Ophthalmology And Visual Sciences

Matthew M. Harper, PhD


Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Contact Information

Office: Bldg 42 VAMC
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-338-0581

Email: matthew-harper@uiowa.edu


BS, Biology, Iowa State University
PhD, Neuroscience Graduate Program, Iowa State University

Post Doctorate, Neuroscience, Iowa State University

Research Summary

My area of expertise is evaluation of retinal functional and structural outcomes in rodent models of damage and disease. The current focus of my research program is to examine the effects of traumatic brain injury on the visual system. Our research team has chosen to examine the visual system because of its highly accessible nature and the ability to examine retinal structure and function over time. Similarly, the retina offers a unique system to carefully examine the effects of diabetes over time.

The most recent focus on my research program addresses the identification and treatment of traumatic brain injury. Specifically, we have found that retinal ganglion cells in the eye are highly susceptible to blast-mediated traumatic brain injury. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that this population of cells undergoes a temporally bimodal period of neurodegeneration, with a latent period of functional recovery. Our research team has also identified a novel drug, P7C3-S243, capable of neuroprotection of the brain and the eye after blast-mediated TBI.

Another major area of publication has been the structural and functional analysis of the visual system in normal and diseased animals. The studies that I have been involved with include the assessment of retinal ganglion cell function using pattern electroretinography, optical coherence tomography, intraocular pressure assessment and fluorescein angiography in rodent and canine models of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. I have also worked with teams to develop new ways to analyze optical coherence tomography scans from glaucomatous animal models. Finally, I have worked with a team to develop a new method of Raman spectroscopy for the analysis of glaucomatous tissue.

Early work that I was involved with included evaluation of stem cell development as a function of integrin attachment to different extracellular matrices, evaluation of neural progenitor cells after transplantation and also within the developing animal, and evaluation of mesenchymal stem cells to produce neurotrophic factors to be used as vectors for treatment of glaucoma and other forms of optic neuropathies.

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research

Selected Publications

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Hedberg-Buenz A, Christopher M, Lewis C, Meyer K, Rudd D, Dutca L, Wang K, Garvin M, Scheetz T, Abràmoff M, Harper M, Anderson M.  RetFM-J, an ImageJ-based module for automated counting and quantifying features of nuclei in retinal whole-mounts.  Experimental eye research.  2015 August 14. 

Shevalye H, Yorek M, Coppey L, Holmes A, Harper M, Kardon R, Yorek M.  Effect of enriching the diet with menhaden oil or daily treatment with resolvin D1 on neuropathy in a mouse model of type 2 diabetes.  Journal of neurophysiology.  2015 July 1. 114(1):199-208.

Yorek M, Obrosov A, Shevalye H, Holmes A, Harper M, Kardon R, Yorek M.  Effect of diet-induced obesity or type 1 or type 2 diabetes on corneal nerves and peripheral neuropathy in C57Bl/6J mice.  Journal of the peripheral nervous system: JPNS.  2015 March 1. 20(1):24-31.

Dutca L, Stasheff S, Hedberg-Buenz A, Rudd D, Batra N, Blodi F, Yorek M, Yin T, Shankar M, Herlein J, Naidoo J, Morlock L, Williams N, Kardon R, Anderson M, Pieper A, Harper M.  Early detection of subclinical visual damage after blast-mediated TBI enables prevention of chronic visual deficit by treatment with P7C3-S243.  Investigative ophthalmology & visual science.  2014 December 2. 55(12):8330-41.

Yin T, Britt J, De Jesús-Cortés H, Lu Y, Genova R, Khan M, Voorhees J, Shao J, Katzman A, Huntington P, Wassink C, McDaniel L, Newell E, Dutca L, Naidoo J, Cui H, Bassuk A, Harper M, McKnight S, Ready J, Pieper A.  P7C3 neuroprotective chemicals block axonal degeneration and preserve function after traumatic brain injury.  Cell reports.  2014 September 25. 8(6):1731-40.

Yorek M, Obrosov A, Shevalye H, Lupachyk S, Harper M, Kardon R, Yorek M.  Effect of glycemic control on corneal nerves and peripheral neuropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic C57Bl/6J mice.  Journal of the peripheral nervous system: JPNS.  2014 September 1. 19(3):205-17.

Mohan K, Harper M, Kecova H, Ye E, Lazic T, Sakaguchi D, Kardon R, Grozdanic S.  Characterization of structure and function of the mouse retina using pattern electroretinography, pupil light reflex, and optical coherence tomography.  Veterinary ophthalmology.  2012 September 1. 15 Suppl 2:94-104.

Mohan K, Kecova H, Hernandez-Merino  E, Kardon R, Harper M.  Retinal ganglion cell damage in an experimental rodent model of blast-mediated traumatic brain injury.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci.  2012 May 15. 54(5):3340-50.

Wang Q, Grozdanic S, Harper M, Hamouche N, Kecova H, Lazic T, Yu C.  Exploring Raman spectroscopy for the evaluation of glaucomatous retinal changes.  Journal of Biomedical Optics.  2011 October. 16(10):107006.

Harper M, Grozdanic S, Blits B, Kuehn M, Zamzow D, Buss J, Kardon R, Sakaguchi D.  Transplantation of BDNF-secreting mesenchymal stem cells provides neuroprotection in chronically hypertensive rat eyes.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci.  2011 June 23. 52(7):4506-15.

Date Last Modified: 11/04/2015 - 15:53:38