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Macular Degeneration

Saving central vision.

Not all macular degeneration is the same. Macular degeneration broadly describes the loss of cells within the macula, the central part of the retina critical for high-resolution sight. Degeneration of the macula may be linked to age, genetics, or acquired conditions. 

In the clinic and operating room, we are using medications and surgery to alter the course of these blinding conditions. We have published several studies in peer-reviewed journals on the use of anti-VEGF therapy for bilateral injections, peripapillary choroidal neovascularization, macular telangiectasia, and women during pregnancy. We also identified surgeries that may delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration.

In the laboratory, we are using genetics and proteomics analysis to identify the causes and new therapeutic targets for macular degeneration. We are fortunate to have won competitive grant support and received philanthropic support for these studies. 

Please contact us for a consultation or learn how to support our research programs.


Genetics plays an important role in the development of age-related macular degeneration. We studied gene variations in a large group of elderly women. 


Oct 16 2019 | Posted In: 20/20 Blog
Palo Alto, CA — A gene therapy clinical trial for Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is beginning at the Byers Eye Institute under the direction of Vinit Mahajan M.D., Ph.D., associate professor and Vice Chair for Research in Ophthalmology. The trial is in partnership with Gyroscope, an ...
Oct 14 2019 | Posted In: 20/20 Blog
Palo Alto, CA – Dry macular degeneration is a common eye condition that usually occurs in people over 50. It is characterized by blurring of the central vision along with a decreased ability to see colors and fine details. Although it does not impact peripheral vision, it can impact every day...
Jul 1 2011 | Posted In: 20/20 Blog
Macular hemorrhages due to choroidal neovascularization can result in sudden and permanent blindness. Intravitreal injection of antibodies against VEGF can reverse the bleeding and restore vision, but the use of such antibody injections is controversial. We treated four pregnant women where a bleed...
Jun 21 2011 | Posted In: 20/20 Blog, Press
Researchers have found the existence of a new, rare inherited retinal disease. Now the search is on to find the genetic cause, which investigators hope will increase understanding of more common retinal diseases. The findings appeared in the Nov. 9 issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology. The macula...
| Posted In: 20/20 Blog
Whether vitrectomy surgery for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is harmful or helpful is not known. A study we co-authored suggests there may be some benefit for certain types of AMD. In our study 2009, published in Ophthalmology, we did not detect that vitrectomy surgery increased the...
| Posted In: 20/20 Blog
Sometimes abnormal blood vessels grow near the optic nerve rather than underneath the fovea. The best way to treat these "peripapillary" choroidal neovascular membranes was studied by our laboratory. 
| Posted In: 20/20 Blog
Idiopathic macular telangiectasia is a condition where abnormal blood vessels are associated with central vision loss. We published a study in the journal RETINA, to determine the benefit of treating this condition with an injection of bevacizumab (Avastin). We found that bevacizumab did not...
| Posted In: 20/20 Blog
Macular degeneration can affect both eyes simultaneously. Injections of medication can slow and reverse this condition.
| Posted In: 20/20 Blog
The Bright Focus Foundation awarded our laboratory with a grant to study inflammation molecules in Age-related Macular Degeneration. Cytokines are important proteins that cause inflammation and bleeding in age-related macular degeneration. We are using protein analysis methods to identify cytokines...


Bevacizumab injection in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration increases angiogenic biomarkers, Cabral, Thiago, Lima Luiz H., Mello Luiz Guilherme, Polido Júlia, Correa Éverton P., Oshima Akiyoshi, Duong Jimmy, Serracarbassa Pedro, Regatieri Caio V., Mahajan Vinit B., et al. , Ophthalmology Retina, Volume 2, p.31–37, (2018)
Retinal and choroidal angiogenesis: a review of new targets, Cabral, Thiago, Mello Luiz Guilherme, Lima Luiz H., Polido Júlia, Regatieri Caio V., Belfort Rubens, and Mahajan Vinit B. , International journal of retina and vitreous, Volume 3, Number 1, p.31, (2017)
INTRAVITREAL BEVACIZUMAB FOR TREATMENT OF PROLIFERATIVE AND NONPROLIFERATIVE TYPE 2 IDIOPATHIC MACULAR TELANGIECTASIA., A Roller, Brock, Folk James C., Patel Narendra M., H Boldt Culver, Russell Stephen R., Abràmoff Michael D., and Mahajan Vinit B. , Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.), 2011 May 21, (2011)
Bilateral intravitreal injection of antivascular endothelial growth factor therapy., Mahajan, Vinit B., Elkins Kori A., Russell Stephen R., H Boldt Culver, Gehrs Karen M., Weingeist Thomas A., Stone Edwin M., Abràmoff Michael D., Liu Dawei, and Folk James C. , Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.), 2011 Jan, Volume 31, Issue 1, p.31-5, (2011)
Intravitreal bevacizumab during pregnancy., Tarantola, Ryan M., Folk James C., H Boldt Culver, and Mahajan Vinit B. , Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.), 2010 Oct, Volume 30, Issue 9, p.1405-11, (2010)
Effects of vitrectomy on age-related macular degeneration., A Roller, Brock, Mahajan Vinit B., H Boldt Culver, Abràmoff Michael D., Russell Stephen R., and Folk James C. , Ophthalmology, 2010 Jul, Volume 117, Issue 7, p.1381-6, (2010)