Ophthalmology Institutes and Centers of Excellence

Mass. Eye and Ear features a number of Institutes, Centers and Core Facilities where research processes or advanced biomedical technologies are centralized. This organizational model is highly efficient, and it provides donors with an opportunity to support very specific facets of our research, including key personnel leading these areas.

The Department of Ophthalmology has identified the following Institutes, Centers and Core Facilities as campaign priorities to launch bold science and support life-changing cures. We invite donors to contribute to our research programs in these important areas. Naming opportunities are associated with each program:

Ocular Genomics Institute

Directed by Eric Pierce, M.D., Ph.D., the Ocular Genomics Institute is harnessing the power of genomics to introduce a new era in personalized medicine. By pinpointing the genetic underpinnings of eye disease and matching this information with an individual patient's genome, the OGI is implicating new genes in eye disease and developing personalized therapeutic targets. The OGI is pioneering new treatment options, including gene therapy, which may restore sight in patients with eye disease.

Directed by Luk Vandenberghe, Ph.D., the Grousbeck Gene Therapy Center is spearheading this leading-edge gene therapy work. This Center is supported, in part, by two special philanthropic funds, the Candyce Lane Heywood Gene Therapy Fund and the Usher Syndrome Gene Therapy Fund. Gene therapy holds great promise to cure Usher Syndrome, which is a genetically inherited disease that causes vision and hearing loss that begins at birth and gets progressively worse with age.

The OGI also includes:

Ocular Regenerative Medicine Institute

Co-directed by Michael Young, Ph.D. and Demetrios Vavvas, M.D., Ph.D., the Ocular Regenerative Medicine Institute is using stem-cell therapies to replace lost or dying cells. This therapy holds great promise for people already blind from conditions like retinitis pigmentosa, end-stage age-related macular degeneration or corneal disease.

Centers of Excellence

Our Centers of Excellence draw from the enormous intellectual resources of Harvard Medical School and bring this talent to bear on specific eye diseases and disorders. Our Ophthalmology program features seven Centers of Excellence.