Mara Lorenzi

2013 Jury Chairman

Mara Lorenzi, MD, is Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and Senior Scientist and the George and Frances Levin Scholar in Diabetic Retinopathy at the Schepens Eye Research Institute Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. She is Consultant in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and Visiting Professor at the Universita’ Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.

Dr. Lorenzi’s clinical and research focus has been Diabetes. She directed the Diabetes Clinic at the University of California San Diego, and is associated with the Diabetes Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She has headed for many years a basic research laboratory dedicated to understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms for the vascular complications of diabetes and directed the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDRF) Center for Diabetic Retinopathy at the Schepens Eye Research Institute. Her group introduced in the field and documented the concepts of “Glucose Toxicity” for vascular cells and of “Memory” of the effects of high glucose and diabetes on gene expression. Her studies on the cellular biology of human diabetic retinopathy have provided mechanisms for the histological hallmarks of the complication. An additional current focus is the development of biomarkers of risk for diabetic retinopathy.

Dr. Lorenzi has been a member of the NIH Advisory Panels on Diabetic Complications, Animal Models of Diabetic Complications, and Special Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes; of the Steering Committee of the Council on Complications of the American Diabetes Association (ADA); and of the Advisory Editorial Board of Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). She co-chaired workshops of the NIH and EASD, and has served in Grant Review Committees of the NIH, ADA, and JDRF.