Executive Committee/Advisory Board

Executive Committee Members and Federal Liaison

The Executive Committee of Women’s Eye Health (WEH) is responsible for making decisions and implementing the activities of the organization. This small volunteer group was chosen so that important and necessary expertise and abilities would be available. The Committee meets bi-monthly and subcommittees working on specific projects meet bi-monthly.

Dong Feng Chen, MD, PhD, Chair
Associate Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Dr. Chen’s research focuses on repairing retinal damage and disease by a regenerative and neural stem/progenitor cell strategy and understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying optic nerve regeneration and neurodegeneration. She has brought her international expertise to WEH and is pivotal in maintaining our relationship with our China WEH chapters.

Ilene K. Gipson, PhD, Founder
Senior Scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear, Boston, MA; Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School (HMS), Boston
Dr. Gipson is a cofounder and former chair of the Women's Eye Health. She is a cell biologist and has been appointed the “Ocular Surface Scholar” at Schepens. She is an accomplished researcher in ocular surface diseases, some of which are prevalent in women. She is also an experienced teacher and lecturer, and is expert in managing groups of people to optimize their efforts.

Janine Austin Clayton, MD, Federal Liaison
Deputy Director, Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), and clinical investigator, National Eye Institute, NIH
Dr. Clayton is an ophthalmologist specializing in cornea and external disease and uveitis and conducts research focused upon immune-mediated diseases of the eye. Her experience with the diagnosis, treatment, and clinical study of ophthalmic diseases-specifically inflammatory diseases, which disproportionately affect women and knowledge about women's health and sex/gender effects on health and disease provide expertise to WEH.

Alice J. Adler, PhD
Senior Scientist Emeritus at Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear; Associate Professor Emerita of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Adler is a biochemist with many years of experience conducting research on components of the retina and mechanisms of vision. She is a writer for WEH, applying the skills she has acquired, through writing grant applications and journal articles, to communicate our message to the public and to professionals.

Margaret M. DeAngelis, PhD
Associate Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences John A. Moran Eye Center

Neena B. Haider, PhD
Associate Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Haider works to identify key genetic factors that modulate inherited retinal diseases, to investigate the influence of genes on the multipotency of neural stem cells and retinal progenitors, and to develop and test therapeutic targets for retinal degenerations (including AMD and diabetic retinopathy). She recently identified a genetic modifier that is able to ameliorate more than one form of inherited retinal degeneration, and has developed several unique genetic models to study the retinal and vascular phenotypes associated with macular degeneration.

Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD
Professor of Ophthalmology; Vitreoretinal Service and Surgery; Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics, Neurobiology and Anatomy; Director of Pediatric Retina; Principal Investigator Retinal Angiogenesis Laboratory, University of Utah, John A. Moran Eye Center

Susan MacDonald,MD
Director of Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Lahey Clinic; Assistant Professor, Tufts School of Medicine
Dr. MacDonald is an Assistant Professor at Tufts School of Medicine. She is currently the Director of Comprehensive Ophthalmology at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center. She received her medical degree from University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. MacDonald practice focuses on cataract surgery and complex anterior segment reconstruction. She has dedicated her career to teaching cataract surgery for twenty years, training over 84 residents. She is the director of CORE, a national cataract course which teaches safe state of the art cataract surgery to residents. The course runs three times a year, training over 200 residents each year. She has served as residency co director and is a recipient of the Tufts University School of Medicine Award for Teaching Excellence. She is a passionate volunteer for the mission of reducing world blindness, volunteering for ASAPROSAR providing eye care in El Salvador, Egypt, Kenya and Guatemala.. She has recently begun working with her Mentor Alan Crandall and the Moran Outreach. Dr. MacDonald believes improving international surgical education for all ophthalmologists is an essential part of reducing world blindness. She is an advocate of international women’s rights and access to education and medical care.

Magali Saintgeniez, PhD
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Assistant Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear
Dr. Saint-Geniez is a scientist specializing in retinal degenerative diseases such as Aged-related Macular Degeneration. Her current research focused on the development of new translational technologies for the characterization and treatment of retinal diseases. She is also an experience lecturer and provides mentoring to local students and faculty through her involvement in the Schepens Training Program and Joint Committee on the Status of Women, HMS.

Debra A. Schaumberg, ScD, OD, MPH
Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Associate Director for Clinical and Epidemiologic Research Moran Center for Translational Medicine Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences John A. Moran Eye Center University of Utah
Dr. Schaumberg is an epidemiologist specializing in identifying risk factors for age-related eye diseases. She has training in public health ophthalmology from an international viewpoint. She provides WEH with expertise on the appropriateness of epidemiological methods used in published studies, and can assess the validity of data on risk factors (including gender differences) for eye diseases.

