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Posts by Joan W. Miller, MD


Dr. Miller is the David Glendenning Cogan Professor of Ophthalmology, chair of Harvard Ophthalmology, chief of Ophthalmology at Mass Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital and ophthalmologist-in-chief at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Miller is an internationally recognized expert on retinal disorders, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Over the last two decades, she and her colleagues at Mass Eye and Ear/HMS pioneered the development of photodynamic therapy using verteporfin (Visudyne®), the first approved pharmacological therapy able to reduce and slow vision loss in patients with AMD. The group also identified the key role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in ocular neovascularization, leading to the development of anti-VEGF therapies now administered to millions of children and adults with sight-threatening retinal diseases annually around the world. Dr. Miller’s current studies focus on the genetics of AMD, strategies for early intervention in AMD, neuroprotective therapies for retinal diseases and MacTel and other maculopathies.

Dr. Miller is the first female physician to achieve the rank of Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and the first woman to chair the Department of Ophthalmology. She is also the first woman appointed as Chief of Ophthalmology at both Mass Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to her these roles and responsibilities, she also co-directs Mass Eye and Ear's Angiogenesis Laboratory.

As recognition for her contributions to the field of ophthalmology, Dr. Miller has received numerous prestigious honors and awards. Among them, she is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a co-recipient of the 2014 António Champalimaud Vision Award, the highest distinction in ophthalmology and visual science. In 2015, Dr. Miller also became the first woman to receive the Mildred Weisenfeld Award for Excellence in Ophthalmology from the Association for Research In Vision and Ophthalmology; in 2018, she became the first woman awarded the Charles L. Schepens, MD, Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Recently, Dr. Miller was awarded the 2018 Lucien Howe Medal from the American Ophthalmological Society and the 2018 Gertrude D. Pyron Award from the American Society of Retinal Specialists.

Mass Eye and Ear/Mass General Ophthalmology

An international center for ophthalmology treatment and research, Mass Eye and Ear/Massachusetts General Hospital is the primary teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Ophthalmology, and is consistently recognized as one of the nation’s top hospitals for eye care. Led by Chief and Chair Joan W. Miller, MD, the department provides seamless access to the most innovative care available anywhere in the world.