Buscar Close Search
Buscar Close Search
Page Menu

Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM, FARVO, FASRS


Brief Bio

Dr. Seddon pioneered the field of epidemiology in ophthalmology and initiated studies of genetics in macular degeneration. She previously founded and directed Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Genetics Services at Harvard and Tufts in Boston. Dr. Seddon is recognized for her groundbreaking research on lifestyle factors (smoking, body mass index, abdominal adiposity, exercise), nutrition (dietary lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids) and the associations of these modifiable factors with macular degeneration. The advice to eat green, leafy vegetables, increase lutein and zeaxanthin intake, eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and adhere to healthy habits like not smoking and getting exercise, evolved from her early work which has changed the management of macular degeneration. She co-authored a book “Eat Right for Your Sight”, based on scientific studies of the impact of nutrition on eye disease, which is available on amazon.com.

Dr. Seddon and her research team have also made novel discoveries regarding genetic, biologic, and genetic-environmental biomarkers associated with both onset and progression of macular degeneration. Breakthroughs in the Seddon Laboratory include the discovery of several of the known genetic variants associated with macular degeneration, including the discovery of the first genetic variants in the HDL pathway, VEGF pathway, collagen extracellular matrix pathway, and the first confirmed rare genetic variants in the complement pathway with high impact on the disease. These variants are now targets for new treatments. Dr. Seddon and her team initiated and developed predictive algorithms to estimate the probability of progressing from intermediate to advanced subtypes of macular degeneration and visual loss. These models are useful for precision medicine. 

American Ophthalmological Society Thesis, in press, Am J Ophthal, 2019.

Dr. Seddon has investigator-initiated NIH funding and has over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals, chapters and reviews.

Clinical Expertise

  • Macular Degeneration
  • Macular Dystrophies-Stargardt Disease, Best disease
  • High myopia
  • Retinal Degenerations
  • Diabetic eye exams
  • Family history of macular disease

Research Interests

  • Macular Degeneration-causes, prevention and therapies
  • Genetics of Macular Disease, Family studies
  • Nutrition and Prevention of Macular Degeneration
  • Ocular Imaging
  • Genotype-Phenotype Associations

Academic Rank

  • Professor
  • Director of Retina, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
  • Director of the Macular Degeneration Center of Excellence
  • UMass Chan Medical School
  • UMass Memorial Medical Center


  • MD, University of Pittsburgh
  • ScM, Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Residency, Tufts New England Medical Center

Post-Doctoral Fellowships

  • Fellowship, Ophthalmic Pathology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
  • Fellowship, Vitreo-Retinal Diseases and Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary


  • American Board of Ophthalmology

State Licensure

  • Massachusetts

Professional Societies and Affiliations

  • The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Macula Society
  • Retina Society
  • American Society of Retinal Surgeons
  • Women in Ophthalmology
  • Society of Epidemiologic Research
  • American Society of Human Genetics
  • American Ophthalmological Society


Dr. Seddon has received numerous awards for her achievements and contributions, including the prestigious Mildred Weisenfeld Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the inaugural ARVO Gold Fellow Award, inaugural member of the Retina Hall of Fame, the Lucien Howe Medal Award, Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the Women in Ophthalmology (WIO) Honor Award for outstanding research and the WIO Mentoring Award, the Kreissig Award from the European Retina, Macular and Vitreous Society, the 2018 American Academy of Ophthalmology Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 Future Vision Award, the 2023 Founders Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists and election to the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis in June, 2023.


  • English
 J Seddon-UMass_Oct 2020.jpg

Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM, FARVO, FASRS

 Contact information


Click here for Dr. Seddon's website

Office Address
UMass Chan Medical School
    55 Lake Avenue North, S3-119, Worcester, MA 01655