Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD, is the Michael F. Marmor, M.D. Professor in Retinal Science and Diseases and is a Professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford University. Dr. Hartnett is the director of Pediatric Retina at Stanford University and principal investigator of a retinal angiogenesis laboratory, in which she studies causes and treatments for diseases including retinopathy of prematurity and age-related macular degeneration. She created the first-ever academic textbook on the subject, Pediatric Retina, in its third edition, which has proven to be an invaluable resource for residents and ophthalmologists internationally.
Dr. Hartnett’s NIH-funded laboratory of vascular biology and angiogenesis has studied mechanisms causing pathology in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Her work in AMD has been to understand the mechanisms involved in activation and invasion of choroidal endothelial cells anterior to the RPE in order to maintain vasculature that is physiologic and not damaging beneath the RPE. Her lab has elucidated environmental stressors that lead to scarring in the macula for which no vision improvement is currently possible. The goal is to find methods to prevent the scarring.
Her lab’s work in ROP provided the proof of concept to regulate an angiogenic signaling pathway by inhibiting VEGF to facilitate intraretinal neovascularization as well as to inhibit abnormal extraretinal neovascularization and reduce retinal destruction used in previous treatments. Her work has been translated through clinical trials to lead to new treatments for severe ROP and has represented a paradigm shift in the understanding and treatment of severe ROP.
Dr. Hartnett has received numerous awards, including the Weisenfeld Award, the highest award for clinician-scientists given by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), in 2018, and is an ARVO Gold Fellow. She received the 2019 Paul Kayser/Retina Research Foundation Global Award, the Macula Society’s 2016 Paul Henkind Award and its 2019 Arnall Patz Medal, the Paul Kayser/RRF Global Award from the PanAmerica Society, and the 2021 Suzanne Veronneau-Troutman Award, the most prestigious award from Women in Ophthalmology. In 2022, she was one of six at the University of Utah to receive a distinguished research award, for Pediatrics and Ophthalmology.
Dr. Hartnett's prolific publication record includes 227 articles in peer-reviewed journals and over 40 book chapters. She has delivered numerous national and international invited lectures. Her long list of professional committee work includes serving as chair of the Publications Committee of ARVO, as a mentor for the ARVO Leadership Development Program, and in leadership positions internationally as chair of the research advisory committees for The Macula Society and the Jack McGovern Coats Disease Foundation as well as Chair of the Credentialing Committee for The Retina Society. She reviews manuscripts for more than 20 eye and science journals and serves on the editorial boards of PlosOne, Molecular Vision, and the American Journal of Ophthalmology. Dr. Hartnett is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and a Silver and Gold Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (FARVO).
Professor - University Medical Line, Ophthalmology
Fellowship: Massachusetts Eye And Ear Infirmary Vitreoretinal Fellowship (1990) MA
Board Certification: American Board of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology (1989)
Fellowship: Massachusetts Eye And Ear Infirmary Vitreoretinal Fellowship (1989) MA
Residency: Case Western Reserve Ophthalmology Residency Program (1987) OH
Internship: University Hospitals of Cleveland (1984) OH
Medical Education: Albany Medical College Office of the Registrar (1983) NY