BOSTON – (January 9, 2017) - Jennifer K. Sun, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Chief for the Center for Clinical Eye Research and Trials of the Beetham Eye Institute at Joslin Diabetes Center, has been selected to become the 4th National Chair for diabetic eye research initiatives of the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net). 

According to Lloyd Paul Aiello, M.D., Ph. D., Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Vice President for Ophthalmology and Director of the Beetham Eye institute at Joslin and the founding chair of the DRCR.net, “Dr. Sun has been instrumental in helping to design and implement multiple studies through the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network, which have changed the standard of care for patients at risk for vision loss from diabetic retinal complications. This appointment is probably the most prestigious position that currently exists for a clinical researcher in diabetic eye disease.” 

The DRCR.net was founded in 2002 through a cooperative agreement with the National Institutes of Health to form a collaborative network dedicated to facilitating multicenter clinical research of diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema and associated conditions. The Network supports the identification, design, and implementation of multicenter clinical research initiatives focused on diabetes-induced retinal disorders. Principal emphasis is placed on clinical trials, but epidemiologic outcomes and other research may be supported as well. The DRCR.net currently includes over 115 participating sites with over 400 physicians throughout the United States.  Dr. Daniel Martin, from the Cole Eye Institute of the Cleveland Clinic will serve as Chair for DRCR.net non-diabetic research projects.

Dr. Sun has a long association with the DRCR.net. She has been an investigator for the DRCR.net since 2005. She was previously a DRCR.net Vice-Chair, and has been responsible for DRCR.net protocol development for the past 6 years. She is a member of the Operations Group, the Executive Committee and is currently the Protocol Chair for the Ultrawide-field Imaging study (Protocol AA) and for the Anti-VEGF for PDR/DME Prevention Study (Protocol W). She has participated in numerous prior studies and committees as well. 

Dr. Sun serves as the Chief for the Center for Clinical Eye Research and Trials of the Beetham Eye Institute at Joslin Diabetes Center. She is Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and an Investigator in the Joslin Vascular Cell Biology Section. 

She graduated from Harvard College and Medical School, and completed ophthalmology residency and a vitreoretinal surgical fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. She received a Master’s in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Sun joined Joslin and Harvard Medical School faculty in 2005. 

Her position as Chair-elect of the DRCR.net will commence immediately, and she will assume the role of Chair for diabetes related studies in 2018 for a 5-year term.

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