Mass. Eye and Ear endows lecture to honor Joan W. Miller

April 29, 2016
Media Contact: Suzanne Day, Office of Communications

MillerJoancreditJohnEarleThe inaugural Joan W. Miller Lecture was presented on April 15, 2016 at the New England Ophthalmological Society (NEOS) Annual Meeting.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear has endowed a named lecture for Joan W. Miller, M.D., the Henry Willard Williams Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital, to be presented annually at the New England Ophthalmological Society (NEOS) Annual Meeting.

The inaugural lecture was given on Friday, April 15, 2016 by David M. Brown, M.D., Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Cullen Eye Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, at the Back Bay Event Center in Boston. Dr. Brown’s lecture, entitled "Pathophysiology of Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO) - Revelations of the anti-VEGF Trials," reflects his expertise and experience as a vitreoretinal specialist at the Blanton Eye Institute, Houston Methodist Hospital.  

 “This lectureship is especially fitting given the passionate commitment that both Mass. Eye and Ear and NEOS have for education and collaboration,” said John Fernandez, President and CEO of Mass. Eye and Ear. “It is also testimony to Dr. Miller’s dedicated involvement with NEOS and her commitment to educating the next generation of trainees. She has supported, mentored, and inspired hundreds of trainees in their careers, and is an especially worthy candidate for this honor.” 

Dr. Miller is a past president of NEOS, and an internationally recognized expert on retinal disorders. She is credited with co-developing photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin (Visudyne®), the first pharmacologic treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). She also co-discovered the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in eye disease, and demonstrated the therapeutic potential of VEGF inhibitors, forming the scientific basis of anti-VEGF therapy for neovascular AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and related conditions. Dr. Miller is the first female physician to achieve the rank of Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, the first woman to chair HMS Ophthalmology, and the first woman to serve as Chief of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital. Among Dr. Miller’s numerous honors, she is a laureate of the 2014 António Champalimaud Vision Award, the highest distinction in ophthalmology and visual science.

About Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck.  Now united with Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear is the world's largest vision and hearing research center, developing new treatments and cures through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships.  Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex.  U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Survey” has consistently ranked the Mass. Eye and Ear Departments of Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology as top in the nation.  For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit

About Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology
The Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology ( is one of the leading and largest academic departments of ophthalmology in the nation. More than 350 full-time faculty and trainees work at nine HMS affiliate institutions, including Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Joslin Diabetes Center/Beetham Eye Institute, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, VA Maine Healthcare System, and Cambridge Health Alliance. Formally established in 1871, the department has been built upon a strong and rich foundation in medical education, research, and clinical care. Through the years, faculty and alumni have profoundly influenced ophthalmic science, medicine, and literature—helping to transform the field of ophthalmology from a branch of surgery into an independent medical specialty at the forefront of science.