Lucy Q. Shen, MD
Glaucoma Service, Mass. Eye and Ear; Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Shen is an ophthalmologist specializing in cataract and glaucoma. Her research interest is in new imaging devices for glaucoma. She is also very involved in resident teaching.  Her deep clinical, surgical and research expertise provides WEH with a unique understanding of ophthalmic issues.

Ann Tisdale, MS
Scientific Associate, Schepens Eye Research Institute/Mass. Eye and Ear, Boston, MA
Ms. Tisdale, a 20+ year employee at Schepens, specializes in microscopy and histology.


Advisory Board

The National Advisory Board of the Women’s Eye Health.org consists of outstanding American eye researchers. This group has very wide and deep expertise in science and medicine, including clinical specialists in all the major eye diseases. The Board meets with the Executive Committee at the yearly ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) convention. This Board is invaluable for its advice and its networking strategies. It has been instrumental in publicizing the problem and in advising the Executive Committee about fundraising and about methods to disseminate information.

Mark Abelson, MD, CM, FRCSC
Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology
Harvard Medical School
Emeritus Surgeon, Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Ora, Inc.
Ocular Surface Disease

Penny A. Asbell, MD
Professor of Ophthalmology
Director of Cornea Service and Refractive Surgery Center
Mount Sinai Medical Center
Corneal and external eye disease

Nathalie F. Azar, MD
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
University of Illinois Medical School
Pediatric Ophthalmology

Cassandra J. Barnhart, MPH
Manager of Research Administration
UNC School of Medicine
Department of Ophthalmology

Deborah J. Colville, MBBS
Center for Eye Research Australia
University of Melbourne
Women's Vision Health

Paul Courtright, DrPH
Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology International
Groote Schuur Hospital
Cape Town, South Africa
Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology Tanzania
Moshi, Tanzania
Epidemiology of gender risk in eye disease

M. Reza Dana, MD, MPH, MSc, MD, FARVO
W. Clement Stone Scholar, Senior Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute/Mass. Eye and Ear
Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Director, Cornea Service, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
Director, Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program
Ocular immunology and ocular surface inflammation

Michael R. Dueñas, OD 
Chief Public Health Officer
Health Scientist
American Optometric Association
Metro Washington, D.C.
Pediatric Vision, Ocular Disease, Public Health & Epidemiology

Maria Dolores Pinazo-Duran, MD, PhD
Assoc. Professor of Ophthalmology
University of Valencia Medical School
Research Coordinator Health Department
Valencia-Peset, Spain

Alvin Eisner, PhD
Reviewing Editor, Current Eye Research
Portland, OR
Studies the effects of breast cancer medications on vision and the eye, relations between ophthalmology and women’s health.

Debora B. Farber, PhD, FARVO
Karl Kirchgessner Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology
Jules Stein Eye Institute School of Medicine
University of California at Los Angeles
Retinal biology and disease

Ula V. Jurkunas, MD
Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Clinical Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear
Associate Professor in Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Cornea, external disease and refractive surgery

Jill E. Keeffe, PhD, OAM
L V Prasad Eye Institute
Hyderabad, India
Public health and health services research

Stella K. Kim, MD
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Adjunct, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology,
Director, Clinical Research in Ophthalmology
University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Cornea and external eye disease

Charles E. Kostro
Past International Director
Lions Clubs International
Advocate for healthy vision

JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH
Chair, Division of Preventive Medicine
Elizabeth F. Brigham Professor of Women’s Health
Harvard Medical School
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Div. of Preventive Medicine
Women’s health

William D. Mathers, MD

Professor of Ophthalmology
Corneal and External Disease Dept
Casey Eye Institute
Oregon Health Sciences University
Dry eye disease

Joan W. Miller, MD, FARVO
Chair, Department of Ophthalmology
Harvard Medical School
Head, Department of Ophthalmology
Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
Ophthalmology, retinal disease

Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MSPH, PhD
FERV Professor (Foundation for Education and Research in Vision)
University of Houston
The Ocular Surface Institute (TOSI)
Houston, Texas
Dry eye disease

Mildred M.G. Olivier, MD
Professor of Surgery, Department of Ophthalmology
Assistant Dean for Diversity 
Chicago Medical School/RFUMS
John H. Stroger, Jr., Hospital of Cook County

Iok-Hou Pang, PhD, FARVO
Professor & Chair
Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy
North Texas Eye Research Institute
University of North Texas Health Science Center

Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM
Director, Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Genetics Service, New England Eye Center;
Professor of Ophthalmology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Epidemiology of eye disease and macular degeneration

Richard D. Semba, MD, MPH
Professor of Ophthalmology,
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology & International Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute
Ophthalmology and epidemiology

Allen Taylor, PhD
Director, Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research
Professor of Nutrition, Biochemistry, and Ophthalmology
USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
Nutrition and vision

Liu Yang, MD
Dept. of Ophthalmology
Peking University First Hospital
Beijing, China

Women’s Eye Health