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Letter From the Director

Dr. Peter McDonnell

The Wilmer Eye Institute has a long tradition in treatment and research related to macular degeneration. Wilmer was one of the first institutions in the country to use laser photocoagulation to treat choroidal neovascularization. It served as the coordinating center for the Macular Photocoagulation Study, a large multicenter clinical study that demonstrated that laser photocoagulation is beneficial for the small minority of patients with choroidal neovascularization whose eyes have the characteristics that make them eligible to receive it. Wilmer has continued to be the leading center in the country for clinical trials related to macular degeneration and is currently serving as the coordinating center for photodynamic therapy trials and the Submacular Surgery Trial. In addition, Wilmer surgeons have developed and are refining new surgical approaches, such as limited macular translocation. The Wilmer Eye Institute is also a leader in basic research related to macular degenerations. A large number of NIH-funded investigators are studying various aspects of the disease processes.

Despite this exemplary track record, at a recent retreat, the faculty decided that macular degeneration is such an enormous problem that we need to do more. It was decided to form the Wilmer Macular Degeneration Center (WMDC) to focus and strengthen our efforts aimed at finding a cure and alleviating the suffering of patients who are already affected.

The fight against macular degenerations is a major priority at the Wilmer Eye Institute. Through this web site, we seek to keep patients, family members, physicians, and scientists updated on new developments and resources that are available. I hope you enjoy your virtual tour of the Wilmer MDC.

— Peter J. McDonnell, M.D., Chairman & Director of the Wilmer Eye Institute

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