Mark E. Kleinman, MD

Clinical interests

  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Gene Therapy
  • Inflammatory Disorders of the Eye
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Macular Hole
  • Retinal Detachment
  • Uveitis

Mark E. Kleinman, MD


My name is Mark E. Kleinman; I am a board-certified ophthalmologist, retinal specialist, and physician-scientist at the University of Kentucky. I focus on the medical and surgical management of diseases of the retina and vitreous including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, macular pucker and holes, uveitis, and infectious and inflammatory diseases of the retina and choroid. 75 percent of my efforts are committed to conducting basic and clinical science research on neovascular and degenerative eye diseases with specific emphases on aging, inflammation and molecular imaging of early pathological changes to the retina and choroid.

I joined the University of Kentucky in 2006 after completing both my medical education and a surgery internship at New York University. While completing my medical degree, I developed a specific interest in the field of stem/progenitor cell biology and anomalous vascular growth, in particular with proliferating infantile hemangioma, for which I received the Weston Research Grant. At the University of Kentucky, I performed a post-doctoral research fellowship, supported by the IRRF Charles D. Kelman Award, followed by an ophthalmology residency and a 2-year vitreoretinal fellowship. My research interests are focused on defining the molecular interface of angiogenesis and cell death mediators within the biologic spectrum of immune-related inflammation in retinal diseases using next-generation molecular techniques in transcriptomic profiling and functional proteomics. My translational goals are focused on the development of diagnostic bio-imaging tools and to design new therapeutic approaches to vision and life threatening eye diseases.

Faculty rank

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology


New York University School of Medicine

University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, Lexington

Vitreoretinal Surgery, University of Kentucky, Lexington

Certifications or Special training
American Board of Ophthalmology

Advanced Eye Care

Shriners Medical Center
Fourth and Fifth Floors
110 Conn Terrace
Lexington KY 40508

Call 859-323-5867
Fax 859-323-8510

(Primary eye care and all subspecialty eye care)

Starting March 20, appointments will be scheduled at the new Shriner's location.

UK HealthCare Parking Garage (Parking Structure #8) is directly behind Shriners Medical Center.

Directions to Shriners Medical Center »
Directions to UK HealthCare Parking Garage »

Advanced Eye Care

Kentucky Eye Institute
Suite 100
601 Perimeter Drive
Lexington KY 40517

Call 859-278-9393
Call 800-432-9278

(Retina and vitreous disorders)

Directions to Kentucky Eye Institute Lexington »

Advanced Eye Care

UK HealthCare Jessamine Eye Center
100 John Sutherland Drive, Suite 3
Nicholasville KY 40356-2424

Insurance information

Insurance policies can vary widely. Please check with your doctor/clinic for specific insurance information before your visit or procedure to avoid unexpected out-of-pocket costs. See list of insurers »

Referral form for physicians »

