Deborah M Costakos, MD

Program director, Retinopathy of Prematurity
Assistant professor, the Medical College of Wisconsin

Office locations

The Eye Institute
925 N 87th St
Milwaukee, WI 53226-4812
1655 W Mequon Rd
Mequon, WI 53092
8915 W. Connell Ct.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 266-2020
(877) 607-5280 (appointment)



Dr. Costakos always knew she wanted to be a doctor. As a child, she saw her first surgery when a veterinarian let her watch an operation on her cat. As a teenager, Dr. Costakos developed appendicitis and convinced the surgeon to let her keep her appendix in a jar. In college, a genetics course sparked Dr. Costakos’ interest in metabolic diseases, which are sometimes diagnosed by eye findings. During her time as a genetic counselor, she was able to work with pediatric ophthalmologists to diagnose genetic diseases. Dr. Costakos was also involved in prenatal diagnosis and witnessed amazing advances in genetics and premature infant care. Now, she’s honored to care for premature babies and patients that have heritable disorders. She is privileged to have been taught and to teach clinical and surgical skills that help save and improve vision. Dr. Costakos loves being a part of a research and medical team working on innovation and advancements.

Areas of interest
  • Ophthalmology
  • Genetic disorders affecting the eye
  • Ocular development
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity

Education and awards

  • 1998, Medical College of Wisconsin, MD
  • 2002, University of Colorado (Denver, CO) - Ophthalmology
  • 2003, University of Colorado (Denver, CO) - Ped Ophthalmology
  • Top Doctors Milwaukee - 2013

Research and publications

  • Retinopathy of Prematurity
  • Macular development in infants
  • Subclinical macular findings in infants screened for retinopathy of prematurity with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.
  • Evaluation of normal human foveal development using optical coherence tomography and histologic examination.
  • Whole exome sequencing in dominant cataract identifies a new causative factor, CRYBA2, and a variety of novel alleles in known genes.
  • Bilateral Central Retinal Artery Occlusions in an Infant with Hyperhomocysteinemia.
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Manifested as Bilateral Proliferative Retinopathy.