Dr. Liao is a clinician-scientist who is dedicated to making basic discoveries and improving clinical care and treatment of patients with neuro-ophthalmic conditions (issues that affect vision due to nervous system issues). Dr. Liao received her undergraduate degree with high honors from Harvard University in Biochemical Sciences and her M.D., Ph.D. in Neuroscience (Medical Scientist Training Program) and Fellowship in Neuro-Ophthalmology from University of California San Francisco. She serves as the Director of the Neuro-Ophthalmology Service and Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellowship as well as Co-Director of the Vision Research Training Program.
A major area of research is the understanding and treatment of human conditions that lead to retinal ganglion cell loss and irreversible thinning of the optic nerve, the only connection between the eye and the brain. This includes hypoxic-ischemic, autoimmune, and other causes. Hypoxic (loss of oxygen), ischemic (loss of blood flow) injury is common in all age groups and can occur as a result of perinatal asphyxiation in babies; near-drowning and poisoning in children; or cardiac arrest, stroke, pulmonary diseases, peri-operative complications, high altitude exposure, and space travel in adults. Dr. Liao uses animal model of HYPOXIA to study what happens to the optic nerve, retina, and brain in lower oxygen. In high altitude, some patients with selective vulnerability can develop ischemic optic neuropathy, which leads to irreversible vision loss. In prolonged space travel, the majority of astronauts develop optic nerve edema and retinal changes, which are of unclear mechanism but may be due to a combination of microgravity, hypoxic-ischemic injury, and other causes. Dr. Liao's group is also studying ANTERIOR ISCHEMIC OPTIC NEUROPATHY, the most common acute optic neuropathy in adults. Current research areas for optic neuropathies include: 1) Development of state-of-the-art in vivo optical, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron-emission tomography techniques in the eye and brain in humans and animal models of hypoxic-ischemic injury, in order to identify novel biomarkers that can help direct treatment; 2) Study of the cellular and subcellular changes to the retinal neurons, glia, axons and axonal transport following optic nerve injury; and 3) Development of highly promising treatment approaches for optic neuropathies and vision loss, including neuroprotection and regenerative therapy, in order to identify effective ways to treat human vision loss in the future.
A second major area of research is on clinical assessments of visual function and vision rehabilitation. Visual disability is significantly greater in almost all patients with neuro-ophthalmic conditions, because they impact daily activities such as driving, using a computer, and work. Dr. Liao founded the Stanford Human Ocular Motor Lab in 2006 and has 3 video infrared eye trackers that have been systematically used to measure eye behavior in hundreds of subjects with a variety of vision and eye movement issues. Her research focuses on how important visual function, such as reading and watching scenery (e.g. on TV), is affected by eye and brain diseases. The goal is that one day, she can use eye behavior to understand how different neuro-ophthalmic diseases impact visual function and to design better rehabilitation to help patients improve their visual function and quality of life. By recording and studying eye behavior during functional visual tasks like reading and watching a movie, which requires a combination of good vision and eye movement control, Dr. Liao hopes to decipher what contributes to visual dysfunction in the real world and design appropriate treatment and rehabilitation in the future.

Professional Summary

Professional Education
  • Fellowship: UCSF Ophthalmology Fellowships (2006) CA
  • Residency: Stanford University Neurology Residency (2002) CA
  • Internship: Stanford University Internal Medicine Residency (1999) CA
  • Medical Education: University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine (1998) CA
  • A.B., Harvard, Biochemical Sciences (1991)
  • Ph.D., UCSF, Neuroscience (1996)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Neurology (2005)

Honors & Awards
  • Career Award in Biomedical Sciences, Burroughs Wellcome Foundation (2005-2014)
  • Dean's Prize in Research, University of California, San Francisco (1992)
  • Faculty Educator of the Year, Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford (2020)
  • Grant Award, Stanford University Vice Provost Undergraduate Research Faculty Grant (2010-2020)
  • Grant Award, Weston Havens Foundation (2011-2013)
  • K08 Award, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (2003-2008)
  • McCormick Faculty Award, Office of Diversity and Leadership (2011-2013)
  • S. Weir Mitchell Award, American Academy of Neurology (2004)
  • Young Investigator Award, North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (2011)

