Rafael Grytz, PhD

Rafael Grytz, PhD, is an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His area of professional expertise is the study of growth and remodeling mechanisms in living ocular tissues. Dr. Grytz gained extensive interdisciplinary expertise in ocular biomechanics, growth and remodeling mechanisms, and computational mechanics during his PhD training in civil engineering at Ruhr University Bochum in Bochum, Germany and his NIH-funded postdoctoral training in biomedical engineering at the Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon. He has used experimental methods and computational simulation tools to provide insight into biomechanical mechanisms related to glaucoma. For example, Dr. Grytz has provided explanations for the existence of the lamina cribrosa in the human optic nerve head and its remodeling during the development of glaucoma. His research is driven by the desire to elucidate the biomechanical mechanisms that underlie growth and remodeling in ocular conditions and diseases.

"I feel very privileged and grateful to receive this award from BrightFocus Foundation, and I would like to thank the donors. It is very challenging for young investigators with innovative ideas but limited preliminary data to obtain major grant funding. The BrightFocus grant allows me to develop new methodologies and preliminary date to foster a competitive NIH grant application. Your gifts to National Glaucoma Research are critical for fostering new research ideas that can fundamentally change vision health."