Current Environment:

Ophthalmology Research | Overview

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/); Gabriel Kreiman, PhD (see http://klab.tch.harvard.edu/#sthash.EQH9y9L3.dpbs); and Lois Smith, MD, PhD (see https://www.childrenshospital.org/research/labs/smith-lab), all Professors of Ophthalmology) have grown in personnel and influence while maintaining continuous federal funding (exceeding three decades for Professors Fulton and Smith). The department has also added independent PIs: James Akula, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Jing Chen, PhD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology (see https://www.childrenshospital.org/research/labs/chen-lab), Zhongjie Fu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Mary Whitman, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology (see https://www.childrenshospital.org/research/labs/whitman-lab-research), and Ye Sun, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and has two mentored researchers, Lucia Ambrosio, MD, PhD, Instructor in Ophthalmology, and Eric Gaier, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology. Boston Children's 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. Linda Dagi’s research is on strabismus, exotropia surgery, nerve palsies, and thyroid eye disease; Dr. Alexandra Elliott’s is on oculoplastics techniques; Dr. Elizabeth Engle’s is on strabismus and genetics of congenital cranial dysinnervation disorders; Dr. Anne Fulton’s is on retinal function; Dr. Bharti Gangwani’s is on developing a new scanner to detect systemic diseases; Dr. Efren Gonzalez’s is on ocular oncology; 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. Melanie Kazlas’s is on visual function and distortion in amblyopia; Dr. Danielle Ledoux’s is on diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in the lens; Dr. Iason Mantagos’s is on treatment for retinopathy of prematurity, Stevens Johnson syndrome, and virtual reality software to treat amblyopia; Dr. Kathryn Miller’s is on correcting low vision in cerebral palsy; Dr. Eric Moulton’s is on central nervous system representation of migraine headache as well as eye pain from photophobia; Dr. Aparna Raghuram’s is on concussion as well as 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. Emily Wiecek’s is on amblyopia; and Dr. Carolyn Wu’s is on amblyopia.