Meet a Specialist: Deeba Husain, M.D.
Vitreoretinal specialist, Dr. Deeba Husain, brings years of exceptional training and experience to Mass. Eye and Ear’s Retina Service. Dedicated to helping people with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and vein occlusions, she provides medical and surgical management for all vitreoretinal conditions, including retinal detachment and macular holes.
In addition to caring for patients at Mass. Eye and Ear’s main Charles Street campus, she is applying her highly specialized expertise as the Site Director for Mass. Eye and Ear’s Retina Consultants practice in Stoneham, which offers a full range of subspecialty retina care. “I am very happy to be joining my colleagues at Retina Consultants,” she said, adding, “In partnership with neighboring hospitals and referring physicians, we offer patients ready access to the best retina care.”
The daughter of two university professors—one a mathematician and the other a linguistics scholar–Dr. Husain spent many summers during her high school years volunteering at “eye camps” run by her mother’s best friend, a glaucoma specialist in India. Dr. Husain recalled, “I would help bring patients food, or wheel them into the OR. And sometimes I had the opportunity to observe the cataract surgeries. It was amazing to see someone who had been blind the day before be able to see after surgery. That’s when I realized I could really help people by becoming an ophthalmologist.”
Dr. Husain, who speaks Hindi and Urdu, received her initial clinical training at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College of Aligarh University in India, where she completed her medical degree, internship, and a Master’s degree in Surgery. In 1995, she joined the Department of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear to conduct post-doctoral research with Drs. Evangelos Gragoudas and Joan W. Miller on photodynamic therapy for macular degeneration. Their work became the basis for clinical trials for the first effective therapy for the more damaging wet form of AMD in 2000.
Dr. Husain subsequently completed her ophthalmology residency at Harvard Medical School followed by subspecialty training as a Vitreoretinal fellow at Mass. Eye and Ear. She then joined the Boston University School of Medicine faculty, serving as Director of the Retina Service and the Retina fellowship training program at BU Medical School for almost a decade.
Now, back at Mass. Eye and Ear, Dr. Husain has rejoined the translational research team of Drs. Miller, Gragoudas, and Demetrios Vavvas where she continues investigating therapeutic approaches to macular degeneration, with a particular focus on the pathophysiology of AMD. “The more severe, wet form of AMD causes sudden vision loss, if not caught in time,” she explained. “If we diagnose early, we can give patients intravitreal injections to stop the abnormal blood vessel growth that characterizes the wet AMD. But we’ve got to figure out what causes the disease, so we can intervene sooner for most of the patients who have the earlier, dry form of macular degeneration. We need a therapy to stop progression of the disease, and we’re working hard to make that a reality.”
Her clinical experience with patients drives Dr. Husain’s passion for research and she believes crucial breakthroughs are imminent. “This is an especially exciting time for the retina field. We are seeing many new important discoveries—so the patient you diagnose today might be able to benefit from a more effective treatment in the near future.”
Today, as a clinical and surgical preceptor to Ophthalmology residents and Retinal fellows at Mass. Eye and Ear, Dr. Husain is helping train the next generation of vision specialists. She also continues to collaborate with the ophthalmology faculty at medical schools in India, where she often speaks as a guest lecturer on retinal disease.
Contact Dr. Husain’s office at 617-573-4371 (main Charles Street campus) or 781-662-5520 (Retina Consultants, Stoneham).
View Dr. Husain’s online bio for more information.