Nancy A. McNamara, OD, PhD

Associate Professor


  • University of California, Berkeley, PhD
  • Michigan College of Optometry, OD
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Graduate Training
  • University of California, Berkeley, Residency

Dr. McNamara’s research centers on understanding the pathological effects of damaging extrinsic stimuli on mucosal epithelia. Her laboratory is working to understand the pathogenesis ocular surface damage in patients with autoimmune disease, as well as the molecular mechanisms that promote the transformation of airway mucosal epithelial cells to tumor cells in response to cigarette smoke. Although seemingly different, these studies share in common the need for a better understanding of the molecular events that contribute to pathological alteration of mucosal epithelia, and their potentially devastating consequences. Dr. McNamara’s research program involves both clinically based, human studies to characterize key components of mucosal defense, as well as studies to decipher the mechanisms whereby they modulate disease.