Tammy Z. Movsas
Founder and Director
I founded Zietchick Research Institute in 2012 to investigate my innovative theories that reproductive hormones help promote (physiologic and pathologic) angiogenesis outside of the reproductive system. My aim is to develop new, anti-hormonal therapeutics for diseases associated with dysregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF); VEGF is the main driver of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis in the body. Examples of VEGF-associated diseases include morbidities of diabetes such as retinopathy and nephropathy. Over the last 8 years, I and my team at Zietchick Research Institute have performed and published a variety of animal, human and cell line studies to show that hormones such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) are indeed involved in VEGF regulation in organs such as the eye, brain and kidney. One of my recent discoveries has been that preterm infants produce the pregnancy hormone hCG after birth and that a deficiency of hCG is associated with retinopathy of prematurity. The inspiration for my work has come from my unique, multi-disciplinary background in neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology, maternal/child health, preventive medicine and biochemistry. My state-of-the-art laboratory at Zietchick Research Institute is one of several life science companies located in the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center in Plymouth, MI (near Ann Arbor, MI).