Bookmark and Share

Michaela K. Mathews

Michaela K. Mathews M.D.

Academic Title: Clinical Assistant Professor
Primary Appointment: Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Secondary Appointments: Anatomy and Neurobiology
Location: 419 W. Redwood, 420
Phone: 667-214-1111
Phone: 667-214-1232
Fax: 410 -328-1178
Lab: 410- 706-1767

Personal History:

Dr. Michaela Kunz Mathews is a graduate of the Medical University of Vienna, Austria. During her initial fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University's Wilmer Eye Institute, she participated in groundbreaking research on the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in diabetic eye disease, sickle cell retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity. She then completed Ophthalmology residency training at UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson, New Jersey and Neuro-ophthalmology fellowship training at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. Dr. Mathews is an expert in Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, Optic Neuritis, Idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and Optic nerve trauma. Dr. Mathews currently pursues research on Ischemic optic neuropathy, atherosclerosis, and hyperlipidemia, in particular, Lipoprotein(a)- related eye disease.

Research Interests:

Dr. Mathews performs translational research in ischemic optic neuropathy, a disease thought to be associated with premature atherosclerosis and to precede more common manifestations of atherosclerosis, such as heart attack and stroke.

In her research, she uses electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, and electron microscopy to investigate the effects of obesity and hyperlipidemia, especially elevated Lipoprotein(a), on eye health. She is also interested in the role of melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells in functional deficits of the eye and brain, following blast trauma and stroke.

Clinical Speciality:

In her clinical practice, Dr. Mathews specializes in disorders of the optic nerve, visual pathway, and ocular motor system. She sees patients with congenital, toxic, traumatic, para-neoplastic, and nutritional optic nerve disorders, facial nerve palsy and other cranial nerve syndromes, as well brain tumors and strokes affecting the eye and visual system. Dr. Mathews practices at the University Faculty Professional building, 419 W Redwood Street, and at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She is the director of the Ophthalmology inpatient consult service at the University of Maryland Medical Center and the Shock Trauma Center.

Lab Techniques and Equipment:

Immunohistochemistry, Histology, Electrophysiology, ERG, VEP. Ocular Coherence Tomography.


MK Mathews, C Merges, DS McLeod, GA Lutty. “Vascular endothelial growth factor and vascular permeability changes in human diabetic retinopathy.” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997 Dec; 38 (13): 2729-41.

GA Lutty, MK Mathews, C Merges, DS McLeod. “Adenosine stimulates canine retinal microvascular endothelial cell migration and tube formation.”  Curr. Eye Res. 1998 Jun; 17(6): 594-607.

J Cao, MK Mathews, DS McLeod, C Merges, LM Hjelmeland, GA Lutty. “Angiogenic factors in human proliferative sickle cell retinopathy.” Br. J. Ophthalmol. 1999 Jul; 83(7): 838-46.

M Kunz-Mathews, DS McLeod, C Merges, J Cao, GA Lutty. “Neutrophils and leucocyte adhesion molecules in sickle cell retinopathy.” Br. J. Ophthalmol. 2002; 86:684-690.

MK Mathews, RC Sergott, PJ Savino: “Pseudotumor cerebri.” Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2003; 14(6): 364-370. Reprinted in Contemporary Ophthalmology 2004; 25(3). Review

R. Behbehani, MK Mathews, RC Sergott, PJ Savino. “Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy in patients with sleep apnea while being treated with continuous positive airway pressure.” Am. J. Ophthalmol 2005; 139:518-521

MK Mathews: “Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.” Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2005; 16(6):341-5. Review

MK Mathews, L Frohman, HJ Lee, RC Sergott, PJ Savino. “Spinal fluid leak after chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine.” Arch Ophthalmol 2006; 124(2): 283

RR Sayegh, KA Madsen, JD Adler, MA Johnson, MK Mathews: “Diffuse retinal injury from a non-penetrating TASER dart.”  Documenta Ophthalmologica 2011; 123 (2): 135-139

RR Sayegh, KA Madsen, JD Adler, MA Johnson, MK Mathews: “Response to TASER electronic control devices and eye injuries.” Documenta Ophthalmologica 2012 Apr;124(2):161-2

N Bhatt, R Morales, M Mathews: “MRI Findings in Bilateral Post-operative Posterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy.” Open Journal of Ophthalmology. 2013, 3, 51-53.

MK Mathews, Y Guo, P Langenberg, SL Bernstein: “Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) - mediated ganglion cell survival in a rodent model of non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION).” Br J Ophthalmol., 2015;99:133-137 doi:10.1136/bjophthalmol-2014-305969