plexus and retinal nerve fiber layer
Bussan KA, Stuard WL, Mussi N, Lee W, Whitson JT, Issioui Y, Rowe AA, Wert KJ, Robertson DM PloS one 2022 Jun 17
IGFBP-3 Regulates Mitochondrial Hyperfusion and Metabolic Activity in Ocular Surface Epithelia during Hyperosmolar Stress
Stuard WL, Guner MK, Robertson DM International journal of molecular sciences 2022 Apr 23
IGFBP-3 functions as a molecular switch that mediates mitochondrial and metabolic homeostasis
Stuard WL, Titone R, Robertson DM FASEB Journal 2022 Jan 36
Infectious keratitis after corneal crosslinking: systematic review
Murchison CE, Petroll WM, Robertson DM Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2021 Aug 47 1075-1080

Honors & Awards

  • Diplomate, Cornea and Contact Lens Section, American Academy of Optometry
  • Career Development Award
    Research to Prevent Blindness (2008)
  • Scientific Research Award
    CLAO ERF (2007)
  • Scientific Research Award
    Eye Bank Association of America (2005)
  • W. C. Ezell Fellowship
    American Optometric Foundation (2005)
  • Clinical Scientist Career Developmental Award
    National Eye Institute (2004)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Academy of Optometry (2000)
  • American Society for Cell Biology (2005)
  • American Society for Exosomes and Microvesicles (2017)
  • American Society for Microbiology (2015)
  • Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology (2001)
  • International Society for Contact Lens Research (2009)
  • International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (2017)