Eye Research Center Main Image

Director’s Message


Mohamed Al-Shabrawey Welcome to the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine Eye Research Center (OUWB-ERC) webpage! We invite you to explore the site to learn more about our Faculty, members, ongoing research, programs and goals. Our mission is to conduct multidisciplinary basic and clinical research to understand the pathophysiology of eye diseases and discover new therapeutic targets to prevent and treat vision-threatening eye diseases. New therapies will improve the quality of life and eliminate the socioeconomic burden of eye diseases on our community. The overall goals of the new ERC are to foster interdisciplinary collaborative research and academic programs, enhance OU and OUWB competitiveness for extramural funded research, promote new areas of research including translational research and foster research training programs. The OUWB-ERC brings together several investigators from various departments, research institutes, laboratories and programs who share an interest in eye research to collaboratively investigate the pathophysiology of eye diseases and translate data to novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Among these research programs is the well-established Oakland University Eye Research Institute ( ERI), OUWB Neuroscience program, the Department of Ophthalmology, Population Health Informatics and the OU Department of Biological Sciences. Our research laboratories provide an excellent environment for the training of undergraduate, medical and graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows. In addition, we offer research opportunities for residents and fellows in Ophthalmology. The ERC has investigators who conduct full-time research that includes, but is not limited to diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, retinal degenerative diseases, age-related macular degeneration, blood-retinal and blood-brain barrier function, and bioinformatics. In addition to individual investigators' labs, the ERC has a core facility that contains all the necessary equipment for morphological, molecular, and functional studies. There are currently four modules: Microscopy, In vivo imaging, Functional Assessment, and Cell and Molecular Biology modules.

We hope this webpage introduces you to our faculty and their research programs. Feel free to contact any faculty member or me if you have further questions.

Mohamed Al-Shabrawey, MBBCH (M.D.), M.Sc., Ph.D.
Professor in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies
Professor in Eye Research Institute and V. Everett Kinsey Endowed Professor
Founding Director, Eye Research Center, OUWB
Director, Eye Research Institute, Oakland University
Contact Us
Office Phone: (248) 370-2391
Kathy Wolosiewicz
Operations Coordinator
422 Dodge Hall
118 Library Drive
Rochester, Mich. 48309

Email: kwolosiewicz@oakland.edu
Interested in making a contribution to eye research?   Donate here.
Our Research

 


Our Research Roots
Co-founder and first director of the ERI, Dr. V. Everett Kinsey was the recipient of the 1956 Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award from the Lasker Foundation for his outstanding work as coordinator of the National Cooperative Study of Retrolental Fibroplasia.


With the help of 75 ophthalmologists and pediatricians in 18 hospitals, this study confirmed conclusively earlier observations that the incidence of blindness among premature babies increased with the duration of exposure to oxygen.

Previous research had eliminated other possible etiologic agents, such as virus infection, lack of hormones in the infant, exposure of the premature infant's eyes to light, lack of vitamin A in the mother, the administration of various vitamins and iron, blood transfusions and cow's milk. Dr. Kinsey, a biochemist, had participated in many of the studies on these possible agents.

Within a period of six months, data were accumulated through the cooperative study that would have taken a single hospital several years. Among babies weighing less than 1500 grams at birth, 25 percent of the infants receiving routine oxygen developed cicatricial retrolental fibroplasia, while only 6 percent of the infants on curtailed oxygen had the condition. The study showed that limiting the oxygen was without effect on survival.

In the United States alone, putting into effect the results of this coordinated research should prevent blindness in several hundred premature infants each year.