Administrative Appointments
  • Co-Director, Vision Postdoctoral Training Program, Stanford University Department of Ophthalmology (2010 - Present)
  • Director, Center for Optic Disc Drusen, Stanford University School of Medicine (2019 - Present)
  • Director, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Stanford University Department of Ophthalmology (2008 - Present)
  • Director, Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellowship, Stanford University Department of Ophthalmology (2017 - Present)
  • Director, Stanford Human Ocular Motor Center, Stanford University Department of Ophthalmology (2006 - Present)
  • Editorial Board, American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Report (2020 - Present)
  • Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, Stanford University Department of Ophthalmology (2019 - Present)


Specializing In

Practice Locations

Byers Eye Institute Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

2452 Watson Court

Palo Alto , CA 94303

(650) 723-6995

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Stanford Neuroscience Health Center Stanford, CA
Stanford, CA

213 Quarry Road

Stanford , CA 94305

(650) 723-6469

Make An Appointment More Clinic Information » Getting Here »

Neuro-Ophthalmology Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

2452 Watson Court

Palo Alto , CA 94303

(650) 723-6995

Make An Appointment More Clinic Information » Getting Here »

Cavernous Angioma Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

Patient Ratings

(318 Ratings)

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Patient Reviews

(193 reviews)

Very impressed with the people and technology during my experience there.
She is very efficient and detailed in her explanations
Wonderful staff all around from Reception to Medical staff. Doctors are so caring and helpful
Dr. Yaping Liao is excellent. She has been a caring, wonderful and very capable physician in my oculoplastic care. I appreciate all the help she has given to me and is always nice to see her smiling and caring ways.
Dr.Liao is wonderful and is instrumental in giving me my life back.
Dr. Liao is one of the best! She is very caring, competent and responsible!
Very responsive
Very helpful and kind. They are detailed in their responses and never rushed me.
She is Great
Everyone was kind and respectful. My problem is o walked in saying I see double sometimes with my glasses. I left having been told my glasses work just fine and I am free Togo about my business bi should have thought to question the response, but I had been told I had a different problem I hadn’t know about. This problem isn’t in the realm of this doctor speciality,, so I was told she would refer me to the appropriate doctor. It was when I got back into the car and started seeing double to my glasses that I realized my original problem hadn’t been addressed at all.
Dr. Liao conducted a very helpful and efficient video visit.
Dr.Liao is an extraordinary doctor. I'm lucky to have her taking care of me.
Dr. Liao takes her time and explains everything in detail. Very happy with her.
Excellent visit with highly skilled professionals!
Highly recommend
Wonderful provider, compassionate, provided a plan for next steps.
They were excellent
Dr. Liao presents as skilled, knowledgeable, warm and gracious. I appreciate having her as my doctor.
Very professional & caring
She was great, intelligent, lovely personality, bedside manner, thorough
She is very knowledgeable, she listens
Dr. Liao is amazing! She has restored my ability to live a normal life.
Very much caring to patients.
She's smart, competent and just excellent
The best professional advice ever received from a doctor.
Excellent doctors and staff at the clinic. One of the best eye center in have ever visited. Thank you!
Dr. Liao was a very pleasant professional during the video visit. She left no question unanswered.
Very pleasant to talk with, and willing to take the time to ensure we understood everything.
Must visit
I have referred others.
Thanks for the care, advise, feedback and openness.
I am so thankful for Dr. Liao being my doctor. She is so understanding and knowledgeable in treating my eye condition.
Dr Liao was very helpful, patient, insightful And supportive.
If you need specialized care. Otherwise avoid.
Excellent attitude, feel that she really cares. Obviously very skilled and experienced.
Dr. Liao always excellent!
Dr. Liao was great.
She was excellent Liao was professional attentive and knowledgeable, I love her!
You are so caring and helpful. You explain everything so well and encourage questions. Thank you for being my Doctor.
none, perfect visit
Dr. Liao was amazing. She was personable and kind. Very active listener and extensive explanations.
The doctor was generous with her time and made sure I understood everything really. She was very warm and personable, as well as knowledgeable. I was very impressed.
Very good.
Absolutely excellent!!
I was very impressed by Dr. Liao ...both knowledge and "bedside" manner..
First visit with Dr. Liao. I would rate her as absolutely outstanding and would recommend her without hesitation.
