Newswise — Boston (Oct. 29, 2012) -- Schepens Eye Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear has named Patricia D’Amore, Ph.D., MBA, FARVO, as Director of Research at Schepens Eye Research Institute. D’Amore is Professor of Ophthalmology and Pathology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), HMS Ophthalmology Vice Chair of Basic Research, and Senior Scientist and Ankeny Scholar of Retinal Molecular Biology at Schepens. As Director of Research, she will serve as the senior leader at Schepens and as a member of the Mass. Eye and Ear research leadership team, reporting to the Chief and Chair of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and HMS, and to the Schepens Board of Directors.
D’Amore’s selection follows a rigorous, eight-month effort by an HMS-appointed search committee to identify a highly accomplished academic and scientific leader who has achieved significant success in advancing the field of vision science.
D’Amore has distinguished herself as an astute investigator, dedicated teacher, and gifted administrator who brings nearly three decades of scientific accomplishment and leadership to her new role. Her responsibilities will include shaping Schepens’ research goals and objectives, crafting the Institute’s scientific policy development and priorities, mentoring faculty and overseeing faculty career development and promotion, and building collaborative relationships between Harvard research groups and clinical areas, and with industry and academia, among other critical duties.
From 2001 until 2011, D’Amore served as co-chair of the Program in Development in Angiogenesis, Invasion & Metastasis at the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. At Schepens, she was appointed Associate Director of Research in 2002, and assumed the role of Co-Director of Research in 2009. More recently, she was named Co-Director of the AMD Center of Excellence at HMS. She founded the Boston Angiogenesis Meeting, now in its 14th year, as a forum for presenting new findings and promoting collaboration, understanding, and advancement in angiogenesis research. More recently, she co-directed the highly successful biennial Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Symposium, an international forum that draws an elite group of clinicians and researchers to advance discussion on a wide array of AMD topics. For her efforts in training future leaders in research, she was honored in 2006 with the A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award.
As an internationally recognized expert in vascular growth and development, D’Amore’s investigations have led to a deeper understanding of the molecular basis of eye diseases, and helped form the foundations of vascular targeting therapies. Her work uncovered important physiological roles of vascular growth factors, and yielded crucial insight into the safe use of antiangiogenic therapies. She contributed to the development of vascular-targeting therapies (VEGF inhibitors) - and today, these therapies are used to treat various cancers and retinal disease, including age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, and have helped millions of people avoid blindness.
She has received multiple recognitions for her scientific and academic contributions, including a Senior Scientific Investigator Award from Research to Prevent Blindness (2006), Gold Fellow recognition by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (2009), and the 2012 Rous-Whipple Award from the American Society of Investigative Pathology.
D’Amore received her doctorate in biology from Boston University in 1977, and went on to conduct postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 1981, she joined Boston Children’s Hospital where she conducted pioneering bench and translational research under the mentorship of Dr. Judah Folkman. She joined Schepens in 1998 as a Senior Scientist and rose in rank to Professor of Ophthalmology (Pathology) at HMS in the same year.
“Over the last 15 years, Dr. D’Amore’s consummate leadership capabilities and scientific achievements have been major influences in shaping and promoting Schepens’ visibility and rank as a world class ophthalmic research institution,” notes Kennett F. Burnes, Chair of the Schepens Board of Directors. “Besides bringing outstanding credentials to this role, Dr. D’Amore’s appointment reflects her ability to set very aggressive but achievable goals that continue to push scientific advances forward and across the pipeline of discovery.”
Mass. Eye and Ear President & CEO, John Fernandez, agrees. “Our department houses one of the largest ophthalmic research institutions in the world, and has made extraordinary progress in recent decades to advance care and cures for blinding diseases,” he said. “Dr. D’Amore brings the ultimate mix of vision, insight and experience to this very strategic role and possesses the scientific acumen to take our efforts to the next level.”
About Massachusetts Eye and Ear Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. After uniting with Schepens Eye Research Institute in 2011, Mass. Eye and Ear in Boston became the world's largest vision and hearing research center, offering hope and healing to patients everywhere through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships. Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Survey” has consistently ranked the Mass. Eye and Ear Departments of Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology as top five in the nation. For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit MassEyeAndEar.org.