Joan W. Miller, MD
Chair, Department of Ophthalmology
Mass Eye and Ear
Chief of Ophthalmology
Co-director, Laser Laboratory
Co-director, Ines and Frederick Yeatts Retina Research Laboratory
Massachusetts General Hospital
Chief of Ophthalmology
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Chief of the Division of Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery
Joan W. Miller, MD, is the David Glendenning Cogan Professor of Ophthalmology and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), as well as Chief of Ophthalmology at both Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Miller earned her medical degree and received her ophthalmology residency training from HMS, and then completed fellowships in ophthalmology research and vitreoretinal surgery at Mass Eye and Ear. In 2003, Dr. Miller became the first female physician to achieve the rank of Professor of Ophthalmology at HMS, and the first woman to serve as Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. She is also the first woman appointed as Chief of Ophthalmology at both Mass Eye and Ear and Mass General Hospital.
Dr. Miller is an internationally recognized expert on retinal disorders, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Over the last two decades, she and her colleagues at Mass Eye and Ear/HMS pioneered the development of photodynamic therapy using verteporfin (Visudyne®), the first approved pharmacological therapy able to reduce and slow vision loss in patients with AMD. The group also identified the key role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in ocular neovascularization, leading to the development of anti-VEGF therapies now administered to millions of children and adults with sight-threatening retinal diseases annually around the world. Dr. Miller’s current studies focus on the genetics of AMD, strategies for early intervention in AMD, and neuroprotective therapies for retinal diseases.
Dr. Miller has authored more than 200 original research articles and nearly 80 book chapters, review articles, or editorials. She is on the editorial board for the journals Ophthalmology and Ophthalmology Retina, and an editor of several textbooks, including the 3rd edition of Albert and Jakobiec’s Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology (Saunders). Dr. Miller is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Academia Ophthalmologica lnternationalis, and the Dowling Society, as well as a Gold Fellow of Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Among her numerous honors, Dr. Miller delivered the 2012 Edward Jackson Lecture for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and was a co-recipient of the 2014 António Champalimaud Vision Award, the highest distinction in ophthalmology and visual science. In 2015, Dr. Miller became the first woman to receive the Mildred Weisenfeld Award for Excellence in Ophthalmology from ARVO; in 2018, she became the first woman awarded the Charles L. Schepens Award from AAO. Recently, Dr. Miller was awarded the 2018 Lucien Howe Medal from the American Ophthalmological Society and the 2018 Gertrude D. Pyron Award from American Society of Retinal Surgeons.