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Janet S. Sunness

Janet S. Sunness, MD.

Medical Director of Richard E. Hoover Low Vision Rehabilitation Services, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, USA

Dr. Janet Sunness, is board certified in Ophthalmology. Dr. Sunness received her M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY. She completed her internship in Internal Medicine and her residency in Ophthalmology at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn. Her fellowship in Medical Retina and Visual Function was at John Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Sunness spent 21 years with the Johns Hopkins Medical system, including serving as an associate professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology, medical director of the Low Vision Service, director of the Retinal Dystrophy Center and director of the Visual Function Service all at the Wilmer Eye Institute, before joining the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) as director of the Hoover Low Vision Rehabilitation Services and head of the Visual function testing and clinical electrophysiology service. She is a Clinical Professor in the Dept of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Sunness was awarded the 2011 Macula Society’s J. Donald M. Gass Medal. As principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health-funded study at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Wilmer Eye Institute, she collected data and characterized the progression and vision impairment of geographic atrophy. Her findings have been instrumental in defining parameters for geographic atrophy clinical trials. She also received Envision’s highest honor, the 2014 Envision Award in Low Vision Research. The award is for her contributions and her work as a clinician-researcher in the area of maculopathy and for her “significant contributions, most specifically in the understanding of and defining the parameters in clinical trials for the ‘dry’ form of advanced age related macular degeneration.” Sunness becomes the organization’s sixth member honored with this award.

Research/Clinical Interests
Dr. Sunness is a leading world expert on geographic atrophy, the advanced dry form of age-related macular degeneration and has also pioneered new methods of measuring visual function. Dr. Sunness is an accomplished researcher in understanding how diseases cause loss of vision and has directed several National Institutes of Health-funded studies in this field. She directs one of nine centers worldwide participating in the ProgSTAR study (funded by the US Dept of Defense through the Foundation Fighting Blindness) to study the progression of Stargardt disease, the most common macular degeneration in young people. Dr. Sunness has done pioneering work in measuring visual function in patients with macular disease, using microperimetry and other tools. Dr. Sunness is also a leading world expert on how pregnancy affects the mother’s eyes.