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Lucia Sobrin, M.D., M.PH.

Instructor, Harvard Medical School
Department of Ophthalmology
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
Tel. (617) 573-4279
Fax (617) 573-3698



Dr. Lucia Sobrin completed her ophthalmology residency at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in 2003. She subsequently completed a medical and surgical retina fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in 2005 followed by a uveitis and ocular immunology fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institute in 2006. She then joined the MEEI Retina and Uveitis Services as part of the Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program. She received her Master of Public Health Degree from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2008. Her research interests include the genetics of diabetic retinopathy, and she is the prinicipal investigator for an investigation of the genetics of diabetic retinopathy in African Americans entitled “Epidemiology and Genetics of Diabetic Retinopathy in the Jackson Heart Study.”

Epidemiology and Genetics of Diabetic Retinopathy in the Jackson Heart Study
Diabetic retinopathy is a common, blinding complication of diabetes. It has been suspected for some time that compared with other racial groups, African Americans develop diabetic retinopathy more often and tend to have faster progression of the disease. The reasons for this have not been explained. It is not solely due to the degree of blood sugar control. In other racial groups, it has been shown that the risk of developing retinopathy is partially inherited through genes passed on from one generation to the next. We believe that this is also true for African Americans and that they may carry certain genes that increase their risk of developing retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy in African Americans has not been thoroughly studied. The Mass. Eye and Ear has established a collaboration with the Jackson Heart Study and the University of Mississippi Medical Center to be able to study diabetic retinopathy in African Americans in a comprehensive way. The Jackson Heart Study is an ongoing study of heart disease in African Americans who live in the greater Jackson, Mississippi area. These participants have a thorough examination every three years as part of the study to help determine the risk factors for heart disease and its complications. About 2000 of the participants in the study are diabetic or “pre-diabetic.” Retinal photographs of participants who are diabetic or “pre-diabetic” will be taken. We will then be able to determine what risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, contribute to the development of retinopathy. Many of the patients in the Jackson Heart Study will undergo detailed mapping of their genes and this information will be used to find genes associated with retinopathy. Identification of genetic and clinical risk factors will enable better counseling of African Americans about their chance of developing retinopathy and generate more targeted monitoring and therapeutic strategies. If genes associated with retinopathy are found, they may provide information for developing new treatments for diabetic retinopathy.


