Iris Kassem, MD, PhD

Iris Kassem, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy


Contact Information

Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute
Email Dr. Kassem



MD, PhD – Stony Brook University Medical Center – Stony Brook, NY (2006)
Internship in Internal Medicine – Stony Brook University Medical Center – Stony Brook, NY (2007)
Residency in Ophthalmology – North Shore University Hospital – Great Neck, NY (2010)
Fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus – University of Illinois at Chicago – Chicago, IL (2011)


Research Interests

  • Inflammation and Scarring After Pediatric Intraocular Surgery
  • Ocular Findings of Fabry Disease
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity

Research Team

Kassem Lab
Christine Skumatz, Lab Manager, Jonathon Young, Graduate Student, and Iris Kassem, PI

Research Summary

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


Recent Publications