I would definitely recommend Dr. Liao. She spent more time than I would have expected checking out my brother's issues with his eyes and was very friendly, knowledgable about his medical issues, and understanding.
I had an incredible experience with Doctor Liao, I really like the way she explain to me the problem of my eye. Thank you Dr. Liao.
I highly recommend Stanford and the care they provide.
Dr. Liao is just delightful and very competent to have as your eye doctor.
Joyce Yaping Liao, MD, PhD - The best. Excellent!
Dr. Liao is wonderful. She has a superb bedside manner and the appt. never felt rushed. I'm so happy to discover her care at Stanford.
Dr Liao was wonderful!
Dr. Liao was very generous with her time and attention. It was the most extended visit I've had with a doctor in ages. She is excellent!
Dr Liu is over the top doctor who is " old school" takes her time with you, treats me like I'm her only patient all day.
Dr. Liao is very kind and supportive of our needs. She is a very good doctor.
Dr Joyce excellent!
I LOVE Dr. Liao! She is always so friendly and she listens. I will never go to a anyone else.
Dr. Liao is outstanding. Thorough, takes time to answer questions. Patient never feels rushed.
Dr. Liao was fantastic
Dr. Liao is simply the best! This is why I fly from Hilo, Hawaii to see her. She is the reason I can see!
Dr Liao spent a lot of time with meshe explained everything very clearly and I felt she cared about my case and outcomes. I liked that she explained the pictures and graphs of my eyes. I really appreciated her interest and care
I already have recommended her to others.
Dr. Joyce Liao is the best doctor I've met so far. she is courteous, knowledgeable, patient, asked questions and she is the best of the best.
To our surprise we were placed in care of Clinic Director. She was willing to ask any and all questions, making you feel at home and answer thoroughly and professionally. Time was not an issue. Genuine care and concern for my daughter's well being and health and our comfort level of understanding and satisfaction with tests.
dr Liao is amazing. couldn't ask for a better doctor
Dr. Liao showed me all of the images/pictures taken of my eyes that I was curious to see and carefully answered all of my questions. Her team was amazingly efficient and was able to schedule even more tests that day than I had even hoped.
Really professional, friendly, delightful experience and my problem is troublesome!
Dr Liao fantastic and smart!
Dr. Liao is fabulous!
it was a very good experience. I am going to do my follow up visit at Stanford even though it takes me 3 hours to get there.
Dr. Liao is excellent!
Dr. Liao and her team including nurse, fellow and resident are outstanding. I have recommended them to several people.
Dr. Liao was very good taking time to explain results. Very pleased.
dr Liao was awsome
Dr. Liao is wonderful to work with. She's always kind & willing to explain things.
The doctor was extremely friendly and caring. She did a very thorough examination, explaining what she was looking at, the results and what they meant. She even brought in associates for further consultation.
Dr. Liao is amazing!!! She does such a great job of diagnosing my disease that no one else did. I would highly recommend her to everyone.
I was very happy with the time Dr Liao spent with me. She was caring and spoke in words that I could understand. I would happily recommend her to anyone.
Dr. Liao is simply the best!
The only issue is that we need an outside order for blood work. Several messages have been sent, but we have not gotten required paperwork. Dr. Liao is very knowledgeable, spends a lot time to diagnose the problem, and did an overall fabulous job. I will highly recommend her to others.
Doctor is very understanding and assured me everything is fine.
provider was great
One of the better doctor experiences I have had. Dr. Liao exceeded expectations.
Kind. Compassionate. Thorough in examination.
My care provider listened & understood all of my concerns. She was thorough & took the time to explain all findings in great detail. I was very pleased with my care.
Dr. Liao was exceptional in explaining my issues.
Excellent quality of carefrom the doctor, love Dr.Liao, the best
All staff were helpful & kind. Dr. Liao very knowledgeable & caring.
Doctor to time with me - very explicit.
My questions were answered.
Excellent care given by Dr. Liao and her assistants.
Dr. Liao was caring, competent & professional. Her knowledge & bedside manner are excellent!
I love Dr. Liao! She has always done right by me and I have all the trust in the world in her.
When I didn't understand the labs she requested, she immediately explained on "My Health". She also followed up for me when I was having trouble getting an appointment with a glaucoma doctor. She made sure I got an appointment immediately.
Throughout my medical odyssey of trying to determine a diagnosis, it was such a gift to come into the care of Dr. Liao. She is truly one of the most compassionate doctors I have ever met. Her care and concern for me as a patient made me feel so respected and seen.
