The Hartnett Laboratory

chart of visual response

M.E. Hartnett's research uses molecular techniques to study growth factor mechanisms involved in cell-to-cell interactions. She also studies models of retinal diseases associated with abnormal or unwanted angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels.

Dr. Hartnett's team is investigating causes of retinal avascularity, or a lack of blood vessel support in areas of the inner retina that leads to retinal hypoxia. Retinal avascularity is a common finding prior to the formation of damaging, abnormal blood vessel growth (abnormal angiogenesis) in the eye. This growth causes retinal detachment and vitreous hemorrhage, which have blinding consequences.

Understanding why blood vessels do not grow into the avascular and hypoxic retinal areas may allow doctors to find methods to promote helpful blood vessel support of the inner retina and reduce abnormal damaging blood vessel growth.

Education: BS, Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Medical School: Albany Medical College, Albany, NY
Internship: Internal Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH
Residency: Ophthalmology, University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve Cleveland, OH
Fellowships: Adult and Pediatric Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery, Schepens Retina Associates, Massachusetts Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Certifications: Ophthalmology - Board Certified (1989)

Academic Appointments: Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of Utah School of Medicine

Patient Care Significance

Discoveries in Dr. Hartnett's laboratory have the potential of reducing abnormal damaging blood vessel growth and the diseases associated with this condition. These are vital links to eventual treatments and cures for several eye diseases, including retinopathy of prematurity, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

A sample of major publications from the Hartnett Laboratory

Zayed M, Uppal A, Hartnett ME. (2010). New-Onset Maternal Gestational Hypertension and Risk of Retinopathy of Prematurity. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 2010 May 12. (Epub ahead of print).

Budd SJ, Hartnett ME. (2010). Increased angiogenic factors associated with peripheral avascular retina and intravitreous neovascularization: a model of retinopathy of prematurity. Arch Ophthalmol., 128(5), 589-95.

Sleath B, Blalock SJ, Robin A, Hartnett ME, Covert D, DeVellis B, Giangiacomo A. (2010). Development of an instrument to measure glaucoma medication self-efficacy and outcome expectations. Eye (Lond.), 24(4), 624-31.

Hartnett ME. (2010). The effects of oxygen stresses on the development of features of severe retinopathy of prematurity: knowledge from the 50/10 OIR model. Doc Ophthalmol. 120(1), 25-39.

Hartnett ME, Tinkham N, Paynter L, Geisen P, Rosenberg P, Koch G, Cohen KL. (2009). Aqueous vascular endothelial growth factor as a predictor of macular thickening following cataract surgery in patients with diabetes mellitus. AM J Ophthalmol., 148(6), 895-901.

Reynolds R, Hartnett ME, Atkinson JP, Giclas PC, Rosner B, Seddon JM. (2009). Plasma complement components and activation fragments: associations with age-related macular degeneration genotypes and phenotypes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 50(12), 5818-27.

Budd S, Byfield G, Martiniuk D, Geisen P, Hartnett ME. (2009). Reduction in endothelial tip cell filopodia corresponds to reduced intravitreous but not intraretinal vascularization in a model of ROP. Exp Eye Res., 89(5), 718-27.

Takeda A, Baffi JZ, Kleinman ME, Cho WG, Nozaki M, Yamada K, Kaneko H, Albuquerque RJ, Dridi S, Saito K, Raisler BJ, Budd SJ, Geisen P, Munitz A, Ambati BK, Green MG, Ishibashi T, Wright JD, Humbles AA, Gerard CJ, Ogura Y, Pan Y, Smith JR, Grisanti S, Hartnett ME, Rothenberg ME, Ambati J. (2009). CCR3 is a target for age-related macular degeneration diagnosis and therapy. Nature, 460(7252), 225-30.

Byfield G, Budd S, Hartnett ME. (2009). The role of supplemental oxygen and JAK/STAT signaling in intravitreous neovascularization in a ROP rat model. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 50(7), 3360-5.

Ulmasov B, Bruno J, Gordon N, Hartnett ME, Edwards JC. (2009). Chloride intracellular channel protein-4 functions in angiogenesis by supporting acidification of vacuoles along the intracellular tubulogenic pathway. Am J Pathol., 174(3), 1084-96.