New Eye Health Treatments for Moms and Babies are ZRI’s Mission

Zietchick Research Institute, LLC, (ZRI) aims to provide all of you with eye health tips and information to benefit all members of your family from the very young to the very old. 

Do you know how eye color is determined?  Have you ever wondered how well a newborn sees?  Have your ever thought about how viruses such as Zika, mumps or chicken pox can affect the eyes? Or…why women don’t see as well through their glasses or contacts lenses during pregnancy? Explore our website to find the answers to these questions  and so much more.

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Eye Health Research and Drug Discovery

Furthermore, ZRI is the only vision research center in the world focused on optimizing maternal/infant eye health by developing new treatments for eye disorders that affect both infants and pregnant women. Dr. Tammy Z Movsas’ (ZRI’s founder) background in pediatric ophthalmology and maternal/child epidemiology helped spark the novel idea that pregnancy-related hormones can affect the development of the infant eye as well as contribute to eye problems encountered during pregnancy. Filled with entrepreneurial spirit, Dr. Movsas launched ZRI in 2012 and within a few short years, she has developed it into a thriving drug discovery institute for vision research.

Michigan Life Science and Innovation CenterZRI is located within the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center in Plymouth, Michigan

ZRI is proud to be located within the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center (MLSIC), a 57,000 square-foot  life science facility, in Plymouth, MI. ZRI has its own wet lab space, a dedicated tissue culture room and all the equipment necessary to perform state-of-the-art analytical chemistry, formulation and cell culture work. We are so pleased that within just a few years since start-up, ZRI has been awarded multiple federal and state grants to allow it to carry out its innovative eye research aimed to develop new ways to prevent blindness in infants and mothers-to-be.

Learn More About ZRI

Please explore our website to learn all about the diseases that we aim to prevent.  First and foremost, we are working on developing a medicine to prevent retinopathy of prematurity, also known as ROP so as to optimize eye health for very low birth weight infants.  Very low birth weight infants (birth weights< 1500g or 3.3 lbs), most of whom were born prematurely, represent 1.5% of U.S. births. 

Premature Infant Eye Health

Thanks to extraordinary advances in medical science, the majority of these infants now survive.  We bet that all of us know someone who was born prematurely or of low birth weight.  Unfortunately, within the very low birthweight infant population, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a common occurrence. In fact, in infants with birth weights <1500g (3.3 lbs),  some degree of ROP  occurs greater than 25% of the time and in infants with birth weights <1000g 2.2 lbs), some degree of ROP occurs greater than 50%. Despite treatment for advanced disease, ROP is one of the leading causes of pediatric blindness in the U.S. and abroad.  ZRI wants to change that!

In regards to maternal eye care, we are working on ways to prevent diabetic eye disease from progressing in pregnant women with diabetes. More than 50% of diabetic women who have diabetic eye disease before pregnancy will have worsening of their retinopathy during pregnancy.  We are in the midst of developing an eyedrop specifically for use during pregnancy to prevent this from happening.  

You Can Help!

Please  consider supporting us in our mission to prevent blindness and optimize eye health. Though we are not a non-profit organization, our research costs are very high and our government grants do not cover all of our expenses. We need your help!  Even a very small donation will go a long way in helping us to develop big treatments for little eyes!  Please donate today.

Child and Infant Eyes