1. Westerfeld C, Papaliodis G, Behlau I, Durand M, Sobrin L. Enterobacter amnigenus endophthalmitis: A case report and review of the literature. Retinal Cases and Brief Reports. 2008; Accepted for publication.
2. Sobrin L, Christen W, Foster CS. Mycophenolate mofetil after methotrexate failure or intolerance in the treatment of scleritis and uveitis. Ophthalmology. 2008; 115: 1416-21.
3. Sobrin L, Huang JJ, Christen W, Kafkala C, Choopong P, Foster CS. Daclizumab for treatment of birdshot chorioretinopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2008; 126: 186-91.
4. Coma MC, Anzaar F, Sobrin L, Foster CS. Systemic immunomodulatory therapy in severe dry eye secondary to inflammation. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2007; 15: 99-104.
5. Sobrin L, Kim EC, Christen W, Papadaki T, Letko E, Foster CS. Infliximab for the treatment of refractory ocular inflammatory disease. Arch Ophthalmol. 2007; 125: 895-900.
6. Sobrin L, Kump LI, Foster CS. Intravitreal clindamycin for toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis. Retina. 2007; 27: 952-7.
7. Gerstenblith AT, Thorne J, Jabs DA, Foster CS, Sobrin L, Do DV, Nguyen QD. Punctate inner choroidopathy: survey analysis of 77 persons. Ophthalmology. 2007; 114: 1201-4.
8. Coma MC, Sobrin L, Onal S, Christen W, Foster CS. Intravitreal bevacizumab for uveitic macular edema. Ophthalmology. 2007; 114: 1574-9.
9. Sobrin L, Miller JW. Optical coherence tomography pseudo-macular hole appearance after photodynamic therapy. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006; 90: 1434-5.
10. Murray TG, Sobrin L. The case for observational management of suspected small choroidal melanoma. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006; 124: 1342-4.
11. Nakazawa T, Matsubara A, Noda K, Hisatomi T, She H, Skondra D, Miyahara S, Sobrin L, Thomas KL, Chen DF, Grosskreutz CL, Hafezi-Moghadam A, Miller JW. Characterization of cytokine responses to retinal detachment in rats. Mol Vis. 2006; 12: 867-78.
12. Sobrin L, Schiffman JC, Markoe AM, Murray TG. Outcomes of iodine-125 plaque radiotherapy after initial observation of suspected small choroidal melanomas: a pilot study. Ophthalmology. 2005; 112: 1777-1783.
13. Sobrin L, Liu M, Lam B, Feuer W, Davis JL. Electroretinographic monitoring in birdshot chorioretinopathy. Am J Ophthalmol. 2005; 140: 52-64.
14. Sobrin L, Dubovy SR, Davis JL, Murray TG. Isolated, bilateral intraocular lymphoma in a 15-year-old girl. Retina. 2005; 25: 370-373.
15. Sobrin L, Hayden BC, Murray TG, Cicciarelli N, Scott IU, Hernandez E, Wu X, Markoe AM, Feuer W, Fulton L, O’Brien JM. External beam radiation “salvage” therapy in transgenic murine retinoblastoma. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004; 122: 251-257.
16. Sobrin L, Berrocal AM, Murray TG. Retinal detachment 7 years after prophylactic schisis cavity excision in juvenile X-linked retinoschisis. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers. 2003; 34: 401-402.
17. Sobrin L, Liu Z, Monroy D, Solomon A, Selzer MG, Lokeshwar BL, Pflugfelder SC. Regulation of MMP-9 activity in human tear fluid and corneal epithelial culture supernatant. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2000; 41: 1703-1709.
18. Afonso AA, Sobrin L, Monroy DC, Selzer M, Lokeshwar B, Pflugfelder SC. Tear fluid gelatinase B activity correlates with IL-1alpha concentration and fluorescein clearance in ocular rosacea. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1999; 40: 2506-2512.
19. Fournier AM, Harea C, Ardalan K, Sobrin L. Health fairs as a unique teaching methodology. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. 1999; 11: 48-51.
20. Bourguignon LYW, Iida N, Sobrin L, Bourguignon GJ. Identification of IP3 receptor in endothelial cells. J Cell Physiol. 1994; 159: 29-34.

Reviews, Chapters and Books

1. Sobrin L, Davis JL. Management of ocular symptoms and signs. In: Yu VL, Burdette SD, editors. Antimicrobial therapies and vaccines: Empiric. Pittsburgh: Esun Technologies, 2008; In Press.
2. Montezuma SR, Sobrin L, Seddon JM. Review of genetics of age-related macular degeneration. Semin Ophthalmol 2007; 22:229-40.
3. Sobrin L, Foster CS. Cytomegalovirus retinitis after one decade of HAART. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2007; 47:155-64.
4. Seddon JM, Sobrin L. Epidemiology of age-related macular degeneration. In: Albert D, Miller J, Azar D, Blodi B, editors. Albert & Jakobiec’s Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 2007: 413-22.
5. Foster CS, Sobrin L. Systemic lupus erythematosus. In: Albert D, Miller J, Azar D, Blodi B, editors. Albert & Jakobiec’s Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 2007: 4429-36.
6. Sobrin L. Evolving therapies for macular edema. Ophthalmology Rounds. 2007; 1: 8, 1-6.
7. Pachydaki S, Sobrin L, Miller JW. Photodynamic therapy and combination treatments. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2007; 47: 95-115.
8. Rhee DJ, Colby KA, Rapuano CJ, Sobrin L, editors. Ophthalmic Drug Guide. Philadelphia: Springer, 2006.
9. Cordero Coma M, Sobrin L, Foster CS. Sympathetic ophthalmia. Contemporary Ophthalmology. 2006; 5: 1–6.
10. Sobrin L, Foster CS. Systemic lupus erythematosus. Contemporary Ophthalmology. 2006; 5: 1–8.
11. Sobrin L, D’Amico DJ. Controversies in intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide use. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2005; 45: 133-141.
12. Sobrin L, Davis JL. Ocular complications. In: Swindels S, Shafer RW, Singh N, editors. HIV Clinical Manual. Pittsburgh: Esun Technologies, 2003: 227-244.
13. Bourguignon LYW, Mathew L, Sobrin L, Bourguignon GJ. Ca2+ signaling and cytoskeleton reorganization in endothelial cells stimulated by bradykinin. In: Kohen E, Hirschberg JG, editors. Analytical use of fluorescent probes in oncology. New York: Plenum Press, 1996: 309-15.