Mark Greiner, MD

Contact Information

Office: 11196-N PFP
Phone: 319-356-2861
Faculty Profile

Brief description of current research:

Dr. Greiner is a board-certified ophthalmologist with fellowship training in cornea and external diseases, and a medical director at the Iowa Lions Eye Bank. Dr. Greiner’s team focuses on the impact of diabetes on corneal health and cornea transplant outcomes. Specifically, they are working to understand how type II diabetes causes oxidative metabolic dysfunction in corneal endothelial cells, the inner lining of the cornea, which maintains corneal clarity and is essential for successful grafting. Dr. Greiner has discovered that diabetes impairs mitochondrial respiration, reduces mitochondrial quality, and leads to endothelial cell death. Their approach utilizes metabolic phenotyping, mitochondrial function assays, proteomics, and bioinformatics strategies to ascertain critical differences in donor corneal endothelial cell metabolism from individuals with and without diabetes. Additionally, their metabolic function assay platform supports investigations of bioengineered corneal endothelial cells, drug effects on corneal endothelium, and diagnostics of ocular mitochondrial disorders. 

3 most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  • Greiner MA, Rixen JJ, Wagoner MD, Schmidt GA, Stoeger CG, Straiko MD, Zimmerman MB, Kitzmann AS, Goins KM. Diabetes mellitus increases risk of unsuccessful graft preparation in Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty: A multicenter study. Cornea 2014;33(11):1129-33.
  • Greiner MA, Burckart KA, Wagoner MD, Schmidt GA, Reed CR, Liaboe CA, Flamme-Wiese MJ, Zimmerman MB, Mullins RF, Kardon RH, Goins KM, Aldrich BT. Regional assessment of energy-producing metabolic activity in the endothelium of donor corneas. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(5):2803-10.
  • Aldrich BT, Schlötzer-Schrehardt U, Skeie JM, Burckart KA, Schmidt GA, Reed CR, Zimmerman MB, Kruse FE, Greiner MA. Mitochondrial and morphologic alterations in native human corneal endothelial cells associated with diabetes mellitus. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2017;58(4):2130-8.


“I strive to do everything in my power to be the best possible steward of the gift of cornea donation. The more we know, the more sight we can restore to more individuals.”