Our physicians are leading innovative research to enhance patient care for conditions that involve the eyes and nervous system.

Notably, Neuro-Ophthalmology Service Director Joseph Rizzo, MD, co-founded the Boston Retinal Implant Project—a consortium that is developing an artificial retina that could restore vision to patients with certain retinal diseases.

Clinical Research

Most of our clinical research focuses on improving the diagnosis of blinding conditions, such as neuritis and ischemic optic neuropathy, which are caused by retinal or optic nerve damage. We also study other disorders that involve the brain (e.g., giant cell arteritis and idiopathic intracranial hypertension), and visual disorders that affect circadian rhythms.

Participate in a study: If you have nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), you may be eligible to participate in a new study. We are testing the safety and effectiveness of a new drug to stop vision loss in patients who are newly diagnosed with the condition. Learn more

Translating Research Findings into Clinical Practice

Translational research applies knowledge from basic science and clinical trials to improve patient care. Our translational research program is focused on the novel concept of “therapeutic neuro-ophthalmology" and includes:

  1. Investigative research: To improve the understanding or treatment of blinding diseases

  2. New treatment development: To restore vision to patients who are blind from retinal or optic nerve diseases

The Boston Retinal Implant Project (BRIP)

Co-founded by Neuro-Ophthalmology Service Director Joseph Rizzo, MD, and the late John Wyatt, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this multidisciplinary consortium develops medical devices to help patients with visual impairments.

The team of biologists, clinicians, and engineers, has been dedicated to developing a retinal prosthesis to restore vision to patients with retinitis pigmentosa or age-related macular degeneration. The wireless, implantable retinal prosthesis is being tested in preclinical trials for safety, and there are plans to begin clinical trials soon.

The BRIP also developed technologies that led to the founding of Visus Technology, Inc., which is developing portable (non-implantable) solutions to help individuals with visual impairments, and Bionic Eye Technologies, Inc., which is developing a camera-based pair of eyeglasses that works together with an implanted retinal prosthesis to restore vision to the blind.

Learn more about the Boston Retinal Implant Project