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Our Scientists

UMass Eye Researchers are engaged in innovative projects to better understand various blindness causing diseases.

  • Johanna M. Seddon

    Johanna M. Seddon, M.D, ScM, FARVO

    Principal Investigator & Professor

    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. Read more ›

  • Claudio Punzo

    Claudio Punzo, Ph.D.

    Principal Investigator & Associate Professor

    Dr. Punzo obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Basel Switzerland where he studied Drosophila eye development and evolution under the supervision of Dr. Walter Gehring at the Biozentrum. After completion of his Ph.D. he joined Dr. Constance Cepko at Harvard Medical School for a postdoctoral fellowship on retinal degeneration. In 2010, Dr. Punzo joined the Department of Ophthalmology at UMass Chan Medical School as a junior faculty. Read more ›

  • Darren J. Lee

    Darren J. Lee, Ph.D.

    Principal Investigator & Associate Professor

    Dr. Lee received his B.S. from the University of California, Davis in Genetics, and his Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire in Genetics. Thereafter he joined the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Taylor at Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School for a post-doctoral fellowship on autoimmune uveitis. Read more ›

  • Juan Ding

    Juan Ding, O.D., Ph.D.

    Principal Investigator & Assistant Professor

    Dr. Ding graduated Summa Cum Laude from The New England College of Optometry in 2017. She achieved the highest score in National Optometry Board Exam among over one thousand candidates in 2016. Prior to a clinical career, Ding received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Ohio University. Read more ›

  • Shun-Yun Cheng

    Shun-Yun Cheng

    Ph.D. student

    Shun-Yun, aka Michelle, is a first year Ph.D. student who just recently joined the Punzo Lab. Michelle is working on the Age-related Macular Degeneration project where she is trying to understand how metabolic changes in photoreceptors can cause AMD phenotypes.