L. F. Montgomery Laboratory

See also: Eye Cancer, Ocular Melanoma Research, Ocular Oncology and Pathology, Ocular Oncology and Pathology Clinical Fellowship, Retinoblastoma

The L.F. Montgomery Laboratory is a dynamic patient care, diagnostic, research and education service in Atlanta, Ga. It is a free-standing, independently-licensed laboratory that was established in 1940.

Patient Care and Diagnostic Services

Dr. Grossniklaus, director of the Laboratory and of the Ocular Oncology and Pathology service of Emory Eye Center, is board certified in both ophthalmology and anatomic pathology. He evaluates and treats patients with ocular malignancies.

The laboratory accepts surgical specimens from ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, and plastic surgeons, including eyes, corneas, orbital tissue, eyelids, ocular cytology specimens and vitreous.

The laboratory has accessioned and signed out over 60,000 ophthalmic pathology cases.

Basic Science and Clinical Research

Montgomery Laboratory is a national leader in ocular oncology and age-related macular degeneration research, with NIH R01 and NIH P30 support. Dr. Grossniklaus also conducts drug-delivery research for posterior ocular tumors.

The Laboratory serves as a base for applied ophthalmic pathology: what is learned from research in the laboratory is applied to patient care in our Ocular Oncology and Pathology service.

The H. Talmage Dobbs Electron Microscopy Suite of the laboratory houses transmission and scanning electron microscopes and a Nikon confocal scanning laser microscope, which have served the structural biology module for a departmental core grant for more than 20 years.

The laboratory was a review center for the National Institutes for Health (NIH) funded Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS) and as the pathology center for the NIH funded Submacular Surgery Trials (SST).


Montgomery Laboratory is a training ground for ophthalmology and pathology residents, medical students and histotechnicians. Dr. Grossniklaus trains ophthalmic pathology fellows, including international fellows.

The Lab uses the Internet Based Eye Pathology Teaching Initiative (IBETI) teaching. IBETI was established with a teaching grant and has been in place since 2001.

Discoveries | Achievements

1998 Histopathologic description and definition of type 1 and type 2 growth patterns of choroidal neovascularization with clinical and angiographic correlations.

2000 Discovery that the spread of eye melanoma to the liver first occurs as small collections of cells, called micrometastases, leading to new understanding of the most common form of eye cancer.

2001 Started the Internet-Based Eye Pathology Teaching Initiative (IBETI) with a teaching grant. This was the first Web-based program for ophthalmology teaching of its kind in the United States.

2002 As director of the NIH funded Submacular Surgery Surgery Trials pathology laboratory, Dr. Grossniklaus discovers that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is produced by a type of inflammatory cell, the macrophage, in new blood vessel growth (choroidal neo-vascularization) in age-related macular degeneration, leading in part to new treatments for the disease.

2004 Evaluated 30,000 cases over the previous 15 years.

2005 Defined pathobiology of choroidal neovascularization including that it is composed of granulation tissue proliferation.

2007 Ocular Oncology and Pathology service established.

2008 Ocular Oncology and Pathology service at Emory is recognized by Blue Cross/Blue Shield as a center of excellence for rare and complex cancers.

2011 Dr. Grossniklaus is first in Georgia to use Inteferon to treat conjunctival squamous neoplasia.

2012 Laboratory accessioned its 65,000th case, with Dr. Grossniklaus having evaluated 50,000 of those cases.

2013 Identified small, dormant metastatic melanoma (micrometastases) in patients with metastatic uveal melanoma to the liver and demonstrated that liver production of PEDF maintains these micrometastases in a dormant stage.

2015 Identified that grade of cellular anaplasia in retinoblastoma correlates with metastasis and patient survival.

2018 Identified Gene Expression signature of severely anaplastic retinoblastoma


Contact Information

Pathology specimens:
Telephone: 404-778-4611
FAX: 404-778-4610

Patient appointments:

Mailing Address:
BT 428, 1365 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta GA 30322

Secure Web Site (user id and password are required.)



Montgomery Lab was established in 1940 with a donation from Lafayette Montgomery, a Coca-Cola executive. It was directed by F. Phinizy Calhoun Jr. MD, who also served as chair of the Department of Ophthalmology from 1950-1978.

First located in the Grady Hospital in 1940, it was moved to the Grady Clay Eye Clinic in 1949, the new Grady Hospital in 1955, and Emory Eye Center, it’s current location, in 1984.

John D. Wright Jr. MD, directed the Lab from 1981-85, Dr. Calhoun Jr. from 1985-88. Hans E. Grossniklaus MD, MBA, has held the directorship from 1989-present.

Our Emory campus location:

Copyright © Emory Eye Center - All Rights Reserved | Emory Clinic Building B, 1365B Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30322 USA