The Kleinman Lab - Ocular Biology and Imaging at the University of Kentucky
  1. Ouseph MM, Kleinman ME, Wang QJ. Vision loss in juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN3 disease). Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 May;1371(1):55-67.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Berner AK, Kleinman ME. Therapeutic Approaches to Histone Reprogramming in Retinal Degeneration. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;854:39-44.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Gelfand BD, Wright CB, Kim Y, Yasuma T, Yasuma R, Li S, Fowler BJ, Bastos-Carvalho A, Kerur N, Uittenbogaard A, Han YS, Lou D, Kleinman ME, McDonald WH, Núñez G, Georgel P, Dunaief JL, Ambati J. Iron Toxicity in the Retina Requires Alu RNA and the NLRP3 Inflammasome. Cell Rep. 2015 Jun 23;11(11):1686-93.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Kleinman ME, Ambati J. Clocking in on diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes. 2013 Jan; 62(1):29-30. PMID: 23258909.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Dridi S, Hirano Y, Tarallo V, Kim Y, Fowler BJ, Ambati BK, Bogdanovich S, Chiodo VA, Hauswirth WW, Kugel JF, Goodrich JA, Ponicsan SL, Hinton DR, Kleinman ME, Baffi JZ, Gelfand BD, Ambati J. ERK1/2 activation is a therapeutic target in age-related macular degeneration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Aug 21; 109(34):13781-6. PMID: 22869729.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Tarallo V, Hirano Y, Gelfand BD, Dridi S, Kerur N, Kim Y, Cho WG, Kaneko H, Fowler BJ, Bogdanovich S, Albuquerque RJ, Hauswirth WW, Chiodo VA, Kugel JF, Goodrich JA, Ponicsan SL, Chaudhuri G, Murphy MP, Dunaief JL, Ambati BK, Ogura Y, Yoo JW, Lee DK, Provost P, Hinton DR, Núñez G, Baffi JZ, Kleinman ME, Ambati J. DICER1 loss and Alu RNA induce age-related macular degeneration via the NLRP3 inflammasome and MyD88. Cell. 2012 May 11; 149(4):847-59. PMID: 22541070.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Kleinman ME, Ambati J. A window to innate neuroimmunity: Toll-like receptor-mediated cell responses in the retina. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012; 723:3-9. PMID: 22183308.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Kleinman ME, Kaneko H, Cho WG, Dridi S, Fowler BJ, Blandford AD, Albuquerque RJ, Hirano Y, Terasaki H, Kondo M, Fujita T, Ambati BK, Tarallo V, Gelfand BD, Bogdanovich S, Baffi JZ, Ambati J. Short-interfering RNAs induce retinal degeneration via TLR3 and IRF3. Mol Ther. 2012 Jan; 20(1):101-8. PMID: 21988875.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Kaneko H, Dridi S, Tarallo V, Gelfand BD, Fowler BJ, Cho WG, Kleinman ME, Ponicsan SL, Hauswirth WW, Chiodo VA, Karikó K, Yoo JW, Lee DK, Hadziahmetovic M, Song Y, Misra S, Chaudhuri G, Buaas FW, Braun RE, Hinton DR, Zhang Q, Grossniklaus HE, Provis JM, Madigan MC, Milam AH, Justice NL, Albuquerque RJ, Blandford AD, Bogdanovich S, Hirano Y, Witta J, Fuchs E, Littman DR, Ambati BK, Rudin CM, Chong MM, Provost P, Kugel JF, Goodrich JA, Dunaief JL, Baffi JZ, Ambati J. DICER1 deficit induces Alu RNA toxicity in age-related macular degeneration. Nature. 2011 Mar 17; 471(7338):325-30. PMID: 21297615.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Kleinman ME, Baffi JZ, Ambati J. The multifactorial nature of retinal vascular disease. Ophthalmologica. 2010; 224 Suppl 1:16-24. PMID: 20714177.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Kleinman ME, Westhouse SJ, Ambati J, Pearson PA, Halperin LS. Triamcinolone crystal size. Ophthalmology. 2010 Aug; 117(8):1654, 1654.e1-4. PMID: 20682380.
    View in: PubMed
  12. Albuquerque RJ, Hayashi T, Cho WG, Kleinman ME, Dridi S, Takeda A, Baffi JZ, Yamada K, Kaneko H, Green MG, Chappell J, Wilting J, Weich HA, Yamagami S, Amano S, Mizuki N, Alexander JS, Peterson ML, Brekken RA, Hirashima M, Capoor S, Usui T, Ambati BK, Ambati J. Alternatively spliced vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 is an essential endogenous inhibitor of lymphatic vessel growth. Nat Med. 2009 Sep; 15(9):1023-30. PMID: 19668192.
    View in: PubMed
  13. Takeda A, Baffi JZ, Kleinman ME, Cho WG, Nozaki M, Yamada K, Kaneko H, Albuquerque RJ, Dridi S, Saito K, Raisler BJ, Budd SJ, Geisen P, Munitz A, Ambati BK, Green MG, Ishibashi T, Wright JD, Humbles AA, Gerard CJ, Ogura Y, Pan Y, Smith JR, Grisanti S, Hartnett ME, Rothenberg ME, Ambati J. CCR3 is a target for age-related macular degeneration diagnosis and therapy. Nature. 2009 Jul 9; 460(7252):225-30. PMID: 19525930.
