Inês Laíns, MD, MSc, PhD
Dr. Laíns earned her medical degree and Master of Science in Medicine at the University of Coimbra in her home country of Portugal. She then received a scholarship from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology to complete her combined PhD training in Health Sciences and Ophthalmology Residency at the University of Coimbra. During her first year of residency, Dr. Laíns was accepted into the highly competitive Portugal Clinical Scholars Research Training Program. This two-year program—developed in collaboration with the Portugal government and Harvard Medical School (HMS)—is designed to help residents forge successful careers as clinician scientists. Dr. Laíns then received a Junior Grant and Career Development Award from HMS and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology that supported her research project as well as a one-year research fellowship at Mass. Eye and Ear. Dr. Laíns ultimately extended her fellowship from one to four years.
Dr. Laíns has worked on several research projects, but her most significant endeavor has been to spearhead an international collaborative research project with clinicians and scientists from the University of Coimbra (Portugal), the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard Ophthalmology. The goal of this multicenter observational study is to identify biomarkers for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and investigate structure-function correlations in the disease. Under the mentorship of Dr. Deeba Husain and Dr. Joan W. Miller, Dr. Laíns is investigating the genetics, metabolomics, imaging, and functional tests (i.e., dark adaptation) of patients with AMD. The goal of this work is to help identify novel biomarkers for AMD, better understand the progression and pathophysiology of disease, and find new targets for treatment and prevention. To date, Dr. Laíns has published more than forty papers in top, peer-reviewed journals including Ophthalmology, Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, and the American Journal of Ophthalmology. Dr. Laíns has also presented her work at several national and international meetings, including at annual meetings of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), and the European Society of Ophthalmology Meeting. Her honors and awards include an ARVO International Training Grant and three consecutive Best Presentation prizes at the HMS Ophthalmology Annual Meeting. She is also a two-time recipient of the Dr. Evangelos Gragoudas Award for best paper published in clinical research in vitreoretinal disease.