The Division of Ophthalmic Epidemiology was founded in 2014 under the direction of Anne Lynch MD, MSPH who also holds a secondary faculty appointment in the Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Lynch has created numerous research programs including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), uveitis, retinal detachment, and glaucoma. Her team includes an epidemiologist, Jennifer Patnaik PhD, a statistician, Brandie Wagner PhD, and study coordinators.
Since 2014, more than 1,400 AMD patients have joined the AMD registry. In April 2021, Dr. Lynch and her research group received an R01 award entitled, “Biomarkers of Systemic Inflammation in Intermediate AMD,” from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The grant investigates whether there are inflammatory systemic biomarkers that distinguish patients who progress from intermediate AMD to the advanced forms of AMD. Recruitment into this study will begin late 2021 for eligible patients who are not currently receiving care at the UCHealth Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center. More information on eligibility for the study can be found here.
Dr. Patnaik also received recognition in 2021 as the recipient of a Research to Prevent Blindness award and a one-time award from the newly created Philip and Elaine Ellis New Investigator Research Fund, supporting the research of promising new investigators in the Department of Ophthalmology.
In addition to AMD, the division is also home to a successful Colorado Retinopathy of Prematurity (CO-ROP) registry with data from 3,000 preterm infants screened for ROP included in the registry. Databases in cataract outcomes, glaucoma, uveitis, and outcomes from retina surgery have also been developed in the division. Many publications and presentations have resulted from research on these and smaller databases by faculty inspired research hypotheses.
The division supports a mentoring program for faculty, fellows, residents, graduate students, and medical students. This year, the division welcomed the first ophthalmology research fellow into a year-long fellowship program. Investigators in the division are also involved in collaborative research with other investigators on and outside the CU Anschutz School of Medicine. To date, research has been presented at over 160 national and local ophthalmology meetings with over 70 manuscripts published in peer reviewed journals.
Funding to the Division: National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01EY032456 (AML), a Research to Prevent Blindness grant to the Department of Ophthalmology University of Colorado, the Frederic C. Hamilton Macular Degeneration Center, Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center Research Fund, and by NIH/NCATS Colorado CTSA Grant Number UL1 TR002535. Funding from Research to Prevent Blindness (JLP) and the Philip and Elaine Ellis New Investigator Research Fund (JLP) have also been received. We are also prior recipients of a grant from the Macula Society.
Anne Lynch MD, MSPH
Professor and Director
Division of Ophthalmic Epidemiology
Jennifer Patnaik PhD
Brandie Wagner PhD
Division of Ophthalmic Epidemiology team (Left to right): Nathan Grove BS; Cheryl Fonteh MD, MS; Roxanne Navo BS; Anne Lynch MD, MSPH; Jennifer Patnaik PhD; Ruth Eshete BS; Jenae Stutzman BA; Brandie Wagner PhD (missing).