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Joan Miller, MD

Harvard Medical School: Henry Willard Williams Professor of Ophthalmology • Chair, Department of Ophthalmology

Massachusetts Eye and Ear: Chief of Ophthalmology • Co-Director, Angiogenesis Laboratory  Co-Director, Laser Research Laboratory  Co-Director, Retina Research Institute  Senior Scientist • Surgeon

Massachusetts General Hospital: Chief of Ophthalmology


Research Interests:


Dr. Miller’s clinical and research interests focus on retinal disorders, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic eye disease, macular telangiectasia, and retinal degenerations.   She and her colleagues at Mass. Eye and Ear pioneered the development of photodynamic therapy (PDT) using verteporfin (Visudyne), the first pharmacologic therapy for AMD. Dr. Miller and colleagues also identified the importance of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in intraocular vascular disease, forming the scientific basis of current ophthalmic antiangiogenic therapies. While these approaches have improved the outlook for patients with neovascular AMD and diabetic eye disease, Dr. Miller continues to elucidate the pathophysiology of vision loss and improve therapies for retinal diseases.


Awards and Honors:


She has received numerous awards, including the Rosenthal Award and Donald J. Gass Medal of the Macula Society, the Retina Research Award from the Club Jules Gonin, the Alcon Research Institute Award, the ARVO/Pfizer Ophthalmic Translational Research Award, the Founder’s Award from the American Society of Retinal Specialists, the Harvard Medical School 2010 Joseph B. Martin Dean's Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women Faculty, the Suzanne Veronneau-Troutman Award from Women in Ophthalmology, the Paul Henkind Memorial Award from the Macula Society, the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a Pinnacle Award for Achievement in the Professions from the Greater Boston Chamber Women's Network. Dr. Miller delivered the 2012 Edward Jackson Lecture for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In 2013, she was elected to the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis and an ARVO Foundation Honoree.


Professional Affiliations:


Chair LXVIII, Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis

American Academy of Ophthalmology

Silver Fellow, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

Heed Ophthalmic Foundation

President, New England Ophthalmological Society




A curated list of Dr. Miller's publications on PubMed can be found here.


Selected Publications:


Miller JW, Adamis AP, Shima DT, D'Amore PA, Moulton RS, O'Reilly MS, Folkman J, Dvorak HF, Brown LF, Berse B. Vascular endothelial growth factor/vascular permeability factor is temporally and spatially correlated with ocular angiogenesis in a primate model. Am J Pathol. 1994 Sep; 145 (3) :574-84. PubMed PMID:7521577; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1890317.


Miller JW, Walsh AW, Kramer M, Hasan T, Michaud N, Flotte TJ, Haimovici R, Gragoudas ES. Photodynamic therapy of experimental choroidal neovascularization using lipoprotein-delivered benzoporphyrin. Arch Ophthalmol. 1995 Jun; 113 (6) :810-8. PubMed PMID:7540388.


Adamis AP, Shima DT, Tolentino MJ, Gragoudas ES, Ferrara N, Folkman J, D'Amore PA, Miller JW. Inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor prevents retinal ischemia-associated iris neovascularization in a nonhuman primate. Arch Ophthalmol. 1996 Jan; 114 (1) :66-71. PubMed PMID:8540853.


[No Authors Listed*] Photodynamic therapy of subfoveal choroidal neovascularization in age-related macular degeneration with verteporfin: one-year results of 2 randomized clinical trials--TAP report Treatment of age-related macular degeneration with photodynamic therapy (TAP) Study Group. Arch Ophthalmol. 1999 Oct; 117 (10) :1329-45. PubMed PMID:10532441. (*member of the investigative team cited in the appendix of the manuscript)


Krzystolik MG, Afshari MA, Adamis AP, Gaudreault J, Gragoudas ES, Michaud NA, Li W, Connolly E, O'Neill CA, Miller JW. Prevention of experimental choroidal neovascularization with intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor antibody fragment. Arch Ophthalmol. 2002 Mar; 120 (3) :338-46. PubMed PMID:11879138.


Nakazawa T, Nakazawa C, Matsubara A, Noda K, Hisatomi T, She H, Michaud N, Hafezi-Moghadam A, Miller JW, Benowitz LI. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha mediates oligodendrocyte death and delayed retinal ganglion cell loss in a mouse model of glaucoma. J Neurosci. 2006 Dec 6; 26 (49) :12633-41. PubMed PMID:17151265.


Marneros AG, She H, Zambarakji H, Hashizume H, Connolly EJ, Kim I, Gragoudas ES, Miller JW, Olsen BR. Endogenous endostatin inhibits choroidal neovascularization. FASEB J. 2007 Dec; 21 (14) :3809-18. PubMed PMID:17526870.


Hisatomi T, Nakazawa T, Noda K, Almulki L, Miyahara S, Nakao S, Ito Y, She H, Kohno R, Michaud N, Ishibashi T, Hafezi-Moghadam A, Badley AD, Kroemer G,Miller JW. HIV protease inhibitors provide neuroprotection through inhibition of mitochondrial apoptosis in mice. J Clin Invest. 2008 Jun; 118 (6) :2025-38. PubMed PMID:18497877; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2391064.


Chen W, Stambolian D, Edwards AO, Branham KE, Othman M, Jakobsdottir J, Tosakulwong N, Pericak-Vance MA, Campochiaro PA, Klein ML, Tan PL, Conley YP, Kanda A, Kopplin L, Li Y, Augustaitis KJ, Karoukis AJ, Scott WK, Agarwal A, Kovach JL, Schwartz SG, Postel EA, Brooks M, Baratz KH, Brown WL, Complications of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Prevention Trial Research Group, Brucker AJ, Orlin A, Brown G, Ho A, Regillo C, Donoso L, Tian L, Kaderli B, Hadley D, Hagstrom SA, Peachey NS, Klein R, Klein BE, Gotoh N, Yamashiro K, Ferris Iii F, Fagerness JA, Reynolds R, Farrer LA, Kim IK, Miller JW, Cortón M, Carracedo A, Sanchez-Salorio M, Pugh EW, Doheny KF, Brion M, Deangelis MM, Weeks DE, Zack DJ, Chew EY, Heckenlively JR, Yoshimura N, Iyengar SK, Francis PJ, Katsanis N, Seddon JM, Haines JL, Gorin MB, Abecasis GR, Swaroop A. Genetic variants near TIMP3 and high-density lipoprotein-associated loci influence susceptibility to age-related macular degeneration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 20; 107 (16) :7401-6. PubMed PMID:20385819; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2867722.


Trichonas G, Murakami Y, Thanos A, Morizane Y, Kayama M, Debouck CM, Hisatomi T, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Receptor interacting protein kinases mediate retinal detachment-induced photoreceptor necrosis and compensate for inhibition of apoptosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Dec 14; 107 (50) :21695-700. PubMed PMID:21098270; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3003048.