Grand Rapids Ophthalmology is fortunate to have two excellent corneal specialists including Thomas Cowden MD and Marcus Muallem MD. 

The corneal team offers unprecedented medical treatment for patients with corneal problems, choosing the most appropriate procedure for your diagnosis and unique eyes.  

In addition, GRO is pleased to announce that Dr. Muallem now performs the newest and most advanced form of endothelial transplantation (Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK).

Their goal is to provide exceptional care to maintain eye health including the latest procedures and options in laser, medical and drug therapy.

Thomas Cowden, MD
Dr. Cowden is fellowship-trained in cornea/external diseases and refractive surgery and has performed thousands of Custom and BLADE-FREE LASIK procedures. He also performs corneal transplants, cataract surgery including LifeStyle Lenses, and anterior segment reconstruction. Dr. Cowden received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine, completed his Ophthalmology Residency at the University of Wisconsin, and his subspecialty Fellowship in Corneal and Refractive Surgery at the University of Minnesota. He has been in private practice since 1997.


Marcus Muallem, MD
Dr. Muallem has a dual fellowship in cornea and refractive surgery, as well as glaucoma. Dr. Muallem’s sub specialty training in both fields were completed at the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.  His residency was completed at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  Dr. Muallem performs Custom BLADE-FREE LASIK , Traditional LASIK and PRK.  He also performs the most modern no-stitch and small incision cataract surgery utilizing traditional intraocular lenses, toric implants for astigmatism, and premium multi-focal lenses including LifeStyle Lenses.  He specializes in diagnosis, treatment and surgical management of glaucoma and corneal diseases, including MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery), full thickness (PKP) as well as partial thickness  (DALK, DSEK, DMEK) corneal transplantation.   Dr. Muallem is well published in peer reviewed literature and has presented his research at national and international meetings.


Mark Sheldon, MD
Dr. Sheldon is a fellowship trained corneal specialist and sees patients for medical eye exams. In addition, he performs certain specialized procedures for post-cataract, post-refractive and unique surgical situations. We are proud to acknowledge him as the founder of The Cherry Street Eye Clinic, where he also performs pro bono eye surgery for the uninsured. Dr. Sheldon obtained his undergraduate degree from The University of Michigan and graduated from The Kresge Eye Institute of Wayne State University where he also completed a corneal fellowship. He has been in private practice since 1985.