Daniel Rathbun

Daniel L Rathbun, PhD

medical group

Specialties: Research

Board Certification and Education


  • University of California Davis, Neuroscience, CA, 2009

About Me

Biographical Statement:

Daniel Rathbun, Ph. D. is a research scientist at Henry Ford, heading the Bionics and Vision Laboratory. He studies the language that the eye speaks to the brain to improve prosthetic vision devices. Such devices restore sight to patients blinded by retinal degenerations such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.

Dr. Rathbun received degrees in Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of California, Davis. He studied bionic vision for a decade in Germany under Professor Eberhart Zrenner, a legend in the field. There, he founded the Experimental Retinal Prosthetics Group at the University Eye Clinic of Tuebingen. In late 2018, Dr. Rathbun moved to Detroit to create the Bionics and Vision lab at Henry Ford.

Dr. Rathbun's research applies the study of neural coding in the visual system to: 1) understanding how images are processed in the healthy and degenerating retina; 2) understanding how the retina responds to electrical stimulation; and 3) using this knowledge to advance bionic vision. At Henry Ford, he is establishing the world's first electrophysiology laboratory dedicated to working with human retinal tissue freshly donated by ophthalmology patients.

Bionics and Vision Lab Mission Statement:
To further our understanding of the neural code of human vision, in doing so, to realize the full potential of bionic vision, and to have great fun doing great science while we're at it!

Research Interests:

  • Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Leber's Congenital Amaurosis
  • Retinal Dystrophy
  • Cone-rod dystrophy
  • Rod-cone dystrophy


English, German



Bionic Retinas: The Future is Here


Bionics and Vision Lab
1 Ford Place
Detroit, MI 48202
Detroit Institute Ophthalmology
15415 E Jefferson Ave
Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230

Hospital Privileges

  • Henry Ford Hospital

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