2014 Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award

Champalimaud Vision Award

2014 António Champalimaud Laureates: Joan W. Miller, MD, FARVO, Evangelos S. Gragoudas, MD, Patricia A. D’Amore, PhD, MBA, FARVO, Lloyd Paul Aiello, MD, PhD, George L. King, MD, Anthony P. Adamis, MD; and Napoleone Ferrara, MD

Dear Colleagues,

In September, several Mass. Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology colleagues and I were among seven researchers honored with the 2014 António Champalimaud Vision Award, the highest distinction in ophthalmology and visual science, for our role in the development of anti-angiogenic therapy for retinal disease. This series of translational breakthroughs led to a new class of ophthalmic anti-VEGF drugs, which have revolutionized patient care for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion. Prior to these developments, neovascular AMD caused 90 percent of AMD-related blindness. With today’s treatments, vision loss can now be avoided in many patients. In fact, up to one-third of neovascular AMD patients treated with anti-VEGF drugs now experience significant improvements in visual acuity.

These advancements dramatically improved the outlook for many patients. However, our work continues as we strive to better understand the pathogenesis of AMD and to develop more patient-friendly treatments that aim to prevent retinal disease and preserve vision function. To power our efforts, in 2011 our department underwent a significant milestone when Mass. Eye and Ear joined forces with Schepens Eye Research Institute. This exciting union integrated the efforts of our 100+ faculty and significantly enhanced our bench-to-bedside bandwidth by blending our unique strengths in bench and translational research. Today, collaborations abound across the department, leveraging advances in biotechnology and human genetics that keep our efforts at the forefront of cutting-edge retinal research.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Eye Insights, which explores how far we’ve come over the last decade in bringing sight-saving, anti-VEGF treatments to patients with AMD, diabetic macular edema, and retinal vein occlusion, and highlights new efforts that are underway. As always, we hope you find Eye Insights to be a useful tool in your patient armamentarium.

Joan W. Miller, MD, FARVO
Henry Willard Williams Professor of Ophthalmology
Chair, Harvard Medical School
Department of Ophthalmology
Chief of Ophthalmology
Massachusetts Eye and Ear and
Massachusetts General Hospital