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Michael D. Abramoff, MD, PhD


Dr. Michael AbramoffThe Robert C. Watzke, MD Professor in Retina Research
Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)
Professor of Biomedical Engineering (BME)



Upcoming ARVO presentation: Catastrophic Failure in Image-Based Convolutional Neural Network Algorithms for Detecting Diabetic Retinopathy


  • 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 Doc Fellow, Research Fellowship, RIKEN Neural Networks Research Laboratory
  • Resident, Surgery, University Hospital of Maastricht
  • Resident, Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Utrecht
  • Fellow, Medical Retina, Vrije Universiteit University Hospital
  • Fellow, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Videos from Dr. Abramoff's Investiture Ceremony

How Dr. Abramoff Measures Success as a Physician and Researcher

Dr. Abramoff's Journey to Bring Innovation to Patients

The Impact of Dr. Abramoff's Work

Dr. Abramoff

Comments by Residents regarding Dr. Abramoff:

  • "Excellent teacher."
  • "He makes a point to enforce with residents that teaching is his first priority and this shows in how he operates his clinic. He listens to the residents assessments and pushes them to generate their own clinical plan. He integrates evidence and experience in his teaching effortlessly. He is one of the most supportive faculty of the residents, encouraging them to become involved in research and takes time to mentor them along their career path."
  • "We are very lucky to have him as a faculty."
  • "Great working with Dr. Abramoff. I learned a lot from his guidance in clinic. He has a very good systematic approach to retina that I hope to be able to adopt. I look forward to working with him again next year."
  • "It is truly an honor to work with and learn from Dr. Abramoff. I have so enjoyed my time at the VA in the Retina Clinic with him. He provides excellent guidance but also pushes residents to develop our own assessments and plans. He has also been a fabulous instructor for me with lasers."
  • "He clearly is dedicated to furthering the field of ophthalmology through all aspects of medicine - research, teaching, and clinical care. I look forward to continue working with him."
  • "We're lucky to have him teaching residents and helping to care for our patients."
  • "Fun to work with and very knowledgeable."
Evolution of a physician-scientist

The Retinator Editorials

Here you can find two enlightening and entertaining editorials about our work.


Diabetic retinopathy is a neurodegenerative disorder


  • M.D. Abràmoff, P.J. Magelhaes, S.J. Ram, Image Processing with ImageJ. Biophotonics International, 11(7):36-42, 2004; over 7500 citations!


  • Messidor-2 dataset as used in Abramoff et al, Automated analysis of retinal images for detection of referable diabetic retinopathy, JAMA Ophthalmol. 2013;131:351-7, and in Abramoff et al, Improved automated detection of diabetic retinopathy on a publicly available dataset through integration of deep learning, IOVS, 2016 [in press].

Retinal Image Analysis


Other Resources


  • A list of Dr. Abramoff's publications are on his academic profile. Be sure to click on the "Show All" button to see the full list.


  • Abramoff, M. D., van Ginneken, B., Niemeijer, M. 7,474,775, "Automatic Detection of Red Lesions in Digital Color Fundus Photographs."
  • Abramoff, M. D., Kwon, Y. H. 7,712,898, "Methods and Systems for Optic Nerve Head Segmentation."
  • Abramoff, M. D., Quellec, G. U.S. Patent Application Number US 13/992,552, "Optimal, User-Friendly, Object Background Separation in Images."
  • Abramoff, M. D., Niemeijer, M., Xu, X., Sonka, M. U.S. Patent Application number US 13/355,386, "Automated determination of arteriovenous ratio in images of blood vessels."
  • Abràmoff, M., Tang, L. US Patent Application number 13/980,804, "Systems and Methods for Generating a Three-Dimensional Shape from Stereo Color Images."
  • Lee, S., Niemeijer, M., Reinhardt, J., Abramoff, M. D. US Patent number 8,194,936, "Optimal Registration of Multiple Deformed Images Using a Physical Model of the Imaging Distortion."
  • Abramoff, M. D., Soliz, P., Russell, S. R. US Patent number 8,340,437, "Methods and Systems for Determining Optimal Features for Classifying Patterns or Objects in Images."
  • Wu, X., Garvin, M., Abramoff, M., Sonka, M. US Patent number 8,358,819, "System and methods for image segmentation in N-dimensional space."
  • Abràmoff, M. US Patent number 8,616,702, "Hybrid Laser Ophthalmoscope."
  • Abràmoff, M., Tang, L., Wu, X. US Provisional Patent Application number 61/968,713, "Graph Search Using Non-Euclidean Deformed Graph."
  • Abramoff, M. D., DeHoog, E. US Patent number 9,155,465, "Snapshot spectral domain optical coherence tomographer."
  • Abramoff, M. D., Sonka, M. US Patent number 9,545,196, "Automated assessment of glaucoma loss from optical coherence tomography."

Dr. AbramoffCertifications and Affiliations

  • Iowa Board of Medical Examiners
  • Netherlands Ophthalmologic Society
  • Editor, Head and Face Journal, 2004-
  • Editor, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, 2015-
  • Editor, Scientific Reports (Nature), 2015-
  • Associate Director, United States Department of Veteran Affairs Center for Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss
  • Member, Macula Society, 2007-
  • Member, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 1998-
  • Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 1997-
  • Member, Biomedical Engineering Committee, International Association of Science and Technology for Development, 2006-
  • Committee on Medical Information Technology of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2004-
  • Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine, working group 9 (ophthalmology), 2000-
  • American Telemedicine Association
  • European Society of Ophthalmic and Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, 2002-
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 1996-
  • Nederlands Oogheelkundig Gezelschap (Dutch Board of Ophthalmology), 1995-

Full Speeches from Dr. Abramoff and Gary Seamans

Michael D. Abramoff, MD, PhD

Gary F. Seamans