Y. Joyce Liao, MD, PhD

Y. Joyce Liao, MD, PhD

Neuro-ophthalmology specialist

Bio:   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.
4.7 out of 5
251 Patient Ratings
79 Patient Comments

Stanford Neuroscience Health Center

Neuro-Ophthalmology

Neurogenetic Oncology Program

Professional Education

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

Honors & Awards

  • Career Award in Biomedical Sciences, Burroughs Wellcome Foundation (2005-2014)
  • Dean's Prize in Research, University of California, San Francisco (1992)
  • Grant Award, Center for Biomedical Imaging at Stanford (2011-2012, 2013-2014)
  • Grant Award, Stanford University Vice Provost Undergraduate Research Faculty Grant (2010-2012)
  • 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

  • Associate Director, Research (2008 - Present)
  • Co-Program Director, Vision Research Training Program (2010 - Present)
  • Director, Stanford Human Ocular Motor Center (2006 - Present)
  • Director, Neuro-Ophthalmology (2008 - Present)
4.8

Friendliness

4.6

Explanations

4.7

Listens

4.7

Includes you in decisions

4.7

Clear Communication

4.8

Confidence in your doctor

4.7

Recommended to others

3.9

Wait times

SHC Patient, Mar 2018

Always talks to you gives you information or care

SHC Patient, Mar 2018

Dr. Liao is a jewel both care and particularly knowledge.

SHC Patient, Mar 2018

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.

SHC Patient, Mar 2018

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.

SHC Patient, Feb 2018

Dr. Liao is very professional and friendly doctor.

SHC Patient, Jan 2018

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.

SHC Patient, Nov 2017

Dr. Liao is amazing, both in her skill level and explanations to patients.

SHC Patient, Oct 2017

I get the best care from Dr. Liao. She is great!

SHC Patient, Sep 2017

Dr. Liao is a very professional person.

SHC Patient, Sep 2017

Dr. Liao listens listens and questions. She is a great great doctor and person. She has helped me so very much.

SHC Patient, Sep 2017

Dr. Liao is amazing!

SHC Patient, Aug 2017

Dr Joyce Yaping Liao has been seeing me for many years now and always provided the best care and help with my condition.

View All 79 Patient Comments »
4.7 out of 5
251 Patient Ratings
79 Patient Comments

SHC Patient, Mar 2018

Always talks to you gives you information or care

SHC Patient, Mar 2018

Dr. Liao is a jewel both care and particularly knowledge.

SHC Patient, Mar 2018

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.

SHC Patient, Mar 2018

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.

SHC Patient, Feb 2018

Dr. Liao is very professional and friendly doctor.

SHC Patient, Jan 2018

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.

SHC Patient, Nov 2017

Dr. Liao is amazing, both in her skill level and explanations to patients.

SHC Patient, Oct 2017

I get the best care from Dr. Liao. She is great!

SHC Patient, Sep 2017

Dr. Liao is a very professional person.

SHC Patient, Sep 2017

Dr. Liao listens listens and questions. She is a great great doctor and person. She has helped me so very much.

SHC Patient, Sep 2017

Dr. Liao is amazing!

SHC Patient, Aug 2017

Dr Joyce Yaping Liao has been seeing me for many years now and always provided the best care and help with my condition.

SHC Patient, Aug 2017

Dr. Liao is amazing & I am really fortunate to have met her.

SHC Patient, Aug 2017

I've had nothing but excellent care any time I go to Stanford for doctor appointments.

SHC Patient, Aug 2017

Dr. Liao is amazing!

SHC Patient, Jun 2017

I feel that I have received very capable and concerned care regarding my health and eye issues.

SHC Patient, Jun 2017

Dr. Liao is the best! She is kind, caring and thorough. She explains things clearly and concisely.

SHC Patient, Jun 2017

very good

SHC Patient, May 2017

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.

SHC Patient, May 2017

nurses and doctors were very kind and courteous. Everthng clearly explained and never felt I was rushed through the system .

SHC Patient, May 2017

Dr. Liao is the best!!!

SHC Patient, Apr 2017

excellent in all aspects

SHC Patient, Apr 2017

Dr Liao is exceptional in her care n clarity.

