Grytz

Associate Professor

Areas of Interest
growth and remodeling mechanisms in myopia, keratoconus, and glaucoma

Secondary Appointments
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Grytz joined the department of ophthalmology in 2012 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 related to ophthalmology, bioengineering, and computational mechanics. 

Research

Our eyes are composed of living tissues, which 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 pathological conditions. His particular research interest includes growth and remodeling in myopia, glaucoma, and keratoconus. 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. The Grytz Lab develops experimental and computational methods to image, quantify, and simulate growth and remodelingmechanisms 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.

Education & Training

Graduate Degrees
Civil Engineering, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany (M.S. and Ph.D.)

Fellowship
Devers Eye Institute, Portland, Oregon

Contact Information

Physical Campus Address
Volker Hall, L-106-C

Phone
205-996-8687

Email
rafaelgrytz@uabmc.edu