Demetrios G. Vavvas, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Medical Retina Fellowship
Joan W. Miller Scholar in Retina Research
- AMD Center of Excellence
- Angiogenesis Laboratory
- Diabetic Eye Disease Center of Excellence
- Glaucoma Center of Excellence
- Ocular Regenerative Medicine Institute
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.