Dr. David Zacks

David N. Zacks, MD, PhD

Edna H. Perkiss Research Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

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Wendy Mrdjenovich: 734-232-8404


David N. Zacks completed his undergraduate degree at Cornell University, where he majored in neurobiology. This was followed by a combined M.D. and Ph.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. He finished his ophthalmology residency in 2000 and his vitreo-retinal fellowship in 2002, both at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Zacks joined the Retina Service of the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center in 2002. His clinical activity focuses on diseases and surgery of the retina. His main research interest is in the molecular control of photoreceptor cell death during retinal disease. He holds (or has held) research grants from the National Eye Institute, Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., Foundation Fighting Blindness, Midwest Eye Bank and Transplantation Center, as well as other foundations. Dr. Zacks has received numerous honors and is a member of various societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Retina Society, the Macula Society and the American Society of Retina Specialists.

Areas of Interest

Research Summary

The laboratory of Dr. David Zacks is focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying retinal cell death and degeneration during retinal disease. The goal of Dr. Zacks' research is to gain new insight into the molecular biology underlying retina cell death and to develop therapies for improving vision in patients with retinal disease.

Dr. Zacks' laboratory uses multiple experimental systems to study.  These include models of hereditary retinal degeneration, macular degeneration and experimental retinal detachment. Dr. Zacks' group uses the latest in molecular biological and genetic techniques to define the mechanisms underlying the activation of death pathways activated within the retina, and to develop strategies for modulating these pathways and preserving the retina. Dr. Zacks also collaborates with regional, national and international vision scientists to expand research efforts in drug development and delivery for photoreceptor neuroprotective therapies.

Dr. Zacks' work has been funded by a variety of government and foundation grants, and has resulted in numerous publications. For more information, please contact Dr. Zacks.

Clinical Interests

Diseases and surgery of the retina and vitreous, including retinal detachments, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, retinal vascular disease, ocular trauma, ocular inflammation, macular and sub-macular surgery, surgical management of complex retinal detachments

Subspecialty: Retina

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  • Medical School and Graduate School - Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1996
  • Residency - Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard University, 2000
  • Fellowship - Vitreo-Retinal Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard University, 2002


Published Articles or Reviews

Web Sites