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Dr. Seddon, a world-renowned clinician-scientist joins UMass Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

Date Posted: Friday, March 01, 2019

Dr. Seddon presented a special research seminar entitled: Mechanisms and Etiology of Macular Degeneration: Nature, Nurture and Targets for Therapies”, in which she summarized decades of her original clinical epidemiological research focused on identifying environmental and genetic factors that contribute to the development of most common disease that affects vision in the developed world, macular Degeneration.

The UMass Memorial Eye Center welcomes world-renowned clinician-scientist, ophthalmologist and retina specialist Johanna Seddon, MD. Board certified in ophthalmology, Dr. Seddon earned her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, completed her residency at Tufts–New England Medical Center, and completed fellowships at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in both ophthalmic pathology and retinal/vitreous diseases. She also was the first ophthalmologist to earn a Master of Science degree in epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health.

As the director of Retina Services and as director of the newly formed Macular Degeneration Center of Excellence at the Eye Center, Dr. Seddon specializes in retinal diseases, macular degeneration, macular and retinal dystrophies, family history of macular diseases and genetic retinal diseases. She also provides retinopathy screenings for diabetic patients and ocular imaging.

Dr. Seddon is praised in her field for her groundbreaking epidemiologic research in age- related macular degeneration, including the beneficial effect of dietary carotenoids, and the harmful effects of smoking, high BMI and larger waist-hip ratio, which have changed the management of the disease worldwide. She also holds a strong interest in the study of the impact of genetics on patients and families affected by these macular disorders. She and her research team have discovered many of the genes known to be associated with this disease. Some of these breakthroughs are being translated into new therapies.

Dr. Seddon has been lauded by the American Academy of Ophthalmology with both senior achievement and lifetime achievement awards, and by the international Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology with the prestigious Weisenfeld Award and the inaugural ARVO Fellows Award. She’s been the recipient of many other notable awards for discoveries and contributions in the field of ophthalmology and retinal diseases. Her work has been featured in more than 250 original publications, editorials and reviews, and she is coauthor of the book, “Eat Right for Your Sight,” a science-based cookbook for healthy eating to preserve vision.

Dr. Seddon’s Lecture