Faculty
Mohamed Al-ShabraweyMohamed Al-Shabrawey, Ph.D.
V. Everett Kinsey Endowed Professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies, OUWB
Founding Director, Eye Research Center, OUWB
Director, Eye Research Institute, Oakland University
malshabrawey@oakland.edu
Headshot of Andrew GoldbergAndrew F.X. Goldberg, Ph.D.
Professor of Biomedical Sciences
goldberg@oakland.edu

Headshot of Kenneth MittonKenneth Mitton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
mitton@oakland.edu

Headshot of Dao-Qi ZhangDao-Qi Zhang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
zhang@oakland.edu

An image of Amany TawfikAmany Tawfik, M.D., M.Sc.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
amtawfik@oakland.edu

Headshot of Frank GiblinFrank Giblin, Ph.D.,
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Sciences
giblin@oakland.edu

RileyMichael Riley, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
riley@oakland.edu

Headshot of Barry S. WinklerBarry Winkler, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Sciences
winkler@oakland.edu

Clinical Faculty

Antonio Capone, Jr., M.D.

Antonio CaponeAfter completing his Fellowship in 1991, Dr. Capone joined the faculty at Emory University, where he was a tenured Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Emory's Vitreoretinal Fellowship Training Program.  He joined Associated Retinal Consultants in Royal Oak, MI in 2000.  He is a board certified ophthalmologist whose special interests include pediatric vitreoretinal diseases, complicated retinal detachment, ocular oncology and macular disease.   

Dr. Capone is an internationally recognized clinician, surgeon and educator.  He has authored or co-authored over 300 publications in peer-reviewed medical journals, book chapters, and publications from clinical trials.  He is currently a Professor of Ophthalmology at Oakland University William Beaumont Hospital School of Medicine.  He served as Co-President of ARC from 2015-2021, and currently serves as Chairman of the Medical Executive Board for EyeCare Partners and President of the Pediatric Retina Research Foundation.  He has been dedicated to education throughout his career, has served as Director/Co-Director of the Associated Retinal Consultants Vitreoretinal Fellowship Training Program, and has trained many domestic and international thought leaders in adult and pediatric retinal diseases and surgery.   

Dr. Capone is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, American Society of Retina Specialists, Club Jules Gonin, Macula Society, Retina Society, Association for Research in Vision in Ophthalmology, and the International Society for Eye Research, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Retina Society.

Tarek S. Hassan, M.D.

Tarek HassanTarek S. Hassan, M.D. is Professor of Ophthalmology at Oakland University  William Beaumont School of Medicine and Director of the Vitreoretinal Fellowship  Training Program and Partner at Associated Retinal Consultants in Royal Oak,  Michigan. He is the President of the Retina World Congress (RWC), President of  the Retina Hall of Fame (RHOF), Past President of the American Society of  Retina Specialists (ASRS), and Past President of the Foundation of the ASRS.  He served 12 years on the Executive Committees of the ASRS and the  Foundation of the ASRS and has been on the ASRS Board of Directors for 22 years. He was Program Chairman of two ASRS Annual Meetings and two Retina  Subspecialty Day Meetings at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).  He is a Founder and the current President of the Retina Fellows Forum, Club Vit, RWC, and RHOF.  

He has been an investigator in more than 150 national trials and has authored  more than 230 peer-reviewed papers and 9 books and book chapters. He  presently serves as Senior Associate Editor of the Journal of Vitreoretinal  Diseases and as an editor of several other leading journals. He has given over 750 national and international podium presentations on numerous retinal topics.  He has been awarded the AAO Achievement Award, ASRS Senior Honor Award,  and AAO Senior Achievement Award, and was elected as an inaugural member  of the RHOF. He has been honored to train 54 clinical and 25 international  research vitreoretinal fellows in his active academic clinical practice.

Alon Kahana, M.D., Ph.D.

Alon KahanaDr. Kahana is a surgeon-scientist with a clinical focus on oculoplastic and orbital surgery. His basic and translational research interests over a 30-year academic career have ranged from epigenetics to embryogenesis to stem cells to cancer to inflammation. His current research focus areas are: (1) the role of nuclear receptor ligands as mediators of orbital inflammatory conditions, particularly thyroid eye disease; (2) the biology and treatment of cicatrizing conjunctival disorders (e.g. ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, Stevens Johnson Syndrome); and (3) basal cell carcinoma of the eyelids and orbit.

