Mass. Eye and Ear Receives Support from Research to Prevent Blindness

November 23, 2015
Contact: Suzanne Day  

BOSTON – Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) has awarded several grants in 2015 to Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology, which will support research on the causes, treatment, and prevention of blinding diseases.

RPB renewed the Department of Ophthalmology’s Unrestricted Grant for 2015 in the amount of $115,000. This award supports faculty research efforts within the HMS Department of Ophthalmology and enables all faculty and their active research collaborators within the department to be nominated for additional RPB funding. The grant is administered by Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chief of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School.

Magali Saint-Geniez, Ph.D., was awarded a Dolly Green Special Scholar Award in the amount of $25,000 over two years for her project, "Roles of metabolism, oxidative stress and PGC-1 isoforms in retinal detachment.” The award will help Dr. Saint-Geniez continue her research on retinal diseases, such as retinal degeneration and the excessive growth of blood vessels in the eye, known as neovascularization. Dr. Saint-Geniez is an Assistant Scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute/Mass. Eye and Ear and an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at HMS.

The HMS Department of Ophthalmology was also granted a $30,000 Medical Student Eye Research Fellowship for Daniel Diaz-Aguilar, a second-year medical student at the University of California, Los Angeles. Working under the mentorship of Kip Connor, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at HMS, Mr. Diaz-Aguilar will spend a year studying the mechanisms behind the advancement of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). With support from the RPB fellowship, Mr. Diaz-Aguilar hopes to learn more about geographic atrophy – a leading cause of blindness among patients with AMD.

“We are grateful for this generous support from Research to Prevent Blindness,” said Dr. Miller. “The funding is essential to advance our research programs, which are aimed at finding cures for diseases that cause blindness and visual impairment worldwide.”

About Research to Prevent Blindness
RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions throughout the United States for research into blinding eye diseases. For information on RPB, RPB-funded research, eye disorders and the RPB Grants Program, go to

About Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. Now united with Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear is the world's largest vision and hearing research center, developing new treatments and cures through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships. Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Survey” ranked the Mass. Eye and Ear Department of Otolaryngology as number one in the nation this year. For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit