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Patricia D'Amore

2020 NAVBO Earl P. Benditt Award - Patricia D'Amore, Schephen's Eye Institute, Mass Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School

Pat DAmore 4 March 2017 credit Pierce Harman

The NAVBO Meritorious Awards Committee and Council are pleased to announce the selection of Patricia D’Amore, PhD, MBA, as the 2020 recipient of the Earl P. Benditt Award, in recognition of her numerous contributions to our understanding of vascular development and growth. Dr. D’Amore is currently the Charles L. Schepens Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. She will present the Benditt Lecture"Understanding capillary growth and pathology using the retina as a model system," and receive the award, one of NAVBO's highest honors, at Vascular Biology 2020 in Newport, Rhode Island (October 28, 2020).

Dr. D’Amore earned a PhD in Biology from Boston University in 1977 and pursued postdoctoral research in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiological Chemistry at Johns Hopkins, where she was appointed Assistant Professor in 1980. She returned to Boston in 1981 to join Judah Folkman in the Program in Vascular Biology at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she remains a Research Associate in the Department of Surgery. Dr. D’Amore rose to the rank of Associate Professor of Pathology (1989) and Professor of Ophthalmology (1998) at Harvard Medical School, assuming the Schepens Professorship as Director of Research at the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear in 2012. In 2014, she was appointed Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, where she directs the Howe Laboratory and serves as Associate Chief for Ophthalmology Basic and Translational Research in the Department of Ophthalmology.

Dr. D’Amore is recognized internationally as an expert in vascular growth and development, working at the forefront of angiogenesis research for over three decades. Among her foremost contributions is the identification of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as the elusive causative factor in ocular diseases characterized by over-exuberant blood vessel growth. These investigations proved fundamental in the rationale for development of anti-VEGF therapies, first approved for clinical use in 2004 and currently in use to treat various cancers, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. Dr. D’Amore also developed the widely-used hyperoxic murine neonate model of retinopathy, enabling numerous basic scientific investigations of vascular development and preclinical studies of vascular-targeting agents. Her current research focuses on understanding the developmental dynamics and maturational stabilization of the microvasculature.

Dr. D’Amore has published more than 160 peer-reviewed papers, dozens of reviews, and is editor or co-editor of four books. She has received numerous honors, including the Alcon Research Institute Award, the Cogan Award and Proctor Medal from ARVO, the Rous-Whipple Award from the American Society of Investigative Pathology, the Endre A. Balazs Award from the International Society for Eye Research, and the António Champalimaud Vision Award, the highest distinction in ophthalmology and visual science. Most recently, she was elected as a Fellow of American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Medical Sciences.

Colleagues writing in support of Dr. D’Amore’s nomination noted that “…D’Amore is an outstanding teacher, mentor and communicator in the world of vascular biology, locally, nationally and internationally. She is a much sought-after collaborator and colleague, who is passionately committed to the academic mission and presents a wonderful role model for young women trainees in the biomedical sciences. She thus embodies the spirit of Dr. Earl Benditt, as he is remembered for both his scientific contributions and his mentorship.”

Please join us at VB2020 in Newport this October to honor Dr. D’Amore as she receives this well-deserved award.

Compiled by William R. Huckle,
NAVBO Editor

Read more about Dr. D'Amore

Read more about the Benditt Award

Photo courtesy of Pierce Harman