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The Role of Carotenoids and Very-long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Retinal Health and Disease Throughout the Lifespan

Date Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Visiting Scholar, Paul S. Bernstein, MD, PhD, the Val and Edith Green Presidential Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, presented his talk on the “Role of Carotenoids and Very-Long chain Fatty Acids in Retinal Health and Disease Throughout the Lifespan”.

Dr. Bernstein joined the faculty of the Moran Eye Center of the University of Utah in 1995 where he currently divides his time equally between clinical and basic science retina research and a clinical practice devoted to medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the retina and vitreous with special emphasis on macular and retinal degenerations.

Dr. Bernstein did his vitreoretinal fellowship at Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary when Dr. Johanna Seddon, Professor at UMass Chan medical School and Director of Retina, UMass Memorial Eye Center, was a retina faculty member there. She and Paul learned they had mutual interests in the carotenoids, after Dr. Seddon published the first evidence that the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin reduced the risk of developing AMD in JAMA in 1994.

Dr. Bernstein conducts translational and basic science research and continues to focus on the biochemistry and biophysics of nutritional interventions against inherited and acquired ocular disorders.  His laboratory is a leader in the study of the proteins involved in the uptake, stabilization, and metabolism of lutein and zeaxanthin in the human macula as well as the biosynthesis and function of very long chain fatty acids in the retina. 

Dr. Bernstein has made seminal contributions to the field and has authored over two hundred peer-reviewed research articles and reviews and has five patents.  In 2016, he was awarded the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Outstanding Humanitarian Award for his work training aspiring retina specialists in Nepal, Bhutan, Ethiopia, and Ghana.  In 2021, he received the Weisenfeld Award at ARVO and was vice-president of ARVO.  He currently serves as the Vice-Chair for Research at the Moran Eye Center.

Vision Seminar Series, September 22, 2022