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Centers of Excellence

Age-related Macular Degeneration


  CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
AMD

Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology

CO-DIRECTORS
Patricia A. D'Amore, Ph.D., MBA
Ivana K. Kim, M.D.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs in neovascular ("wet" or exudative) and nonneovascular ("dry" or nonexudative) forms, and according to the World Health Organization, it is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries and ranks third worldwide after cataract and glaucomaInvestigators in the AMD Center of Excellence made numerous groundbreaking contributions to the understanding and treatment of AMD. They pioneered the pharmacologic treatment of AMD with the development of verteporfin photodynamic therapy (Visudyne). They also identified the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in vascular eye disease, forming the scientific basis of current anti-VEGF therapies for neovascular AMD, diabetic macular edema, and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion (RVO). Our researchers are currently working to advance the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of AMD; they are investigating the risk factors (genetic and environmental) that predispose individuals to the disease, and are working to define the underlying pathophysiology with a goal of developing novel approaches to diagnosis and therapy.

Image: Advanced atrophic AMD or geographic atrophy (left), advanced neovascular AMD (middle), and end-stage AMD with disciform scarring (right). From: Miller J. Am J Ophthalmol. 2013 Jan;155(1):1-35.e13.