Age-related Macular Degeneration

HMS Ophthalmology Center of ExcellenceCenter of Excellence

Example of AMD

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


The Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Center of Excellence is dedicated to unraveling the complex and multifactorial causes of AMD and to advance prevention and treatment. Their research focuses on:

  • Retina neural and retinal pigment epithelial cell biology
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolism
  • Neuroprotection
  • Genetics
  • Drug discovery

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

Launched in 2010, 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

Recent News

Read Harvard Ophthalmology’s Newsfeed or visit Mass. Eye and Ear’s Focus blog