North Texas Eye Research Institute

Dimitrios Karamichos PhD

Lab Mission

To discover, develop, and deliver novel therapies for the treatment of corneal trauma and diseases.

About the Principal Investigator

Dimitrios joined the North Texas Eye Research Institute (NTERI) and the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center (UNTHSC) in April 2020 as the Director of Research for NTERI. Since January 2022, Dr. Karamichos is the Executive Director and Endowed Chair of NTERI. He is also a Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacology & Neuroscience. Dimitrios is an engineer by training, having obtained his BEng in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from the Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK. He did his MSc at Imperial College, University of London, London, UK focusing on tissue engineering, imaging modalities, and radiology. In 2006, he obtained his PhD in Tissue Repair and Engineering from University College London, University of London, London, UK followed by two Postdoctoral Fellowships with UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX and Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. From 2013 to 2020, Dimitrios was with the Dean McGee Eye Institute where he served as the Director of Research for the Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience Sciences, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Program Development, Graduate College, and Endowed Professor W. Stanley Muenzler in Corneal Diseases. His research is currently funded by the National Eye Institute, with significant contribution in the corneal biology field.

Ongoing Projects

– Determine if Prolactin Induced Protein (PIP) is a biomarker for keratoconus.

– Delineate the role of sex hormones during the onset and progression of keratoconus.

– Investigate and delineate the role of sphingolipids in corneal wound healing, using complementary in vitro and in vivo models.

– Investigate and determine the role of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-α in diabetic keratopathy, using in vitro and in vivo models.


Recent publications


Down syndrome (DS) is a common chromosomal disorder that results from the triplication of chromosome 21. Comorbid medical conditions frequently occur among individuals with DS; however, ophthalmic disorders such as keratoconus occurs 6 times more often among this population as compared to the general population. Keratoconus is a known multifactorial, progressive, degenerative disease of the cornea; however, the etiology of the disease remains unclear. The ongoing study aims to determine and validate the role of gonadotropins in the DS population with the keratoconus co-morbidity with the long-term goal to better understand the underlying mechanisms that result in increased risk for ocular co-morbidities such as keratoconus among this population. We aim to include ~90 participants with DS and/or keratoconus, who will donate biological fluids for analysis. If successful, data obtained from this study could help facilitate the development of a screening tool for detecting individuals with DS who are at risk for development of keratoconus, with the goal of defining potential enrollment into clinical trials. The study is spearheaded by Drs. Karamichos and Petersen (UNTHSC).

Key benefits of leading a Special Issue with Hindawi –


Sarah Nicholas (Research Associate/Lab Manager)
Brenda Vasini (Research & Operations Associate)
Purnima Sharma (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Brenna Hefley (PhD Student)
Pawan Shrestha (Laboratory Assistant)
Alexander Choi (Laboratory Assistant)



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Dimitrios Karamichos, PhD

Executive Director & Endowed Chair, NTERI
Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacology & Neuroscience:
3500 Camp Bowie Blvd. IREB-505
U. North Texas Health Science Center
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Office: 817 735 2101