Michael Abramoff, MD, PhD

Contact Information

Office: 11205  PFP 
Phone: 319-384-5833 
Faculty Profile

Brief description of current research:

Dr. Abramoff and his team focus on automated quantification of diabetes complications. Specifically, they study, develop and validate Artificial Intelligence algorithms that both autonomously diagnose diabetic retinopathy, as well as quantifying retinal and brain images. Some of these algorithms have been commercialized and one is waiting for FDA clearance after exceeding its clinical trial endpoints. These AI based algorithms allow the quantification of both neural tissue as well as the microvasculature, and thus they were able to show that diabetes causes a neuropathy that precedes any form of microvasculopathy in the retina. They also study the quantification of microvasculopathy in diabetes, using fully automated algorithms to measure vascular parameters in the retina, and use these to predict vascular complications including stroke, hypertension and nephropathy. They have recently started to test various compounds to prevent diabetic retinal neuropathy, and hope to thereby prevent diabetic retinopathy.

3 most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  • Abràmoff MD, Folk JC, Han DP, Walker JD, Williams DF, Russell SR, Massin P, Cochener B, Gain P, Tang L, Lamard M, Moga DC, Quellec G, Niemeijer M.  Automated analysis of retinal images for detection of referable diabetic retinopathy.  JAMA Ophthalmol, 2013; 131(3):351-357. 
  • Sohn, E. H., H. W. van Dijk, C. Jiao, P. H. Kok, W. Jeong, N. Demirkaya, A. Garmager, F. Wit, M. Kucukevcilioglu, M. E. van Velthoven, J. H. DeVries, R. F. Mullins, M. H. Kuehn, R. O. Schlingemann, M. Sonka, F. D. Verbraak and Abràmoff MD (2016). "Retinal neurodegeneration may precede microvascular changes characteristic of diabetic retinopathy in diabetes mellitus." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113(19): E2655-2664.
  • Lynch, S. K. and Abràmoff MD (2017). "Diabetic retinopathy is a neurodegenerative disorder." Vision Res 139: 101-107.