Support for our endeavors
comes primarily from the
National Institutes of Health


Michael Kass, MD


Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Dr. Kass is the Principal Investigator of the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS), an NIH supported trial conducted in 22 clinical centers in the United States. OHTS was the first trial to demonstrate definitively that treatment of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) delays or prevents the onset of glaucomatous damage. OHTS identified risk factors for developing primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) including older age, higher IOP and larger cup/disc ratio. OHTS was the first study to identify central corneal thickness (CCT) as an independent risk factor for the development of POAG. OHTS determined that delaying treatment of ocular hypertension for several years’ results in only a small increase in the incidence of open-angle glaucoma in low-risk patients. In contrast, delaying treatment in high-risk patients substantially increases the incidence of open-angle glaucoma. We are now working to improve the prediction model by considering other potential risk factors such as axial length, perfusion pressure and optic disc size. We are also investigating genetic factors that control quantitative traits of the eye that may be linked to glaucoma including corneal thickness and intraocular pressure. The papers listed below summarize the published outcomes of OHTS.

Research Interests

  • Diagnosis, treatment and epidemiology of glaucoma


  • BS, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, 1963
  • Medical School: Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, 1966


  • Residency: Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, 1971
  • Fellowship: Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, 1972

Board Certification

  • Ophthalmology -- Certified


  • Listed in Best Doctors in America, 2002-2013 (Best Doctors, Inc.)
  • Listed in America's Top Doctors, 2002-2012 (Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.)
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