Patricia A. D’Amore grew up in Everett, Massachusetts and received a PhD in biology from Boston University in 1977. She conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of Ophthalmology and the Department of Physiological Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she was appointed Instructor in 1979 and Assistant Professor in 1980. Dr. D’Amore returned to Boston in 1981 to join Dr. Judah Folkman in the Program in Vascular Biology at Boston Children’s Hospital (then the Surgical Research Laboratories), where she has since served as a Research Associate in the Department of Surgery. Additionally, she obtained an MBA from Northeastern University in 1987. Dr. D’Amore was appointed Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School in 1989. In 1998 she became Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and also joined Schepens Eye Research Institute (an affiliate of Harvard Medical School) as a Senior Scientist. In 2012 she was appointed the Charles L. Schepens Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Director of Research at the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear. In 2014 she was appointed Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, as well as the Director of the Howe Laboratory and the Associate Chief for Ophthalmology Basic and Translational Research in the Department of Ophthalmology.
Dr. D’Amore is an internationally recognized expert of vascular growth and development, and has been at the forefront of angiogenesis research for over three decades. Among her foremost transformative contributions is the identification of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as the elusive “Factor X” that causes pathological blood vessel growth in blinding neovascular eye diseases. These investigations formed the scientific foundations of anti-VEGF therapies, which were first approved for clinical use in 2004 and are currently used to treat various cancers and intraocular vascular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Dr. D’Amore also developed a widely used mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy, which has served as the cornerstone of many basic scientific investigations of vascular development and preclinical studies of vascular-targeting agents. More recently, Dr. D’Amore’s studies have also uncovered important physiological roles of vascular growth factors – yielding crucial insight into the safe use of anti-angiogenic therapies. Her current research focuses on understanding the regulation of the development and stabilization of the microvasculature. She is also investigating the pathogenesis of AMD with a focus on inflammation.
The D’Amore laboratory has a long-standing interest in the regulation of vascular development and pathology. One major area has involved investigating the role and regulation of VEGF in adult vascular and non-vascular cells. More recently, her laboratory has been examining the regulation of inflammation at the level of the vasculature. The laboratory is currently focused in three general areas. Two of those relate to understanding the molecular basis of blood vessel stabilization. One project is examining the role of Notch signaling in the stabilization of the microvasculature. A related project is aimed at elucidating other mechanisms that may mediate pericyte stabilization of the capillaries. Studies in both research areas are utilizing genetic model as well as tissues culture systems. A second project is examining a novel endothelial-specific molecule endomucin in the regulation of leukocyte-endothelial interactions, a central and early step in the inflammatory process. Dr. D’Amore’s research program has been very productive. She has published more than 235 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, and book chapters, and is editor or co-editor of four books. Dr. D’Amore is also recognized as an exceptional mentor and she has supervised the research of >60 trainees over the years.
Dr. D’Amore is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Alcon Research Institute Award, the Cogan Award 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 Proctor Medal from ARVO. For her contributions to the development of anti-angiogenic therapy for retinal disease, Dr. D’Amore was a co-recipient of the 2014 António Champalimaud Vision Award, the highest distinction in ophthalmology and visual science. In 2018, Dr. D’Amore was elected as a Fellow of American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Medical Sciences.
Dr. D’Amore currently serves the American Society for Investigative Pathology as Vice President, and she will become the President-elect in July 2020. She is a long-time member of the ASIP Council, and previously served as Chair of the ASIP Publications Committee.
Patricia A. D’Amore, PhD, MBA
Charles L. Schepens Professor of Ophthalmology
Harvard Medical School
Vice Chair, Basic and Translational Research, Department of Ophthalmology
Co-Director, AMD Center of Excellence
Member, PhD Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard University
Mass. Eye and Ear
Director, Howe Laboratory
Associate Chief of Basic and Translational Research
MGH ECOR Ophthalmology Representative
Senior Scientist (Schepens Eye Research Institute)