Dr. Kahana completed his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at Brandeis University, graduating Summa Cum Laude and with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Dr. Kahana received his M.D. (with Honors) as well as a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology from The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Ophthalmology and fellowship in Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In 2007, completed his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at Brandeis University, graduating Summa Cum Laude and with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Dr. Kahana received his MD (with Honors) as well as a PhD in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology from The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his residency in ophthalmology and a prestigious ASOPRS fellowship in oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Wisconsin under the preceptorship of Dr. Mark Lucarelli. He simultaneously completed a facial cosmetic surgery fellowship under the preceptorship of Dr. Bradley Lemke. Dr. Kahana’s fellowship thesis won the prestigious Marvin Quickert Award from the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS).

In 2007, Dr. Kahana was recruited to the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, where he rose up the ranks to Associate Professor with Tenure. At the University of Michigan, Dr. Kahana led a research lab studying embryonic development of the eye and orbit, cancer stem cells and inflammation, using a zebrafish model alongside a primary human tissue culture model. A recipient of multiple grants from the National Eye Institute, Institutes of Health, as well as Research to Prevent Blindness and other philanthropic organization, Dr. Kahana has authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications, multiple book chapters and reviews, and has given >100 lectures throughout the United States and internationally, including several endowed lectures and visiting professorships. Dr. Kahana also completed a major prospective clinical trial on the treatment of advanced orbital and periocular basal cell carcinoma.

In 2020, Dr. Kahana left the University of Michigan to join the Department of Ophthalmology at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine as Professor. In 2022, Dr. Kahana was named Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Ophthalmology.

Tamer Mahmoud, M.D., Ph.D.

Tamer MahmoudTamer Mahmoud, MD, PhD joined Associated Retinal Consultants/Beaumont hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan in September 2017 and is a professor of Ophthalmology at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. He moved from North Carolina where he was the program director of the vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at the Duke University Eye center and a tenured associate professor at Duke. He has developed many surgical techniques including the use of subretinal air to displace submacular hemorrhage and developed and performed the first human autologous retinal transplantation. He also introduced chandelier buckles to the United States and developed the ILM retracting door technique for macular holes. In 2019, he developed the Nanovitreoretinal Surgery Platform.

Dr. Mahmoud graduated Valedictorian from Ainshams University, finished his internship, residency and vitreoretinal fellowship at the Duke University Eye Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Club Jules Gonin, the Macula Society, the Retina Society, and the United States Masters Swimming Association. He is a reviewer for many Ophthalmology journals and a principal investigator on many clinical trials sponsored by the industry and the National Eye Institute. He has been invited as a guest speaker all over the world. Dr. Mahmoud is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is licensed in the states of California, Michigan, and North Carolina.

Dr. Mahmoud received the Edward K. Isbey, Jr., M.D. Resident Award for "Excellence in Clinical Care, Ethics, and Research" from the Duke Eye Center, the Retina Research Foundation/"Joseph M. and Eula C. Lawrence" award from ARVO, the "Senior Honor Award" from the American Society of Retina Specialists, The “Achievement Award” from the AAO, the prestigious Robert A. Machemer research award from the Duke Eye Center, the "Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award" from the Kresge Eye Institute and the “Golden Globe Award” for residents’ education from the Duke Eye Center.

Dr. Mahmoud has been on the list of Best Doctors in America since 2009 and Castle Connolly Top Doctors in Ophthalmology. He was the program director of the Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship at the Kresge Eye Institute in Michigan before moving back to Duke in 2011 to join the retina faculty. Wayne State University-Kresge Eye Institute established the "Tamer H. Mahmoud, MD endowed fellowship research award" in 2012. This award is bestowed yearly to the fellow presenting the best paper.

Dr. Mahmoud is a co-founder of the Arab-African Society of Retina Specialists (AASRS), and founder of the Duke Surgical Rounds Courses launched at national and international conferences in 2013. He served on the national Therapeutic Safety Committee (TSC) for monitoring of drugs and devices, and founded the North Carolina Retina Club (NCRC) in 2012 to allow interaction and collaboration between retina specialists in the state of North Carolina.

Rajesh Rao, M.D.

