Harvard Ophthalmology Affiliates Benefit from Lions Grants

July 28, 2020

Lions 2020 Check Presentations

Clockwise from the top left: 1) Dr. Lloyd Paul Aiello, Director of the Beetham Eye Institute; Robert Haskell, Past-President, Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund; and Jeanne Farrow, President, Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund 2) Dr. David G. Hunter, Ophthalmologist-in-Chief, Boston Children’s Hospital; and Dr. James Roth, Treasurer, Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund. 3) Dr. Magali Saint-Geniez, Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear; Robert Haskell; and Jeanne Farrow 4) Dr. Joan W. Miller, Chief and Chair, Harvard Ophthalmology; Robert Haskell, and Jeanne Farrow


A key foundation partner to Harvard Ophthalmology, the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund (MLERF) has selected several faculty to receive research awards. For academic year 2020-21, MLERF will provide $640,000 in funding to support innovative research projects across our affiliates.


Beetham Eye Institute at Joslin Diabetes Center

Boston Children's Hospital

  • Jing Chen, PhD, aims to discover whether activation of a protein called REV-ERBα can prevent vision loss in retinopathy of prematurity and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Zhongjie (Kira) Fu, PhD, will investigate how certain dietary supplements might be used to treat blinding retinal diseases.
  • Mary C. Whitman, MD, PhD, will study brain circuitry in mice with different types of nystagmus to elucidate potential underlying mechanisms and improve treatment.

Mass. Eye and Ear

  • Kip Connor, PhD, will investigate novel therapies for retinal detachment, specifically the prevention of photoreceptor cell death. His work aims to identify regulators of sex-dependent activation of retinal microglia in neuro-inflammation, with the ultimate goal of increasing vision preservation.
  • Deeba Husain, MD, aims to identify metabolic profiles of AMD progression, which has the potential to pinpoint to relevant mechanisms of AMD. Dr. Husain hopes to identify potential metabolomic biomarkers of disease progression in accessible biofluids, which may ultimately contribute to improved screening and risk assessment of blinding forms of AMD. 
  • John B. Miller, MD, aims to use wide-field swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography to predict the progression of diabetic retinopathy. This work will further analyze the features of diabetic retinopathy, identify the activity of retinal neovascularization, and explore imaging biomarkers.  

Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear

  • Bruce R. Ksander, PhD, and Magali Saint-Geniez, PhD, will study in vivo epigenetic reprogramming to reverse age- and AMD-associated retinal pigment epithelial cell dysfunction.
  • Eric Ng, PhD, will investigate the potential role of bacteria-mediated TLR2 activation in the pathogenesis of wet AMD.
  • Shrinivas J. Pundlik, PhD, aims to measure dark adaptation (which determines the ability of the rod photoreceptors to increase their sensitivity in the dark) with a mobile device in patients with diabetic retinopathy.



See also: Grants