Ophthalmology Research

The department of ophthalmology at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak is one of the largest and busiest ophthalmology departments in the United States. Over 6,000 major eye surgeries are performed in Beaumont's state-of-the-art ophthalmology specific operating rooms. Additionally, more than 1,000 laser procedures are performed each year at the Beaumont Eye Institute. The Department of Ophthalmology has a 40-year history of participation in state-of-the-art research involving virtually all aspects of eye disease. Beaumont ophthalmologists have been national and international leaders in clinical trials evaluating new treatments for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, complicated retinal detachment, macular hole, retinopathy of prematurity, glaucoma, uveitis, vitreomacular adhesions, cataract and refractive surgery. Beaumont ophthalmologists have participated in clinical trials sponsored by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, industry based studies and philanthropic foundations.

In addition to providing comprehensive ophthalmic services through the Beaumont Eye Institute p, the department of ophthalmology has a full complement of fellowship-trained ocular sub specialists in the subspecialties of cornea, glaucoma, retina, pediatric ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology, ophthalmic pathology and oculoplastic surgery. Beaumont ophthalmologists believe a strong research portfolio provides our patients with the opportunity to participate in state-of-the-art treatments for blinding disease.

Current active research protocols include treatments for both wet and dry age-related macular degeneration, retinopathy of prematurity and vitreomacular adhesions.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65. Beaumont ophthalmologists continue to participate in the development of new and effective treatments for wet age-related macular degeneration. Additional work is ongoing to explore new treatment options in this disease and for the dry type of macular degeneration.

Retinopathy of prematurity is a devastating condition afflicting premature infants. Beaumont ophthalmologists are internationally recognized for their expertise in the treatment of this condition. Beaumont is an international referral center for pediatric retinal disease. Beaumont ophthalmologists are currently leading a multicenter national study investigating new diagnostic and treatment options for this disease.

Vitreomacular adhesions are caused by many different conditions. The standard treatment is surgical vitrectomy. In many of the conditions, the vitreous attachment to the retina is very strong, making the surgical separation difficult. Beaumont ophthalmologists are currently evaluating intravitreal injections with a pharmacological agent to induce vitreolysis and to facilitate retinal surgery.

Department Highlights

  • Recent approved FDA treatments include: Jetrea (2013:  intravitreal injection for the treatment of vitreomacular adhesions).
  • We are participating in studies using stem cell transplants for treatment of dry macular degeneration, encapsulated cell therapies and gene therapy for the treatment of wet macular degeneration, device implantation for extended release Lucentis for treatment of wet macular degeneration..

Awards and Honors

The Vitreoretinal Fellowship Program was awarded the 2008-2009 educational Allergan Horizon Grant that has funded the following research: in Vivo Retinal ganglion cell imaging in Retinopathy of Prematurity.

Investigators presented abstracts/posters and numerous national/international presentations. Some include: the annual William Beaumont Hospital/Associated Retinal Consultants Research Meeting, Combined meeting of American Society of Retina Specialists, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Retinal Congress, Macula Society, Association of Pediatric Retinal Surgeons, The Great Lakes Retina Club, Detroit Regional Ophthalmology Interchange and Michigan Society of Eye Physicians/Surgeons.

There were numerous investigator/multi-centered study reports published as peer reviewed articles in the following journals: Archives of Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, Developmental Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology, and Investigative Ophthalmology.

Beaumont ophthalmologists present at scientific meetings throughout the world.  Beaumont ophthalmologists routinely present their research results in named and keynote lectures.

Active Research

We are participating in multi-centered research protocols which include treatments for the following diseases: Retina; wet and dry Macular Degeneration; Retinopathy of Prematurity; Vitreomacular adhesions. Our physicians are involved as Principal Investigators in many single site prospective and retrospective studies. Our Ophthalmology Research Lab is translational and involves analysis of patient's blood or eye tissues. Knowledge gained from translational research has spurred animal projects involving more basic experiments as well. It includes pediatric retinal fellowships at Beaumont. The program is designed to give foreign fellows a mixture of clinical observation and laboratory research.

Principal Investigators



Research interest

George Williams, M.D.

Chair, Department of Ophthalmology;
Director, Beaumont Eye Institute;
Vice Chief, Surgical Services, Academic Affairs

Professor and Chair, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine


Rajesh Rao, M.D.

Chief, Pediatric Ophthalmology

Pediatric Ophthalmology

Antonio Capone Jr., M.D.

Director, Ophthalmology Clinical Research


Christopher Chow, M.D.

Attending, Cornea Service


Edward Cohn, M.D.

Attending, Neuro-Ophthalmology Service


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

Director, Ophthalmology Research


Steven Dunn, M.D.

Director, Cornea Service


Lisa Faia, M.D.

Attending, Retina Service


Bruce Garretson, M.D.

Attending, Retina Service


Geoffrey Gladstone, M.D.

Attending, Oculoplastic Service


Robert Granadier, M.D.

Medical Director, Beaumont Eye Institute


Tarek Hassan, M.D.

Director, Vitreoretinal Fellowship


David Heidemann, M.D.

Attending, Cornea Service


Robert Lesser, M.D.

Chief, Glaucoma Service


Alan Ruby, M.D.

Attending, Retina Service


Lori Stec, M.D.

Director, Consult Service/Medical Student Program;
Assistant Program Director,
Ophthalmology Residency Beaumont Eye Institute


Michael Trese, M.D.

Chief, Adult and Pediatric Retinal