Demetrios G. Vavvas, M.D., Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology
Co-Director, Ocular Regenerative Medicine Institute

Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Director, Medical Retina Fellowship
Incumbent of the Monte J. Wallace Ophthalmology Chair in Retina
Associate Scientist

 

Research Summary

Center/Research Area Affiliations

Research Summary

Dr. Vavvas investigates cell death mechanisms and neuroprotection strategies. Although caspase-dependent apoptotic pathways are activated in many diseases, caspase inhibition has not resulted in the expected outcomes. Dr. Vavvas has been investigating alternative cell death pathways, and identified receptor interacting protein kinase-mediated programmed necrosis as a significant modality of photoreceptor cell loss. A second line of investigation relates to the regulation of the energy sensor of the cell AMP dependent kinase and the potential application of its small molecule activator, AICAR, in suppressing intraocular inflammation and suppressing retinoblastoma tumor growth. In the clinic, he is interested in the advancement of minimal invasive and small gauge surgery and in participating in trials of new therapies for retinal diseases.

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