Dr. Emily Gower

Emily W. Gower, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology
2104H McGavran-Greenberg Hall
CB #7400
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. Gower is an associate professor with more than 15 years of experience working in global health and ocular epidemiology. Her primary area of research interest is in improving trichiasis surgery outcomes for individuals with trachoma, which is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. She has led multiple clinical trials in Africa, and an ongoing clinical trial is investigating different approaches to trichiasis surgery in Ethiopia. Dr. Gower also leads an international team focused on improving trichiasis surgery training through incorporating low-cost surgical simulation.

Within the United States, Dr. Gower is engaged in improving access to care in marginalized populations and analyzing large-claims databases to assess the utilization of eye-care services.

Teaching Interests

- Intervention epidemiology

Research Activities

- Global health
- Trichiasis surgery outcomes
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Analyses of claims databases
- Access to care

Key Publications

Lower Post-operative Scar Height is Associated with Increased Post-operative Trichiasis One Year after Bilamellar Tarsal Rotation Surgery. Merbs SL, Oktavec KC, Munoz BE, Perlini EF, West SK, Othman MS, Gower EW (2015). Ophthalmic Epidemiology, 22(3), 200-207.

Characteristics of Endophthalmitis Following Cataract Surgery in the United States Medicare Population. Gower EW, Keay LJ, Stare DE, Arora P, Cassard SD, Behrens A, Tielsch JM, Schein OD (2015). Ophthalmology, 122(8), 1625-1632.

TT Clamp versus Standard Bilamellar Tarsal Rotation Instrumentation for Trichiasis Surgery: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial. Gower EW, West SK, Harding JC, Cassard SD, Munoz BE, Othman MS, Kello AB, Merbs SL (2013). JAMA Ophthalmology, 131(3), 294-301.

Barriers to Attending an Eye Examination after Vision Screening Referral within a Vulnerable Population. Gower EW, Silverman E, Cassard SD, Williams SK, Baldonado K, Friedman DS (2013). Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 24(3), 1042-1052.

Trends in Fungal Keratitis in the United States 2001 to 2007. Gower EW, Keay L, Oechsler R, Iovieno A, Alfonso E, Matoba A, Colby K, Tuli S, Patel S, Lee S, Irvine J, Stulting D, Mauger T, Schein OD (2010). Ophthalmology, 117(12), 2263-2267.


  • PhD, Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2002
  • BA, Economics and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, 1994