    View in: PubMed
  14. Cho WG, Albuquerque RJ, Kleinman ME, Tarallo V, Greco A, Nozaki M, Green MG, Baffi JZ, Ambati BK, De Falco M, Alexander JS, Brunetti A, De Falco S, Ambati J. Small interfering RNA-induced TLR3 activation inhibits blood and lymphatic vessel growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Apr 28; 106(17):7137-42. PMID: 19359485.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Yang Z, Stratton C, Francis PJ, Kleinman ME, Tan PL, Gibbs D, Tong Z, Chen H, Constantine R, Yang X, Chen Y, Zeng J, Davey L, Ma X, Hau VS, Wang C, Harmon J, Buehler J, Pearson E, Patel S, Kaminoh Y, Watkins S, Luo L, Zabriskie NA, Bernstein PS, Cho W, Schwager A, Hinton DR, Klein ML, Hamon SC, Simmons E, Yu B, Campochiaro B, Sunness JS, Campochiaro P, Jorde L, Parmigiani G, Zack DJ, Katsanis N, Ambati J, Zhang K. Toll-like receptor 3 and geographic atrophy in age-related macular degeneration. N Engl J Med. 2008 Oct 2; 359(14):1456-63. PMID: 18753640.
    View in: PubMed
  16. Kleinman ME, Ambati J. Fifty years later: the disk goes to the prom. J Clin Invest. 2008 Aug; 118(8):2681-4. PMID: 18654671.
    View in: PubMed
  17. Kleinman ME, Yamada K, Takeda A, Chandrasekaran V, Nozaki M, Baffi JZ, Albuquerque RJ, Yamasaki S, Itaya M, Pan Y, Appukuttan B, Gibbs D, Yang Z, Karikó K, Ambati BK, Wilgus TA, DiPietro LA, Sakurai E, Zhang K, Smith JR, Taylor EW, Ambati J. Sequence- and target-independent angiogenesis suppression by siRNA via TLR3. Nature. 2008 Apr 3; 452(7187):591-7. PMID: 18368052.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Kleinman ME, Greives MR, Churgin SS, Blechman KM, Chang EI, Ceradini DJ, Tepper OM, Gurtner GC. Hypoxia-induced mediators of stem/progenitor cell trafficking are increased in children with hemangioma. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2007 Dec; 27(12):2664-70. PMID: 17872454.
    View in: PubMed
  19. Ambati BK, Nozaki M, Singh N, Takeda A, Jani PD, Suthar T, Albuquerque RJ, Richter E, Sakurai E, Newcomb MT, Kleinman ME, Caldwell RB, Lin Q, Ogura Y, Orecchia A, Samuelson DA, Agnew DW, St Leger J, Green WR, Mahasreshti PJ, Curiel DT, Kwan D, Marsh H, Ikeda S, Leiper LJ, Collinson JM, Bogdanovich S, Khurana TS, Shibuya M, Baldwin ME, Ferrara N, Gerber HP, De Falco S, Witta J, Baffi JZ, Raisler BJ, Ambati J. Corneal avascularity is due to soluble VEGF receptor-1. Nature. 2006 Oct 26; 443(7114):993-7. PMID: 17051153.
    View in: PubMed
  20. Pittman KM, Losken HW, Kleinman ME, Marcus JR, Blei F, Gurtner GC, Marchuk DA. No evidence for maternal-fetal microchimerism in infantile hemangioma: a molecular genetic investigation. J Invest Dermatol. 2006 Nov; 126(11):2533-8. PMID: 16902414.
    View in: PubMed
  21. Powar RS, M Patil S, Kleinman ME. A geometrically sound technique of vermilion repair in unilateral cleft lip. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2007; 60(4):422-5. PMID: 17349599.
    View in: PubMed
  22. Kleinman ME, Blei F, Gurtner GC. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells and vascular anomalies. Lymphat Res Biol. 2005; 3(4):234-9. PMID: 16379593.
    View in: PubMed
  23. Tepper OM, Capla JM, Galiano RD, Ceradini DJ, Callaghan MJ, Kleinman ME, Gurtner GC. Adult vasculogenesis occurs through in situ recruitment, proliferation, and tubulization of circulating bone marrow-derived cells. Blood. 2005 Feb 1; 105(3):1068-77. PMID: 15388583.
    View in: PubMed
  24. Ceradini DJ, Kulkarni AR, Callaghan MJ, Tepper OM, Bastidas N, Kleinman ME, Capla JM, Galiano RD, Levine JP, Gurtner GC. Progenitor cell trafficking is regulated by hypoxic gradients through HIF-1 induction of SDF-1. Nat Med. 2004 Aug; 10(8):858-64. PMID: 15235597.
    View in: PubMed
  25. Augustine-Rauch KA, Zhang Q, Kleinman M, Lawton R, Welsh MJ. A study of vehicles for dosing rodent whole embryo culture with non aqueous soluble compounds. Reprod Toxicol. 2004 May; 18(3):391-8. PMID: 15082074.
    View in: PubMed
  26. Park S, Tepper OM, Galiano RD, Capla JM, Baharestani S, Kleinman ME, Pelo CR, Levine JP, Gurtner GC. Selective recruitment of endothelial progenitor cells to ischemic tissues with increased neovascularization. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2004 Jan; 113(1):284-93. PMID: 14707648.
    View in: PubMed
  27. Kleinman ME, Tepper OM, Capla JM, Bhatt KA, Ceradini DJ, Galiano RD, Blei F, Levine JP, Gurtner GC. Increased circulating AC133+ CD34+ endothelial progenitor cells in children with hemangioma. Lymphat Res Biol. 2003; 1(4):301-7. PMID: 15624558.
    View in: PubMed