Areas of Interest
Rajesh C. Rao M.D. is a physician-scientist and practicing vitreoretinal surgeon. Following completion of undergraduate studies (B.S. in Molecular Biology) at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rajesh earned his M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his internship at Evanston Hospital/McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University and ophthalmology residency at Harvard Medical School/Mass Eye & Ear. He obtained additional 2-year subspecialty training in vitreoretinal surgery, uveitis, and ocular oncology at Barnes Retina Institute (a joint program of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and The Retina Institute). Since becoming faculty at the University of Michigan, Dr. Rao has been an NIH/NEI K12 and K08-funded clinician-scientist at Kellogg Eye Center, and has earned awards and grants from Research to Prevent Blindness, E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation, Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Alcon Research Institute, and Univ. Michigan Biointerfaces Institute. In 2015, he became the youngest member inducted into the Macula Society and was inducted into The Retina Society in 2017. The focus of his translational research laboratory is the epigenetic regulation of retinal development and disease in order to identify new biomarkers, therapeutic targets, and applications of stem cells for blinding diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and eye cancers.