the care provider is very much knowledgeable and care to me as a patient, and listened very well.
I was treated like a VIP. An outstanding experience. the technicians, physician, clinical research coordinator and research associates have given me hope.
I received outstanding care from Dr. Warner and Dr. Liao! I could not be more pleased.
Good experience with the doctor. It might just be that after 2 years a concussion is not treatable, just sad about that.
Dr. Joyce Liao is outstanding; you are so lucky to have her at Stanford.
Dr. Liao seemed very concerned about my ability to understand her conclusions.
Dr. Liao is exceptional as a care provider. Extremely knowledgeable, detailed in her examination and explanations and excellent in answering questions and/or concerns. I am giving her the highest remarks.
Dr. Joyce Liao provided excellent and thorough care. I really appreciate that I can use MyHealth to schedule an appointment with her and that I was seen right away for a problem that came up between my yearly office visits.
she's the best doctor iv ever met
Dr. Joyce suggested a new kind of eye drops by Refresh with omega and flax seed. I bought some and it worked very well.
The doctor was very pleasant and informative. she eliminated a test from my schedule because she knew the wait was very long. I appreciated the fact that she did not want to keep me in the clinic longer than necessary.
A really good experience
Dr Liao-Tops!!!!Dr Fernandez-Tops!!!!Dr Hwang-Tops!!I am one lucky patient :)
Dr. Liao is one of my best providers. She is helpful, considerate, compassionate and down-to-earth. My visits with her are always positive.
Excellent, phenomenal physician!!
Doctor Liao is fantastic; so knowledgeable; helps me to not feel so freakish with this weird eye movement. Plus, she has found medication that has slowed the eye movement enough to literally change my life!!
Dr. Liao is outstanding!
Always talks to you gives you information or care
Dr. Liao is a jewel both care and particularly knowledge.
I've been seeing Dr Liao for 5 1/2 years and couldn't be happier with the results. my family and I believe I am receiving the absolute best care for my condition.
Last week I went to three different Stanford clinics. They were all excellent. My doctors were amazing, beyond amazing. I have been telling all my friends and family about my doctors and they are considering trying to see these doctors.
Dr. Liao is very professional and friendly doctor.
Wow. It was an honor to have Dr. Liao consult with me regarding my conditions and concerns. She was absolutely exceptional in every possible way. Thank you, Dr. Liao.
Dr. Liao is amazing, both in her skill level and explanations to patients.
I get the best care from Dr. Liao. She is great!
Dr. Liao is a very professional person.
Dr. Liao listens listens and questions. She is a great great doctor and person. She has helped me so very much.
Dr. Liao is amazing!
Dr Joyce Yaping Liao has been seeing me for many years now and always provided the best care and help with my condition.
Dr. Liao is amazing & I am really fortunate to have met her.
I've had nothing but excellent care any time I go to Stanford for doctor appointments.
Dr. Liao is amazing!
I feel that I have received very capable and concerned care regarding my health and eye issues.
Dr. Liao is the best! She is kind, caring and thorough. She explains things clearly and concisely.
very good
This doctor was in such a hurry, I felt as though I was an interruption to her. I can only guess that since she wanted another test there was no sense in spending anymore time with me.
nurses and doctors were very kind and courteous. Everthng clearly explained and never felt I was rushed through the system .
Dr. Liao is the best!!!
excellent in all aspects
Dr Liao is exceptional in her care n clarity.
I will definitely recommend Dr.Liao to anyone. She is very nice!
I have a very specific and not very common problem (optic nerve atrophy) & Dr. Liu shows a great understanding of it and competence. I now have a much better idea where I stand and what to expect.
Very good experience!
Dr Liao as obviously very rushed and behind with her clinic which made me feel that she wanted to get done and on to the next patient
I was very confused about my Diagnosis l need more info, about the 6 mm right orbital rim possible hemangioma, all I know I just need help from someone please. CONFUSED.
I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Liao. She always answers my many questions, spends time with me and makes sure I am comfortable. I credit her with restoring my eye sight and my life.
My care provider is amazing (Dr. Liao).
Dr. LIAO WAS KIND, FIRENDLY, AND PATIENT. EXPLAINED things very well, printed out pictures of my scans for me and my other doctors, answered all my questions and really cares about my health. Great doctor and reassuring visit. Thank you. highly recommended
words cannot express the quality of care and concern provided this doctor!!!
Thank you, Dr. Liao. You're the best!
Dr. was excellent.
