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In honor of our centennial anniversary, we are featuring members of our optometry community — past and present — each day of 2023!

See below for this week’s profiles.

This Week, We Are Celebrating…

June 5th

Roy Brandreth, OD, FAAO

Dr. Roy Brandreth graduated from Berkeley Optometry in 1953. He also maintained a private optometry practice for thirty years. From l953–1960 he practiced in Oakland, California, and from 1960–1983 in Pittsburg, California. He was also a staff optometrist at Cowell Memorial Hospital on the Berkeley campus, all while maintaining ties with Berkeley Optometry.

As Director of Clinics, Brandreth’s principal challenge was to reduce a large, preexisting operating deficit and increase revenue. Among his contributions were modified fee schedules for specialty clinic services and renegotiated contracts with optical companies for frames and lenses that helped increase income and lower operating costs

Dr. Brandreth retired in 1988. That same year the student body established the “Roy Brandreth Award” to honor his many years of service to Berkeley Optometry. The award acknowledges a faculty member who, in the judgment of the graduating class, best exemplified true professionalism and most influenced students to strive for clinical excellence.

June 6th

Sonali Singh, BS

Sonali is a vision science student who was born and raised in the Bay Area! She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Riverside where she majored in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology. At UCR, she worked with Dr. Theodore Garland, Jr., focusing on the evolution and inheritance patterns of exercise behavior in mice. After graduating, she went to Baltimore, MD to work as a Post-Baccalaureate Intramural Research Fellow at the NIH with Dr. Ranjan Sen and Dr. Ananda Roy. In the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology, she studied the role of the autoimmune disease-associated transcription factor, TFII-I, in murine T cells before coming to the Vision Science Ph.D. program.

The eye has been the most fascinating part of the human body to Sonali ever since she did a project on photoreceptors in color blindness when she was 13 years old. Also, her whole life she has had myopia of -16.00 diopters which keeps her constantly engaged in eye biology and health. The Vision Science program drew her in because of how multidisciplinary the faculty and students are but how everything is still centered around the eye. She hopes to channel her deep interests into useful work that will lead to effective therapeutics for the visually-impaired. Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the degradation of neurons in the retina caused by retinal dysfunction with age, environmental factors, and more. Patients with dry AMD can lose their vision partially or completely.

She will be developing adeno-associated viruses to mediate the gene transfer of optogenetic proteins to retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE). This will enable vision restoration for dry AMD that has been caused by the loss of crucial components playing a role in the eye’s immune system. If successful, such gene therapies can eventually be taken to clinical trials. After completing her Ph.D. here at UC Berkeley, she hope to move on to the industry where she can use her vision expertise to help develop novel therapeutics that will help those with visual impairments. She started her professional dancing career early on and spent most of her childhood traveling the country for various performances (you might’ve seen her in the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show!) She has carried this passion with her thus far and hopes to continue growing as a dancer when she’s not in the lab. She loves to check new cities off her travel list, explore different breweries, and eat as much food as she can get her hands on. And, of course, music is something she cannot live without.

June 7th

Rand Siekert, OD

Dr. Rand Siekert is an alumni of the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science, and a member of the Alumni Board. Dr. Siekert joined Tucson Eye Care in January 2020. Prior to this, he was at the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Arizona for 23 ½ years as an assistant clinical professor of Ophthalmology. He was involved with patient care, resident teaching and research. From 1991 to 1996 Dr. Siekert was clinical faculty in the Department of Ophthalmology at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Dr. Siekert obtained his Doctor of Optometry degree as well as a bachelor’s degree in vision science from the University of California-Berkeley. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison which was his hometown.

Dr. Siekert is a member of the Arizona Optometric Association, served on the board and is a past president of the State Association. He also is a member of the American Optometric Association and has served as a board member and president to the Regional-Great Western Council of Optometry.
As part of the Tucson Eye Care team, Dr. Siekert is involved with the diagnosis and management of a range of ocular conditions including diabetes, cataracts, and glaucoma. He assists the surgeons in the pre- and post-operative care of patient’s eye surgery.

June 8th

Pamela P. Fong, OD

Dr. Pamela P. Fong graduated from the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science with a Doctor of Optometry (OD) in 1977. Before her career in optometry, Dr. Fong received a B.A. in Mathematics from San Francisco State University. In 2001, Dr. Fong received the Alumnus of the Year Award from the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science, and in 2017, she was the Michael G. Harris Distinguished Service Award recipient. She was a member of the management team of Clontech Labs, Inc., in Palo Alto. Dr. Fong is also a trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation, served on the Board of Vision New America, and has been an Advisory Board Member of the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.

Dr. Fong is a devoted alum and benefactor to the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science. She established the Fong Optometry and Health Sciences Library in Minor Hall in 2000. She created The Pamela Fong Chair in Optometry and Healthcare in 2008, which fulfills Dr. Fong’s desire to provide research and graduate student support related to health care, vision care, and social welfare that would impact the Greater China region. Her transformative philanthropy will have a lasting impact on our school and future generations of students. Her generosity ensured the continued growth and success of our programs.

June 9th

Tsung-Wei Ke, PhD

Tsung-Wei Ke is a 2023 vision science PhD graduate, born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Tsung-Wei chose the vision science program at Berkeley because of the multi disciplinary training and research about vision. Within such a great environment, he hopes to learn from and contribute to this community. Tsung-Wei’s research is more in the computational aspect. He is interested in exploring inspirations from human vision to build recognitive models or solving application problems with computer vision techniques. Tsung-Wei’s goal is to become an independent and influential researcher.

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