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Patricia D’Amore, Ph.D.

January 1, 2015

Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Schepens Eye Research Institute-Massachusetts Eye and Ear






Primary Research: 

The D’Amore laboratory has a long history of interest in understanding vascular development and pathology, particularly as it relates to the retina in pathologies such as diabetic retinopathy and wet age-related macular degeneration.  Over the past two decades she has focused on the role of VEGF in these process and she and her colleagues contributed to the work that forms the basis for the use of anti-VEGF therapies in the eye.  More recently, her group has investigated the role of VEGF in the adult.

Current projects include examining role of endomucin-1, a sialic-rich glycoprotein that is highly endothelial-specific. In one project they are examining the possible role of endomucin in angiogenesis; a second line of research focuses on the role endomucin, a primary component of the endothelial glycocalyn, in regulating the interactions between ECs and inflammatory cells.

A hallmark of proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the formation of fibrovascular membranes over the retina during neovascularization, one of the clinical markers of PDR. These membranes are correlated with tractional retinal detachment and diminishing vision and are therefore removed to prevent further damage to the retina. A focus of the lab is the characterization of these membranes via histological and cell profiling methodologies.

In addition to pathologies of the retina that involve blood vessel growth dry age-related macular degeneration, which in its advanced form is called geographic atrophy, is one of the leading causes of blindness in people aged 60 and over. There is currently no therapy to treat this form of macular degeneration. We recently published that a novel cell death pathway mediated by NLPR3-inflammasome is activated in AMD. and we are currently investigating the mechanism of NLRP3-inflammasome activation in AMD to identify a potential therapeutic target.

In 2012, Pat became the Director of Research at Schepens Eye Research Institute. In 2014, she was appointed Director of the  Howe Laboratory and the Associate Chief of Basic and Translational Research, both at Massachusetts Eye & Ear.

Find more information on the web:

Members of the laboratory:
Joe Arboleda
Leo Kim

Gopalan Gnanaguru
Cindy Park-Windhol
Jinling Yang
Yang Hu (Arboleda group)
Arturo Machuca  (Arboleda group)

Dhanesh Amarnani  (Kim group)
Alex Bigger-Allen
Mark Graham (Arboleda group)
Lindsay Wong (Kim group)

Medical Student
Daniel Oh

Recent Publications:

  1. Ford KM, D’Amore PA. Molecular regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor expression in the retinal pigment epithelium. Mol Vis., 2012; 18:519-527. PMC3298425.
  2. dela Paz NG, Walshe TE, Leach LL, Saint-Geniez M, D’Amore PA. Role of shear-stress-induced VEGF expression in endothelial cell survival. J Cell Sc.i, 2012 Feb 15;125: 831-843. Epub 2012 Mar 7. PMC3311927.
  3. Ford KM, Saint-Geniez M, Walshe TE, D’Amore PA.  Expression and role of VEGF--A in the ciliary body. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 2012 Nov 7; 53:7520-7527. PMC3493183.
  4. Tseng WA, Thein T, Kinnunen K, Lashkari K, Gregory MS, D’Amore PA, Ksander BR. NLRP3 inflammasome activation in retinal pigment epithelial cells by lysosomal destabilization: implications for age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 2013 Jan 7; 54:110-120. PMC3544415.
  5. Bielenberg DR, D’Amore PA. All vessels are not created equal. Am J Pathol., 2013 Apr; 182:1087-1091, Epub 2013 Feb 17. PMID: 23422091.
  6. Bagchi M, Kim LA, Boucher J, Walshe TE, Kahn CR, D’Amore PA.  Vascular endothelial growth factor is important for brown adipose tissue development and maintenance. FASEB J., 2013 Aug; 27:3257-3271. PMC3714576.
  7. Walshe TE, dela Paz NG,  D’Amore PA. The role of shear-induced transforming growth factor-ß signaling in the endothelium. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol., Nov 2013; 33:2608-2617, Epub 2013 Aug 22. PMID: 23968981.
  8. Kim LA, Amarnani D, Gnanaguru G, Tseng WA, Vavvas DG, D'Amore PA. Tamoxifen toxicity in cultured retinal pigment epithelial cells is mediated by concurrent regulated cell death mechanisms. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014; (8):4747-58. PMID: 24994868.  PMC Journal – In Process.
  9. Joseph F. Arboleda-Velasquez, Vincent Primo, Mark Graham, Alexandra James, Jan Manent, and Patricia A. D'Amore. Notch signaling functions in retinal pericyte survival. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., Aug 2014; 55: 5191 – 5199. PMC4139112.
  10. Valdez C, Arboleda-Velasquez, JF, Armarnani D, Kim L, D’Amore PA. Retinal microangiopathy in a mouse model of inducible mural cell loss. Am J Pathol, 2014; 10:2618-26, PMID: 25092275.