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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
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.

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

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

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

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

Headshot of Frank GiblinFrank Giblin, Ph.D.,
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Sciences

RileyMichael Riley, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus

Headshot of Barry S. WinklerBarry Winkler, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Sciences

Clinical Faculty
Antonio Capone, Jr., M.D.Clinical Professor(248) 288-2280
Marshall N. Cyrlin, M.D.Clinical Professor(248) 353-1750
Kimberly Drenser, M.D., Ph.D.Clinical Associate Professor(248) 288-2280
Bruce Garretson, M.D.Clinical Assistant Professor(248) 288-2280
Robert Granadier, M.D.Clinical Assistant Professor(248) 551-2020
John Hart, Jr., M.D.Clinical Assistant Professor(248) 288-2280
Tarek Hassan, M.D.Clinical Assistant Professor(248) 288-2280
Rajesh Rao, M.D.Clinical Assistant Professor(248) 538-7400
Alan Ruby, M.D.Clinical Assistant Professor(248) 288-2280
Michael Trese, M.D.Clinical Professor(248) 288-2280
George Williams M.D.Clinical Professor(248) 288-2280

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

Click here to access lab page

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

Click here to access lab page

Barry Winkler, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Sciences

Click here to access lab page

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

Click here to access lab page

Frank Giblin, Ph.D.,
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Sciences

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Elizabeth AlessioResearch Technician
R. Casey BoucherPh.D. Student
Breyanna Cavanaugh, M.S.Lab Manager
Mei Cheng, M.S.Research Technician
Amanda Petrelli CiceroneHonors College Student
Mrinalini Deshpande, M.S.Research Technician
Khaled Elmasry MBBCH, M.Sc, Ph.D.Postdoctoral Fellow
Kaylee GwynSenior OU Student Volunteer
Olivia HannawaStudent Research Assistant
Naomi HaqueGraduate Student
Dylan HeerStudent Research Assistant
Michelle Milstein, Ph.D.Research Associate
Johan Sta. MonicaStudent Research Assistant
Mohamed Moustafa, Pharm.D.Ph.D. Student
Emilio RomanoStudent Research Assistant
Michael SunEmbark Medical Student
Meron TarekegnEmbark Medical Student
Kathy Wolosiewicz, M.A.Operations Coordinator
Xiao Zhang, M.S.Lab Manager

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 a full-time M.Sc.-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.

Molecular and Cellular Biology Module: Directed by Kenneth Mitton, Ph.D., it provides dedicated suites for tissue culture, gene-expression, and genomic analyses.

In addition, a Pediatric Retinal Research Laboratory suite, also supervised by Mitton, 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).