Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM.AMD SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD
Professor of Ophthalmology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA
Dr. Seddon has a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health, an MD degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and has completed Harvard fellowships in Ophthalmic Pathology and Vitreo-Retinal Diseases. Dr. Seddon is a retina specialist and genetic epidemiologist at the New England Eye Center where she is the Founding Director of the Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Genetics Service. Dr. Seddon is a renowned practicing ophthalmologist and specializes in the evaluation and treatment of patients with macular degeneration. Dr. Seddon began the Studies of Macular Degeneration and Other Eye Diseases over twenty-five years ago. She primarily studies macular degeneration, Stargardt Disease, Best Disease, other macular dystrophies, and high myopia. Her research has helped to develop better treatments as well as establish ways to prevent macular degeneration and other eye diseases. She is recognized worldwide for her groundbreaking research on nutritional factors and their association with AMD (lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids), as well as for her novel discoveries regarding genetic, biologic, and genetic-environmental factors associated with early and late onset forms of macular degeneration. Dr. Seddon and her research team have contributed to the discovery of a majority of the genes associated with AMD reported to date. Dr. Seddon has received several awards, including the prestigious Ingrid Kreissig Award from the European Retina, Macular and Vitreous Society in September of 2014.
Recent breakthroughs in the Seddon Laboratory include the discovery of new genes related to macular degeneration, such as the discovery of the first rare genetic variants with high impact on the disease. These genes are now targets for new therapies. She has also shown that eating a healthy diet can help overcome genetic susceptibility for the disease for some subgroups of patients. She recently co-authored a book called “Eat Right for Your Sight”, which is now available. Dr. Seddon and her team initiated the development of many prediction models that combine genes and lifestyle factors related to macular degeneration and validated the model. These models are being used in clinical research studies and may eventually be used for personalized medicine. Dr. Seddon recently implemented her most recent prediction model for progression to advanced stages of macular degeneration in the form of an online risk calculator. This calculator could be used in the future to examine personal risk factors as well as gain an estimate of individual risk over time for this disease.