SHC Patient, Apr 2017

I will definitely recommend Dr.Liao to anyone. She is very nice!

SHC Patient, Apr 2017

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.

SHC Patient, Apr 2017

Very good experience!

SHC Patient, Mar 2017

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

SHC Patient, Mar 2017

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.

SHC Patient, Mar 2017

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.

SHC Patient, Feb 2017

My care provider is amazing (Dr. Liao).

SHC Patient, Feb 2017

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

SHC Patient, Feb 2017

words cannot express the quality of care and concern provided this doctor!!!

SHC Patient, Feb 2017

Thank you, Dr. Liao. You're the best!

SHC Patient, Jan 2017

Dr. was excellent.

SHC Patient, Dec 2016

Doctor seemed rushed and distracted. I had to stop her and ask to take more time to hear my changes in my condition.

SHC Patient, Dec 2016

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.

SHC Patient, Dec 2016

Dr.Liao restored my ability to read when others could not.

SHC Patient, Nov 2016

Impressive and empathetic.

SHC Patient, Nov 2016

all doctors I have seen are the best

SHC Patient, Nov 2016

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 liao....in 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!

SHC Patient, Nov 2016

Very good.

SHC Patient, Oct 2016

clear and articulate explanations. patient with questions. not as clear with what's next-- I will call and ask

SHC Patient, Sep 2016

my confidence in Dr. Liao is beyond very good!

SHC Patient, Sep 2016

I love my doctor, the best she caring loving and extreme care

SHC Patient, Aug 2016

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.

SHC Patient, Jul 2016

Dr. Liao and her team including Dr. Sun were great and explained issues related to my eyes.

SHC Patient, Jun 2016

Dr. had 4 fellow & interns saw me before her - too many doctors, not enough time with her.

SHC Patient, May 2016

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.

SHC Patient, May 2016

I am extremely satisfied about Doctor Liao and she dedicated me enough time.

SHC Patient, May 2016

Very good.

SHC Patient, Apr 2016

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.

SHC Patient, Mar 2016

Excellent experience!

SHC Patient, Mar 2016

Dr. Liao has my total confidence. She is an outstanding Doctor.

SHC Patient, Mar 2016

Amazing doctor! Took plenty of time to deal with my difficult case. Thank you!

SHC Patient, Feb 2016

Dr. Liao not only helped me with my eye issues but also gave me guidance to help me with my emotional issues too.

SHC Patient, Jan 2016

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.

SHC Patient, Jan 2016

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.

SHC Patient, Jan 2016

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.

SHC Patient, Jan 2016

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.

SHC Patient, Nov 2015

Good.

SHC Patient, Oct 2015

Dr. Liao is an excellent, knowledgeable doctor. I would say she is one of the best.

SHC Patient, Aug 2015

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.

SHC Patient, Jul 2015

Dr. Liao is wonderful.

SHC Patient, Jun 2015

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.

SHC Patient, Jun 2015

Excellent.

SHC Patient, Jun 2015

Outstanding patient service!

SHC Patient, May 2015

Doctor spent plenty of time for discussion. Was very good about wanting to know all of my questions and answering them.

SHC Patient, Apr 2015

Dr. Liao is an amazing doctor! The knowledge, level of care, and friendliness are unmatched.

SHC Patient, Mar 2015

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.

SHC Patient, Mar 2015

I could have received similar care from a local provider in a much more efficient manner.

SHC Patient, Mar 2015

Very thorough explanation of the problem and discussion of where I was and prognosis of my future.

SHC Patient, Jan 2015

Great experience.

SHC Patient, Dec 2014

Had excellent experience - She has given me hope in addressing my health concern -

SHC Patient, Nov 2014

Dr. is very busy and rushed.

SHC Patient, Jul 2014

Dr. Liao is the most thorough, caring and compassionate physician I've known.

SHC Patient, Apr 2014

Dr. Liao spoke clearly but rapidly - I am following her recommendations more or less, as she said it was my decision -

SHC Patient, Apr 2014

Very professional.

SHC Patient, Feb 2014

I love Dr. Liao. She is very informative and caring and takes her time with me.

SHC Patient, Dec 2013

She is great!