Age-related Macular Degeneration

HMS Ophthalmology Center of ExcellenceCenter of Excellence

 
The Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Center of Excellence is dedicated to unraveling the complex and multifactorial causes of AMD, the leading cause of blindness in developed countries.

Age Related Macular Degeneration

Co-Directors
Patricia A. D'Amore, PhD, MBA
Deeba Husain, MD
Ivana K. Kim, MD
Members
See a list of AMD faculty

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs in neovascular ("wet" or exudative) and nonneovascular ("dry" or nonexudative) forms, and, according to the World Health Organization, it is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries and ranks third worldwide after cataract and glaucoma. 

Major Research Breakthroughs

Investigators in the center have made many groundbreaking contributions to the understanding and treatment of AMD. In the last 20 years, they have: 

  • Developed photodynamic therapy with verteporfin, the first FDA-approved drug treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Performed foundational research demonstrating the key role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), leading to the development of five anti-VEGF therapies: pegaptanib, ranibizumab, bevacizumab (used off label), aflibercept, and brolucizumab
  • Developed optical coherence tomography for ocular imaging, which is the mainstay for management of patients with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusion
  • Worked toward modeling photoreceptor cell loss in nonhuman primates and tested neuroprotection agents
  • Generated pilot data that suggest the effectiveness of high-dose statins in the treatment of some dry AMD
  • Pioneered plasma metabolomics in AMD

2020 Vision: Promising Areas For Future Research

Our researchers are currently working to advance the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of AMD. They are working to clarify AMD subtypes and develop effective treatments for early/intermediate AMD and neuroprotection. 

Biennial Symposium

The Biennial International Symposium on AMD brings together international experts from a diverse array of fields, as well as leaders from related disciplines outside ophthalmology in an interactive format to discuss current and future topics in AMD research. Learn more

Featured News

Joan W. Miller Part of Expert Panel that Recommends Strategy Shift to Discover Dry AMD Treatments

July 26, 2019

A large-scale, collaborative, systems biology approach is needed to expedite the discovery of treatments for dry age-related macular degeneration, according to a report by a working group of scientists appointed by the National Advisory Eye Council (NAEC) that includes Joan. W. Miller, MD, Chair of Harvard Ophthalmology.

... Read more about Joan W. Miller Part of Expert Panel that Recommends Strategy Shift to Discover Dry AMD Treatments

Saghar Bagheri to Participate in ARVO Members-in-Training Outstanding Poster Award Competition

March 15, 2019

Saghar Bagheri, MD, Clinical Research Fellow at Mass. Eye and Ear under the mentorship of Dr. Demetrios Vavvas, has been invited to participate in the Members-in-Training Outstanding Poster Award Competition at the ARVO Annual Meeting. She received one of the top five scored abstracts in the Retina section for her work entitled, "Anti-VEGF non-responders are often short-term responders." The competition will take place on Tuesday, April 30, 4:15-5:45 p.m., in the Exhibit Hall. Award recipients will be recognized at the Thursday Keynote Session. 
... Read more about Saghar Bagheri to Participate in ARVO Members-in-Training Outstanding Poster Award Competition

Symposia Facilitate Dialogue on Innovative Research

October 23, 2018

Attendance for the 3rd Biennial International Symposium on Ocular Regeneration and the 5th Biennial International Symposium on AMD continues to climb each year, reflecting the high caliber of these meetings and the value they bring to their respective fields. Both events sparked great discussions and drew rave reviews from attendees, participants, and sponsors alike.... Read more about Symposia Facilitate Dialogue on Innovative Research

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