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Dr. Johanna Seddon Honored as Member of the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS)

Dr. Johanna Seddon was inducted as a new member into the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS). Below is the excerpt from her induction ceremony:

Dr. Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM signing the historical American Ophthalmological Society membership book on May 16, 2019

Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM, Professor of Ophthalmology, Director of Retina and Director of the Macular Degeneration Center of Excellence in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, UMass Chan Medical School, Worcester, MA, was inducted as a member into the celebrated American Ophthalmological Society (AOS) for her distinguished contributions to the fields of ophthalmology, retina and macular degeneration. She presented her talk as a newly elected member at the annual AOS meeting in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, on May 18, 2019. Her presentation included highlights from her thesis “Validated Prediction Models for Macular Degeneration Progression and Predictors of Visual Acuity Loss Identify High-Risk Individuals”, which was published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology in February, 2019. Dr. Seddon pioneered the field of prediction modeling with algorithms that include both modifiable and genetic factors that her team discovered. These models include many different genes (polygenic risk scores or GRS) and can discriminate between high and low risk groups with impact on precision medicine and early intervention. Her talk was favorably reviewed and discussed by Professor Timothy Olsen, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. 

Dr. Seddon is one of a minority of women members in the 150 year history of the AOS.  She was the first female vitreo-retinal surgical fellow at Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard and the first ophthalmologist to have obtained a graduate degree in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. She also initiated and conducted the first study that demonstrated the beneficial effect of higher dietary lutein and zeaxanthin intake on risk of macular degeneration, which is now part of the management of this disease world-wide. Her team was the first to identify macular degeneration genes in the high-density lipoprotein, vascular endothelial growth and collagen extracellular matrix pathways, and most notably she reported the first high risk genetic variants in the complement pathway causing early onset and familial macular degeneration.  

The American Ophthalmological Society (AOS) is a medical society of ophthalmologists and the second oldest specialty medical society in the United States. It was founded in 1864 during the Civil War as the first specialty society in this country and just thirteen years after Helmholtz invented the ophthalmoscope. The AOS membership has served to influence virtually every facet of American ophthalmology and the Society has proudly sustained its original purpose, "the advancement of ophthalmic science and art."