Ophthalmology And Visual Sciences

Michael D. Abramoff, MD, PhD


The Robert C. Watzke, MD, Professor of Retina Research
Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering

Contact Information

Primary Office: 11205  PFP
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-384-5833

Email: michael-abramoff@uiowa.edu
Web: Researcher ID
Web: Google Scholar
Web: ResearchGate
Web: NARCIS Netherlands Academic Research Network
Web: UI Clinical Profile


MS, Medicine, University of Amsterdam
MS, Biomedical Informatics, University of Amsterdam
MD, Medicine, University of Amsterdam
PhD, Biomedical Imaging, University of Utrecht
Clinical Epidemiology, Vrije Universiteit

Post Doctorate, Research Fellowship, RIKEN Neural Networks Research Laboratory
Residency, Surgery, University Hospital of Maastricht
Residency, Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Utrecht
Fellowship, Medical Retina, Vrije Universiteit University Hospital
Fellowship, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Licensure and Certifications

State of Iowa Medical License, Iowa Board of Medicine
Netherlands Ophthalmology Certification, Netherlands Ophthalmologic Society (Netherlands Board of Ophthalmology)
USMLE I and II, ECFMG certification
Medical License, Netherlands

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Translational Biomedicine
Medical Scientist Training Program

Research Summary

The long range goal of Dr. Abramoff's research is to make computer aided diagnosis and digital retinal imaging for the screening, diagnosis and measurement of diabetic retinopathy, age related macular degeneration and glaucoma, patient friendly, low-cost and effective. These diseases are the big three causes of blindness in the US and most of the developing world, and screening and timely treatment is known to be effective or even cost-effective. Dr. Abramoff and his students and coworkers are developing novel methods for computer aided diagnosis and image analysis, retinal imaging at ultra wide field and ultra high resolution, image guided laser therapy of the retina. His research combines clinical ophthalmology, visual neuroscience and bioinformatics to study the phenotypes and genotypes of these diseases. Dr. Abramoff and coworkers have established large retinal imaging networks in the Midwest of the US and the Netherlands, with wide spread networks of retinal cameras connected through the internet to the University of Iowa, for screening of diabetic retinopathy. The tens of thousands of patients that are being image this way form the 'laboratory' for their research. Previously they have shown that computer aided diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma compares to retinal experts in small studies of hundreds of patients. They have developed image analysis algorithms that simulate the visual processing by the human brain to improve existing image analysis techniques, using for example computer simulations of simple and complex cell phase shifted gabor wavelet receptive fields. They are now starting to test the image processing algorithms on larger groups of patients collected through the network. Because computer aided diagnosis allows quantification of a retinal phenotype, preliminary studies are being performed to study the association of quantitative phenotype and genotype (SNP analysis) in age related macular degeneration and other retinal diseases in collaboration with the Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration at the UI. An essential part of Dr. Abramoff's research is thus formed by an effective large scale network of high quality retinal imaging. Dr. Abramoff and coworkers have recently developed a patient-friendly, low cost camera, supported by an R01 from the NIH to build the network even more rapidly.

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration
Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center
Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging

Selected Publications

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Demirkaya N, Wit F, van Den Berg T, Kooij K, Prins M, Schlingemann R, Abramoff M, Reiss P, Verbraak F.  HIV-Associated Neuroretinal Disorder in Patients With Well-Suppressed HIV-Infection: A Comparative Cohort Study.  Investigative ophthalmology & visual science.  2016 March 1. 57(3):1388-97.

Miri M, Abramoff M, Lee K, Niemeijer M, Wang J, Kwon Y, Garvin M.  Multimodal Segmentation of Optic Disc and Cup From SD-OCT and Color Fundus Photographs Using a Machine-Learning Graph-Based Approach.  IEEE transactions on medical imaging.  2015 September 1. 34(9):1854-66.

Hedberg-Buenz A, Christopher M, Lewis C, Meyer K, Rudd D, Dutca L, Wang K, Scheetz T, Abramoff 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. 

Antony B, Stetson P, Abramoff M, Lee K, Colijn J, Buitendijk G, Klaver C, Roorda A, Lujan B.  Characterizing the Impact of Off-Axis Scan Acquisition on the Reproducibility of Total Retinal Thickness Measurements in SDOCT Volumes.  Translational vision science & technology.  2015 July 1. 4(4):3.

Christopher M, Abràmoff M, Tang L, Gordon M, Kass M, Budenz D, Fingert J, Scheetz T.  Stereo Photo Measured ONH Shape Predicts Development of POAG in Subjects With Ocular Hypertension.  Investigative ophthalmology & visual science.  2015 July 1. 56(8):4470-9.

Darma S, Kok P, van den Berg T, Abràmoff M, Faber D, Hulsman C, Zantvoord F, Mourits M, Schlingemann R, Verbraak F.  Optical density filters modeling media opacities cause decreased SD-OCT retinal layer thickness measurements with inter- and intra-individual variation.  Acta ophthalmologica.  2015 June 1. 93(4):355-61.

Demirkaya N, Cohen S, Wit F, Abramoff M, Schlingemann R, Kuijpers T, Reiss P, Pajkrt D, Verbraak F.  Retinal Structure and Function in Perinatally HIV-Infected and cART-Treated Children: A Matched Case-Control Study.  Investigative ophthalmology & visual science.  2015 June 1. 56(6):3945-54.

Zhang L, Buitendijk G, Lee K, Sonka M, Springelkamp H, Hofman A, Vingerling J, Mullins R, Klaver C, Abràmoff M.  Validity of Automated Choroidal Segmentation in SS-OCT and SD-OCT.  Investigative ophthalmology & visual science.  2015 May 1. 56(5):3202-11.

Almeida D, Zhang L, Chin E, Mullins R, Kucukevcilioglu M, Critser D, Sonka M, Stone E, Folk J, Abràmoff M, Russell S.  Comparison of retinal and choriocapillaris thicknesses following sitting to supine transition in healthy individuals and patients with age-related macular degeneration.  JAMA ophthalmology.  2015 March 1. 133(3):297-303.

Bogunovic H, Kwon Y, Rashid A, Lee K, Critser D, Garvin M, Sonka M, Abramoff M.  Relationships of retinal structure and Humphrey 24-2 visual field thresholds in patients with glaucoma.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci.  2015. 56(1):259-271.

Date Last Modified: 10/13/2016 - 12:32:35