Ophthalmology Research

The focus of basic and translational research at Boston Children’s Hospital may be grouped within a framework of clinical areas, including retinopathy, retinal degeneration, visual object recognition, and amblyopia and strabismus.

The Department’s long-established basic research laboratories (led by Anne Fulton, MD (see http://www.infantvision.org/); Lois Smith, MD, PhD (see http://www.childrenshospital.org/research/labs/smith-lab); and Gabriel Kreiman, PhD, (see http://klab.tch.harvard.edu/#sthash.EQH9y9L3.dpbs) all Professors of Ophthalmology) have grown in personnel and influence while maintaining continuous federal funding (exceeding 3 decades for Professors Fulton and Smith.) The department added two, newly independent PIs, Jing Chen, PhD, now Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, and James Akula, PhD, Assistant Professors, as well as mentored investigators Mary Whitman, MD, PhD (recipient of a mentored Harvard K12 Vision Scientist Award); Ye Sun, PhD; Lucia Ambrosio, MD, PhD; and Zhongjie Fu, MD, PhD. BCH ophthalmology basic researchers are leading or otherwise engaged in >100 research studies.

There is also a broad reach of clinical research in congenital cataract, cortical development, eye trauma, neuro-ophthalmology, and ocular surface disease. Currently our clinical investigators are recruiting subjects for 21 clinical studies. Dr.David Hunter’s research includes longitudinal study on visual distortion in amblyopia, evaluation of a noninvasive eye scanner in systemic disease, and use of StrabisPIX (an iPhone application) for home measurement of ocular alignment. Dr.Gena Heidary’s research involves a pediatric-specific algorithm for testing visual fields, field testing in children with optic pathway gliomas, and adult strabismus; Dr.Linda Dagi’s research is on strabismus, exotropia surgery, nerve palsies, and thyroid eye disease; Dr.Carolyn Wu’s is on amblyopia; Dr. Anne Fulton’s is on retinal function; Dr.Bharti Gangwani’s is on developing a new scanner to detect systemic diseases; Dr.Maan Alkharashi’s is on using a video game to treat amblyopia; Dr. Eric Moulton’s is on central nervous system representation of migraine headache, and eye pain from photophobia; Dr.Alexandra Elliott’s is on oculoplastics technique; Dr. Aparna Raghuram’s is on dyslexia and reading disabilities in amblyopia; Dr.Hajirah Saeed’s is on a mechanism to study Stevens Johnson syndrome; Dr. Ankoor Shah’s is on the “virtual visit” in ophthalmology; Dr.Deborah VanderVeen’s is on cataracts and aphakia; Dr.Elizabeth Engle’s is on strabismus and genetics of congenital cranial dysinnervation disorders, Dr. Iason Mantagos’s is on treatment for retinopathy of prematurity, Stevens Johnson syndrome, and virtual reality software to treat amblyopia; Dr. Danielle Ledoux’s is on diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in the lens, Dr. Melanie Kazlas’s is on visual function and distortion in amblyopia.