Doctor seemed rushed and distracted. I had to stop her and ask to take more time to hear my changes in my condition.
Dr. Liao is amazing. She has never missed an appointment. She takes the time to answer my questions and explain things to me. She is caring and concerned. I feel very lucky to have her as my physician.
Dr.Liao restored my ability to read when others could not.
Impressive and empathetic.
all doctors I have seen are the best
dr liao's expertise, concern and time spent has "given me my life back"----after 5 years of going from specialist to specialist in the east bay...and they denying that I had a problem...dr 1 visit, listened to my concerns, explored my physical limitations and diagnosed my problem and was able to prescribe a medication that manages my difficulties. I can't say enough good things about her!
Very good.
clear and articulate explanations. patient with questions. not as clear with what's next-- I will call and ask
my confidence in Dr. Liao is beyond very good!
I love my doctor, the best she caring loving and extreme care
I love how caring Dr. Liao is and her attention to detail. She is probably one of the best doctors I have seen in my whole life! I highly recommend her and Stanford care team to anyone. You guys are the best.
Dr. Liao and her team including Dr. Sun were great and explained issues related to my eyes.
Dr. had 4 fellow & interns saw me before her - too many doctors, not enough time with her.
Dr. Liao was exceptional in her analysis of my condition and thoughtful in her approach to treatment. Plus she is personable and easy to interact with.
I am extremely satisfied about Doctor Liao and she dedicated me enough time.
Very good.
Dr Liao is the consummate professional. She is warm, caring and extremely knowledgeable. She communicates clearly and really shows in the way she talks to me that she is working very hard to make sure I get the very best care. She is well worth waiting for, just let me know when I schedule my appointment that I need to allow 3 hours for an appointment so I can plan accordingly and not worry I will miss whatever else I need to do in my life that day.
Excellent experience!
Dr. Liao has my total confidence. She is an outstanding Doctor.
Amazing doctor! Took plenty of time to deal with my difficult case. Thank you!
Dr. Liao not only helped me with my eye issues but also gave me guidance to help me with my emotional issues too.
Dr. Liao is superb! She is the most caring and compassionate Physician that I have encountered in the Stanford Health Care system. She takes time to really talk with me and she is very thorough and forthright in explaining her diagnoses and finding regarding my health. Her compassionate approach to patient care sets her apart. Her approach is the closest to what I would consider "holistic" that I have found in the Stanford Health Care system. She interacts with me as a unique and individual human being, and not a commercial transaction.
I've been sick and searching for four years. Working with the chronic fatigue department is the best experience, I have ever had and it has given me hope. I EVEN bout a stanford hat and wear it around when I am out.
Dr. Liao really helped me whenever I was really worried of my illness. She really reassured me that everything would be fine and helped eased my anxiety.
The three students took too much of the time and my energy, I felt Dr. Liao was under pressure to get my appt. over with and move onto the next patient.
Dr. Liao is an excellent, knowledgeable doctor. I would say she is one of the best.
Dr. Liao was great! she spent lots of time with us helping us understand what was happening. no clear answers when we left but she was going to talk to my other doctors first.
Dr. Liao is wonderful.
Dr. Liao is unique in her compassion, empathy and ability to connect as a physician across cultural differences. She is thorough and very forthcoming in explaining information regarding my health. She demonstrates care for me as a whole and unique person as well as a patient.
Outstanding patient service!
Doctor spent plenty of time for discussion. Was very good about wanting to know all of my questions and answering them.
Dr. Liao is an amazing doctor! The knowledge, level of care, and friendliness are unmatched.
Dr. Liao has a wonderful "bedside manner". My appointments are often delayed but when she sees me she always takes her time and makes me feel important to her, a great doctor.
I could have received similar care from a local provider in a much more efficient manner.
Very thorough explanation of the problem and discussion of where I was and prognosis of my future.
Great experience.
Had excellent experience - She has given me hope in addressing my health concern -
Dr. is very busy and rushed.
Dr. Liao is the most thorough, caring and compassionate physician I've known.
Dr. Liao spoke clearly but rapidly - I am following her recommendations more or less, as she said it was my decision -
Very professional.
I love Dr. Liao. She is very informative and caring and takes her time with me.
She is great!

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