Iris S. Kassem, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences; Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy; Associate Director, Medical Scientist Training Program
- Children's Wisconsin Clinics Building
8920 W. Connell Ct.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Children's Wisconsin - New Berlin Clinic
4855 S. Moorland Rd.
New Berlin WI, 53151
The Eye Institute
925 N. 87th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Residency in Ophthalmology, North Shore University Hospital, Great Neck, NY, 2010
Fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, University of Illinois-Chicago, 2011
Dr. Iris Kassem was born and raised in Queens, New York. She earned her Bachelor of Science in physiology with honors at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She then attended the combined MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program at the SUNY Health Science Center at Stony Brook. After completing her internship in internal medicine, Dr. Kassem completed her ophthalmology residency at the hospital where she was born at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. She subsequently undertook a pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago Eye and Ear Infirmary, where she stayed on as faculty for four years after fellowship. She joined the faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2015.
Dr. Kassem met and married her husband while they attended the same MD/PhD program. They have two young boys who love sports, including hockey, long-distance running, and tennis.
- Anterior Eye Segment
- Child, Preschool
- Treatment Outcome
The Laboratory focuses on improving vision in pediatric and genetic disorders that affect the eye.
Inflammation and Fibrosis After Intraocular Surgery
In children, achieving optimal visual potential after intraocular surgery is more difficult than adults because there is a higher incidence of complications from inflammation and scarring. Postoperative complications in children increase the risk of irreversible decreased vision from amblyopia. As a clinician-scientist, my long-term goal is to improve visual outcomes in children after intraocular surgery. Improving postoperative care in patients, especially children who are at risk of permanently reduced vision from amblyopia, can have a lifelong impact of improved visual outcomes.
The central hypothesis is that children have intrinsic differences in the response to intraocular surgery that result in more inflammation and scarring compared to adults. We are currently investigating age-related changes in aqueous humor and investigating the efficacy of pharmacologic intervention on reduction of inflammation and scarring after eye surgery. This information enables us to identify and evaluate novel and therapeutic options that will potentially improve surgical outcomes.
Funding for this research: NIH/NEI K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award 2014-2019
Diagnosis and Predictive Value of the Ocular Manifestations of Fabry Disease
Our lab also focuses on the ocular manifestations of Fabry Disease, a lysosomal storage disease. In collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Nancy Dahms, we have discovered that Fabry rats with a mutation of the GLA gene recapitulate the ocular phenotype in addition to the pain, kidney, and heart phenotypes experienced by patients. Our central hypothesis is that corneal, lenticular, and retinal vascular changes are a prelude to visually significant events and systemic disease in both the α-Gal A KO rat and patients with Fabry disease. Our unique approach integrates the complementary strengths of an animal model, giving the opportunity to study a large controlled population, while human studies determine the clinical significance of pathology.
Funding for this research: R01 EY030077 5/1/2019 – 3/31/2024
(Low SWY, Connor TB, Kassem IS, Costakos DM, Chaurasia SS.) International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2 July 2021;22(14) SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85109111419 07/02/2021
(Young JB, Keppel TR, Waas M, Salmon AE, Buchberger AR, Skumatz CMB, Gundry RL, Kassem IS.) Mol Omics. 2020 04 01;16(2):126-137 PMID: 32031200 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85083358728 02/08/2020
(Dikopf MS, Machen LA, Hallak JA, Chau FY, Kassem IS.) J AAPOS. 2019 08;23(4):211.e1-211.e6 PMID: 31229607 PMCID: PMC6778011 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85070210736 06/24/2019
(Dotan G, Kassem I, Weaver D, Wagner RS.) J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 2019 07 01;56(4):209-211 PMID: 31322707 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85070099756 07/20/2019
(Miller JJ, Aoki K, Reid CA, Tiemeyer M, Dahms NM, Kassem IS.) Sci Rep. 2019 06 28;9(1):9392 PMID: 31253878 PMCID: PMC6599056 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85068107461 06/30/2019
(Han DP, Skumatz C, Besharse JC, Kassem IS.) J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2019 06;35(5):278-282 PMID: 30916605 PMCID: PMC6588124 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85067020226 03/28/2019
(Yu FPS, Sajdak BS, Sikora J, Salmon AE, Nagree MS, Gurka J, Kassem IS, Lipinski DM, Carroll J, Medin JA.) Am J Pathol. 2019 02;189(2):320-338 PMID: 30472209 PMCID: PMC6412726 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85060099082 11/26/2018
(Bogaard JD, Young JB, Movahedan A, Kassem IS.) Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2019 Jan;8(1):5 PMID: 30637175 PMCID: PMC6327344 01/15/2019
(Warren CC, Young JB, Goldberg MR, Connor TB, Kassem IS, Costakos DM.) Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2018 07 01;49(7):497-503 PMID: 30021036 PMCID: PMC6196355 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85050358307 07/19/2018
(Warren CC, Young JB, Goldberg MR, Connor TB, Kassem IS, Costakos DM.) Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers, and Imaging Retina.. 05/09/2018
(Kinori M, Wehrli S, Kassem IS, Azar NF, Maumenee IH, Mets MB.) Am J Ophthalmol. 2017 May;177:144-149 PMID: 28257833 PMCID: PMC5648325 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85015385280 03/05/2017
(Shareef FJ, Sun S, Kotecha M, Kassem I, Azar D, Cho M.) Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Apr 01;57(4):2195-202 PMID: 27116547 PMCID: PMC4849870 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-84964770541 04/27/2016
- Inflammation and Scarring After Pediatric Intraocular Surgery
- Ocular Findings of Fabry Disease
- Retinopathy of Prematurity