Dr. Howard Petty

Howard Petty, PhD

Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Office: 734-647-0384

Administrative Contact

Phone: 734-764-4182
Fax: 734-936-3815

Areas of Interest

Research Summary

Inflammatory processes within the eye; role of glycolytic enzymes in signaling; regulation of reactive oxygen species; imaging tools in biomedicine, nanotechnology

Dr. Howard R. Petty's goal is to understand the mechanisms that drive chemical signaling within the cell and how these mechanisms might be exploited to improve patient care. This work, for example, could lead to new ways of protecting the retina.

Dr. Petty’s laboratory is active in the development of new tools to study the structure and function of the retina. This includes new ways of studying metabolic activity in vitro and in vivo. In addition, his laboratory has used nanotechnology to develop new tools to study the structure of the human retina. These approaches have led to a better understanding of the biochemical changes observed during eye disease. 

It has been known for many years that certain diseases, such as uveitis and MS, remit during pregnancy. During pregnancy the immune response changes to protect the fetus; these changes are also presumed to be responsible for the clinical improvement of autoimmune diseases during pregnancy. However, how these changes take place is poorly understood. Recently, Dr. Petty and his collaborator, Dr. Roberto Romero at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, have identified a role of the glycolytic apparatus in the regulation of immune cell activity during pregnancy. Their work is paving the way for new and effective anti-inflammatory treatments.


  • PhD - Biophysics, Harvard University
  • Postdoctoral - Chemistry, Stanford University

Published Articles or Reviews

Web Sites