Assistant Professor
Physical Sciences

Email:                 vakondi@iiserbpr.ac.in


    My interest in optics started during my undergraduate education. During my Ph.D. at the Indian Institute of Science (2006-2012), Bengaluru, India, I was introduced to a technology called adaptive optics that is used to compensate for the image degradation caused by atmospheric turbulence in large ground-based astronomical telescopes. As a postdoc at the School of Physics (2012-2014), University College Dublin, Ireland, we developed novel adaptive optics methods using spatial light modulators and applied them to microscopy and ophthalmology. During my second postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Optics in Madrid (2014-2018), Spain, we engineered the working principles of a new clinical device for prospective refractive and cataract surgery patients called SimVis, which facilitates the prescription of intraocular lenses and contact lenses. As a Senior Research Scientist at Stanford University (2018-2022), we worked towards the improvement of adaptive optics ophthalmic imaging systems.
                  My research group works towards the development and use of the next-generation clinically relevant adaptive optics ocular imaging and vision testing devices that will allow the examination of subcellular pathological, structural, and functional changes in the retina. This will accelerate diagnosis of irreversible vascular and photoreceptor-based eye diseases including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other neurodegenerative diseases. My group is also interested in the development and testing of new vision correcting optics (intraocular and contact lenses) and vision testing devices (wavefront aberrometer and vision simulators) to address some of the unmet needs of the ophthalmology clinics. Further, we develop advanced wavefront sensing and microscopy techniques aided by adaptive optics to improve the image quality of high-resolution optical microscopes that are affected by the aberrations induced both by the specimen and the optical component misalignments.