About Us

"A passion for research. A commitment to care."

The Foundation for Vision Research (FVR) is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that offers new approaches to diagnose and treat vision loss caused by retinal diseases and cancers of the eye. The physicians at Retina Specialists of Michigan donated their time and resources to create a retinal research organization which would participate in clinical research to gain a greater understanding of the causes of retinal diseases, develop better ways to treat and control the diseases and to ultimately prevent or cure these blinding conditions.

The Foundation’s purpose is clear and focused: To drive the research that will lead to preventions, treatments, and vision restoration for the spectrum of retinal diseases.

We focus on macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and macular edema, ocular melanoma, radiation retinopathy, uveitis, inherited retinal diseases, and retinal vascular occlusive diseases.

Our hope is that the work of the Foundation for Vision Research will:

  • Enable more patients to receive cutting-edge care years before it becomes available to the public, especially those who would otherwise be unable to afford or access these types of advanced medications, surgical procedures, and technologies.
  • Expand and develop new treatments and approaches that help save our patient's vision.
  • Contribute to the research and understanding within our industry on a local, national, and global scale.
  • Educate area doctors and patients in West Michigan by sharing the information we learn from research.

You can make a difference today in helping to prevent and treat vision loss for individuals with retinal disease.

Please contact us if our work inspires you.

Meet The Team

We are a team of natural-born problem solvers motivated by compassion. We’re excited about the future of retinal and vision care — both how we can provide cutting-edge technologies to our patients and support the broader advancement of clinical discovery.


Research Team


Katie Aaberg

Executive Director

Holly Vincent

Manager of Clinical Research

Eric Hederstedt

Senior Research Coordinator

Samuel Dada

Research Coordinator

Gene Lanier

Research Coordinator

Sara Baxter Seymour OD

Study team

MP Chelsky OD

Study Team

Kathy Karsten

Study Team



Dr. Thomas Aaberg

Investigator & Board President

Dr. Scott Westhouse

Investigator & Board Member

Dr. Nathan Pezda

Investigator & Board Treasurer

Dr. Liliya Sutherland

Investigator & Board Secretary

Dr. Joseph Boss


Tim Alles

Board Member

Alita Hassan

Board Member