Dr. Hwang's research focuses on ocular infectious diseases and pharmacotherapy, and in particular the mechanisms and epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance.He recently served as the Principal Investigator for a multi-center prospective randomized study of treatments for blepharitis and helped develop a standardized photography evaluation tool for blepharitis grading in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Hwang is also active in the development, introduction, and clinical research evaluation of innovative surgical techniques and instruments for use in keratoplasty, refractive surgery, and other types of anterior segment surgery. These include endokeratoplasty, complex descemetopexy, deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty, femtosecond laser-assisted lamellar and penetrating keratoplasty, permanent keratoprosthesis implantation, and intracorneal ring segment surgery. He is collaborating in the development of nanoknife instrumentation for novel anterior segment surgical applications. Dr. Hwang has also developed a “no ultrasound” technique for phacoemulsification that may reduce the risk of ultrasound-related surgical complications, such as corneal burns and other forms of anterior segment tissue damage.
Dr. Hwang has a longstanding interest in corneal endothelial cell transplantation and participated in the development of the bioengineered corneal allograft using in vitro-grown corneal endothelial cells. He has built on this interest by launching an active clinical endokeratoplasty program at UCSF, in order to refine and advance current endokeratoplasty techniques and to lay the surgical technique groundwork for potential future clinical application of bioengineered corneal endothelial allografts. An ongoing prospective evaluation of patients undergoing endokeratoplasty allows analysis of clinical outcomes, facilitates development of new surgical methods, and provides opportunities for data-driven refinement of perioperative management protocols. Of particular interest is the development of techniques for using selective keratoplasty techniques in high-risk eyes, including those heretofore judged as relatively poor candidates for a selective approach due to their anatomic complexity or disease severity.