Grytz.NAL2013

Rafael Grytz, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology

Secondary Appointments:

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Grytz joined the department of ophthalmology in 2013 as part of the Ocular Biomechanics and Biotransport Program. He applies his expertise in engineering to study growth and remodeling mechanisms in ocular tissues during disease development and progression.

Dr. Grytz received his Master of Science and Ph.D. in civil engineering, both with distinction, from the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. In 2009, Dr. Grytz was awarded the “Deustche Studienpreis”, 2nd prize, by the President of the German Parliament in recognition of his substantial and innovative Ph.D. research work with outstanding relevance to society. After obtaining his Ph.D., Dr. Grytz completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship under the direction of. J. Crawford Downs, Ph.D., followed by an appointment as research associate at the Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Grytz has presented and published his interdisciplinary research work across different research disciplines in over 30 abstracts, 10 invited lectures, two book chapters, and 10 journal articles in premier conferences and journals related to ophthalmology, bioengineering, and computational mechanics.

Research Program

The living eye tissues grow and remodel in response to mechanical, chemical and visual stimuli. Dr. Grytz seeks to understand the biomechanical mechanisms that underlie growth and remodeling in the eye during physiological and pathophysiological conditions. His particular research focus areas include growth and remodeling in glaucoma, keratoconus and myopia. Ongoing projects include the investigation of visually guided mechanisms controlling the axial length of the eye through scleral remodeling; loss and weakening of stromal collagen in keratoconus; and the IOP-dependent remodeling of the optic nerve head in glaucoma. Dr. Grytz’s research work focuses on the development of experimental and computational methods to quantify and simulate growth and remodeling in the eye. His experimental work involves the imaging of collagen remodeling in the living eye tissue. The experimental observations are translated into predictive simulation tools, which involve the development of computational multi-scale methods at various length scales, from the molecule to the organ. His laboratory’s goal is to provide predictive computational simulation tools that support the development of new diagnostics and patient-specific therapeutics in ocular diseases and conditions.

Pub Med search for recent publications

Contact Information

Physical Campus Address: Volker Hall, L-106-C
Phone: 205-996-8687
Email:  grytz@uab.edu

Education & Training

Graduate Degrees: Civil Engineering, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany (M.S. and Ph.D.)
Fellowship: Devers Eye Institute, Portland, Oregon