Rajesh RaoDr. Rajesh Rao is a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology and section Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.  Dr. Rao completed his medical training at the University of Michigan, followed by residency at Jules Stein Eye Institute/UCLA Medical Center, then fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus at University of Wisconsin.  He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and participates in clinical research projects, including national multi-center trials.  

He teaches ophthalmology residents from Beaumont Eye Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, and Kresge Eye Institute, and has won the resident teaching award from Beaumont.  His clinical interests include the practice of comprehensive pediatric ophthalmology, including conditions such as strabismus, amblyopia, tear duct obstructions and pediatric cataracts.  He has a special interest in the management of complex strabismus, including adult strabismus and double vision.  He is a member of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.  Dr. Rao and his wife have two children.  He enjoys playing tennis and golf, and is an avid football fan and proud University of Michigan alumnus.

Alan Ruby, M.D.

Alan RubyDr. Ruby received his undergraduate and medical degree with high honors from the University of Michigan. In his residency he served as Chief Resident of the Department of Ophthalmology at Northwestern University. He was a Heed Fellow during his retinal fellowship training at Washington University. Dr. Ruby is currently Clinical Assistant Professor of Biomedical Science at Oakland University.

Dr. Ruby has a special interest in diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. He is actively involved in a wide array of both basic science and clinical vitreoretinal research studies, and currently serves as principal investigator for multiple NEI studies.

Dr. Ruby has been named to The Best Doctors in America is actively involved in fellow and resident education. He is a member of the American Society of Retina Specialists, Retinal Society, The Michigan Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Medical Association, Michigan State Medical Society, and Oakland County Medical Society, and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

Kimberly Drenser, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor

Bruce Garretson, M.D.

Clinical Associate Professor

John Hart, Jr., M.D.

Clinical Associate Professor

Michael Trese, M.D.

Clinical Professor

George Williams, M.D.

Clinical Professor

Labs

Mohamed Al-Shabrawey, MBBCH (M.D.), M.Sc., Ph.D.
Professor in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies
Professor in Eye Research Institute and V. Everett Kinsey Endowed Professor
Founding Director, Eye Research Center, OUWB
Director, Eye Research Institute, Oakland University

Andrew F.X. Goldberg, Ph.D.
Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Kenneth Mitton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Amany Tawfik, M.D., M.Sc.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Dao-Qi Zhang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Staff
NameRole
Kathy Wolosiewicz, M.A.Operations Coordinator
Xiao Zhang, M.S.Al-Shabrawey Lab Manager
Khaled Elmasry, M.D. Ph.D.Post-Doctoral Fellow, Al-Shabrawey Lab
Noureldien Darwish, Ph.D.Post-Doctoral Fellow, Al-Shabrawey Lab
Mohamed Moustafa, M.S., Pharm D.Al-Shabrawey Lab Research Assistant
Breyanna Cavanaugh, M.S.Goldberg Lab Manager
Michelle Milstein, Ph.D.Goldberg Lab Research Associate
Laura Gunther, Ph.D.Digital Imaging Research Associate
R. Casey BoucherPh.D. Student, Goldberg Lab
Wendy Dailey B.S.Pediatric DNA Sequencing, Caeregen Therapeutics Lab Manager 
Naomi HaqueMitton Lab M.Sc. student, OUWB M2
Rima Stepanian ​Mitton Lab M2 & EMBARK Student Lab Assistant
Dylan HeerMitton Lab Student Lab Assistant
Gabrielle AbdelmessihMitton Lab Student Research Assistant (SUPER student 2022)
Lalith Kumar Venkareddy, Ph.D.Postdoctoral Fellow, Tawfik Lab
Ryan Tomaszewski, B.S.Tawfik Lab Research Assistant
Wagdy El-KalawozgTawfik Lab Student Research Volunteer
Paul NegoitaTawfik Lab Student Research Volunteer (SUPER student 2022)
Mohamed ShalabyVisiting Scholar, Ph.D. Student, Tawfik Lab
Emilio RomanoZhang Lab Student Research Assistant (SSCC student 2021)
Olivia HannawaZhang Lab Student Research Assistant (SSCC student 2021)
Yasmeen HassanZhang Lab Student Research Assistant (SUPER student 2022)
Laith FakhouriZhang Lab Volunteer, Summer 2022
Andrew SantosEMBARK Student
Daeun JeongEMBARK Student
Jonathan BlakeEMBARK Student
Keaton SchmitzEMBARK Student
Konstantinos KoustasEMBARK Student
Lance JonesEMBARK Student
Mary DrekhEMBARK Student
Michael SunEMBARK Student
Min Young KimEMBARK Student
Suhani GuptaEMBARK Student
Yunjoo ShinEMBARK Student
Amy PerfettoClerk
Katie ShepherdOUWB Dean’s Office Assistant
Annemarie NguyenOUWB Director of Business Operations
Facilities

