Ann E. Elsner is a fourth-generation IU alumna who earned her B.A. in 1972 with departmental honors for undergraduate research. She moved her laboratory in 2005 to Indiana University Bloomington to serve as a professor in the School of Optometry. She served as director of the Borish Center for Ophthalmic Research and as associate dean for research. For over three decades, she has been a principal investigator on grants from the National Institutes of Health and other agencies.
Her research focuses on combating vision loss. by developing techniques in retinal imaging and visual function, she and her colleagues discovered several unexpected properties of normal and diseased tissues. She imaged structures that had never been seen in living tissues, using novel light sources and particularly near-infrared light. This work is published in over 100 papers and was honored in 2018 with the Edwin h. Land Medal from the Optical Society of America and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology. She is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the American Academy of Optometry. She has extensive service as an editorial board member, a guest editor, a symposium organizer, and a reviewer for peer-reviewed articles and grant proposals.
Elsner received the IU Bicentennial Medal in March 2020 in recognition of her distinguished contributions to Indiana University.