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About Us: Our Faculty

John Ubels, Professor, Biology

John Ubels616-526-6219
Office: DeVries Hall 213

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B.S., Biology, Calvin College, 1974
Ph.D., Animal Physiology, Michigan State University, 1979
Post-doctoral Fellow, Physiology and Ophthalmology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 1980-82.

Professional Experience

-Instructor, Biology, Calvin College, 1980
-Visiting Professor, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 2010
- Associate Professor of Physiology and Ophthalmology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, 1982-1991
-Associate professor of Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1991-1995
-Visiting Scientist, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, 2003-2005
-Scientific Consultant, Alcon Laboratories, Fort Worth, TX, 1980-present
-Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, 1996-present
-Professor, Department of Biology, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995-present

Research and Professional Interests

  • Function of the lacrimal gland and cornea as related to dry eye disease. We are currently studying secretion of potassium ion by the lacrimal gland and the possible role of the relatively high concentration of potassium in tears in protecting the corneal epithelial cells from ultraviolet light.
  • Development and evaluation of lubricant eye drops (artificial tears) for treatment of dry eye disease, and the use of cell culture models for ocular toxicology.  This work is supported by a grant from Alcon Laboratories, and has contributed to the marketing of several lubricant eye drop products.
  • Teaching: Human  physiology, Advanced cell physiology, Director of Biology Internship program, Mentoring of students in the research – 50 since 1995, and a sailing course in Florida during Interim

Life Outside of Calvin College

Dr. Ubels enjoys sailing, cross country skiing, swimming, and classical music.

See a partial list of Dr. Ubels' publications