In addition to individual investigators' labs, the ERI and OUWB-ERC have a core facility that contains the necessary equipment for morphological, molecular, and functional studies. There are currently four modules and one director for each module:

Microscopy Module: The Ocular Structure and Imaging (OSI) facility is supervised by Andrew Goldberg, Ph.D., and is staffed by a full-time Ph.D. - level digital imaging associate supported by the university. It offers instrumentation and expertise in support of electron and light microscopy studies.

In Vivo Imaging Module: Directed by Amany Tawfik, M.D., M.Sc. This module allows for studying changes in retinal structure and vessels by the fluorescein angiogram and the Optical Coherence Tomogram (OCT). It also allows induction of experimental choroidal neovascularization using laser source (Phoenix Technology Group).

Retinal Function Assessment Module: Directed by Daoqi Zhang, Ph.D., it contains:

  1. Diagnosys Celeris Electrophysiology System: It provides a full-field dark-adapted and light-adapted electroretinogram (ERG) testing, flash visual evoked potential (VEP) testing, simultaneous ERG and VEP protocol provided, both eyes can be tested individually and automatically, and an anesthesia machine specifically designed to safely deliver isoflurane to mice.
  2. Cerebral Mechanics OptoMotry-AT System: It provides real-time behavioral testing of optokinetic response for small laboratory animals (rats and mice), spatial frequency and contrast sensitivity testing and manual and automatic trial control and tracking assessment.
  3. NeurOptics A-2000 Small Animal Pupillometer System: It provides pupillary evaluation in small laboratory animals (rats and mice) in real-time, the binocular dual-camera system measures both eyes at once, four ultra-bright color light stimuli (white, green, blue, and red), and light intensities defined in lux or pure radiometric units (W/m2), stimulates direct, consensual, or both eyes simultaneously and automatic tracking and pupil detection.

Cell and Molecular Biology Module: Directed by Mohamed Al-Shabrawey, MD, Ph.D., the Cell and Molecular Biology Module provides training and access to Cytation5 Cell Imaging Multimode Reader, Particle-Metrix ZetaView Quatt-NTA Nanoparticle Tracking- Video Microscope and SeahorseXFe96 Analyzer to high-quality live cell analysis.
To learn more and book equipment usage, click here.

Pediatric Retinal Research Laboratory (PRRL): supervised by Kenneth Mitton, Ph.D., is occupied by two physician scientists: Michael Trese, M.D., and Kimberly Drenser, M.D., Ph.D. It houses a full ocular phenotyping and surgical suite used for characterizing rodent disease models. This includes an additional set of FA/OCT (Bioptigen’s OCT 3). Learn more about the PRRL here.

Upcoming Lectures

Date

Details

Nov. 8, 2022, Noon
ERI Kinsey Seminar Series
Virtual (Zoom)
Register Here

Lois Smith, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital, will present “How to prevent ROP by preventing initial vessel loss.”

Nov. 29, 2022, Noon
OUWB-ERC Distinguished Guest Speaker Series
Register Here

David Antonetti, Ph.D., the Roger W. Kittendorf Research Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Scientific Director, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan Medical School.

December 13, 2022, Noon
ERI Kinsey Seminar Series
Register Here

Margaret DeAngelis, Ph.D. - Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo