Updated: May 31
About Danielle Robertson
Dr. Danielle Robertson is an internationally recognized vision scientist and clinician. Now an Associate Professor, she has spent the last 15 years of her career ascending the ranks at the UT Southwestern Medical Center as the only woman investigator in the Department of Ophthalmology. From her experiences, she knows firsthand how important it is to promote young girls and women to enter into science and healthcare fields.
Dr. Robertson received her Bachelor of Science degree from Washington State University. She holds a Doctorate in Optometry and a PhD in Physiological Optics and Vision Center from the University of Houston. She received her first NIH grant approximately 10 years younger than the average first time grant recipient and is the only optometrist in the country to have ever received a prestigious Career Development Award from Research to Prevent Blindness. She writes and lectures extensively on multiple topics that pertain to eye health including diabetes, autoimmune diseases, dry eye, and contact lens-related eye infections.
Dr. Robertson, her husband, and son live in Dallas. She loves watching her son play sports and spending time at home on the lake.
What lessons have you learned in your STEM journey?
One of the most important lessons I learned on my STEM journey is the significance of perseverance. You have to work hard and stick with it throughout the ups and downs. There is some truth in the quote “90% of success is just showing up”. I think it is also important for those beginning their STEM journey to know that it can be tough and stressful at times, but always make sure to carve out time for yourself. Particularly as women, we play a lot of roles. Our physical and emotional well-being is essential for our success in each one.
What has been a critical factor in your success?
Mentorship. I have been fortunate to have had good mentors who saw my potential and encouraged me. I always try and pay that forward with my own trainees. I want to see all of my trainees succeed and know I had a hand in shaping their life. It is a great feeling.
What advice do you have for students and young professionals in STEM?
Never let someone tell you that you can’t do it and don’t be afraid to push yourself to try, even if you may fail. Failure is just a stepping stone on the pathway to success.