Yannis M. Paulus, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Associate Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences


University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center
1000 Wall Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48105


(734) 764-4182

Primary Website

Michigan Medicine Profile


  • Fellowship, Surgical and Medical Retina, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University
  • Residency, Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • School of Medicine Internship, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Medical School, Concentration: Bioengineering, Stanford University
  • Undergraduate, Chemistry and Physics, Harvard University

Research Interests

My lab is a multidisciplinary group dedicated to improving the vision of patients suffering from eye diseases through applying biomedical engineering, lasers, photonics, optics, ultrasound, physics, nanoparticles, and mathematical modeling to develop novel retinal imaging systems, nanotechnologies, and laser therapies. I have co-developed a novel, inexpensive system for providing tele-ultrasound, co-founded retinal imaging and laser treatment companies, and investigate laser-tissue interactions and new laser-ultrasound therapies. I am studying photoacoustic and molecular and cellular imaging of the retina and choroid for retinal vascular and ischemic diseases, including diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. I seek to improve early disease diagnosis, improve treatment monitoring, and practice more individualized medicine tailored to each patient through molecular and cellular imaging. We have developed a novel, multimodal molecular imaging system to visualize individual capillaries and neovascularization and even single cells of the eye using a safe energy level that incorporates photoacoustic microscopy (PAM), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and fluorescence microscopy. Using contrast agents, we evaluate markers for the early detection of choroidal and retinal neovascularization. We also work on developing nanotechnology (eg, nanoneedles and microneedles) for long-term, sustained drug delivery. This work will allow physicians to practice individualized medicine by providing real-time, in vivo molecular information. It will also improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of neovascularization in diseases such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Research Areas:

Biomedical Imaging, Biomedical Imaging and Optics

Additional Title(s)

  • Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Helmut F. Stern Career Development Professor


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Yannis M. Paulus, M.D., F.A.C.S, is an academic vitreoretinal surgeon and clinician scientist that loves applying biomedical engineering, optics, lasers, biodesign, and nanoparticles to develop novel retinal imaging, therapeutics, and laser systems. He is the Helmut F. Stern Career Development Professor and an Associate Professor with Tenure at the University of Michigan, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Medical Director of the Grand Blanc ACU. He completed his undergraduate in chemistry and physics at Harvard, medical school with a bioengineering scholarly concentration and ophthalmology residency at Stanford University, and surgical/medical vitreoretinal fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Paulus directs an active, multidisciplinary laboratory dedicated to improving the vision of patients suffering from eye diseases by developing novel retinal imaging and treatment systems including multimodal cellular and molecular imaging systems, nanotechnologies including micro and nanoneedles, and minimally traumatic retinal laser therapies. He has published over 160 peer-reviewed publications in leading journals including Nature Communications, Nature Nanotechnology, Science Advances, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, and the Lancet, has started up 3 retinal start-ups, and has applied for 10 patents through the University of Michigan.


  • 2022 Dr. Paulus was a Top 10 reviewer in 2022 for OSLI Retina
  • 2022 Postdoctoral fellow V. Phuc Nguyen recipient of ARVO Travel Grant! 
  • 2022 Two members of our group ARVO abstracts Azzouz and Nguyen selected as “Hot Topics”!
  • 2022 Postdoctoral fellow V. Phuc Nguyen 2nd place winner of the Journal of Biomedical Optics(JBO)/neurophotonics 3 minute poster competition at SPIE Photonics West Conference! Congratulations Phuc!
  • 2022 Dr. Paulus received Senior Member Designation by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • 2021 Ben Young, MD, MS, received a Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship! 
  • 2021 Ben Young, MD, MS, received a Knights Templar Eye Foundation Travel Grant to cover a presentation at the ARVO 2021 Annual Meeting! 
  • 2021 Jessica Henry received an ARVO Travel Grant Recipient! 
  • 2020 Dr. Paulus received the 2020 ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award