Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD Honored by Women in Ophthalmology

Aug 18, 2014 9:00 AM


Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD, FACS, FARVO, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Women in Ophthalmology (WIO) Scientific Contribution Award and the Honorary Lecture Award. WIO President, Mildred M.G. Olivier, MD, and Summer Symposium Program Chair Dr. Lama Al-Aswad, MD, cited Hartnett’s “extraordinary leadership and dedication to ophthalmology” and described her as “the perfect representation of such a prestigious award.” She accepted her award during the 2014 WIO Summer Symposium, August 7-10, 2014, in Leesburg, Virginia.

Following her lecture, titled “Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP): The Role of VEGF in Pathogenesis and Health,” Dr. Hartnett was interviewed by EyeWorld about her extensive research on ROP. 

Eye World described her lecture in their online magazine as well, saying “Dr. Hartnett shared her research documenting the role of VEGF as an angiogenic factor critical to the normal development of the retina but a driver of pathological conditions such as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) when it is overexpressed. Dr. Hartnett’s research showed that regulation of VEGF expression can reduce intravitreal neovascularization in ROP, but total inhibition can lead to cell toxicity. She concluded that VEGF levels should be regulated but not inhibited in cases of ROP for the best visual outcomes.

Hartnett is a doctor of ophthalmology with a practice at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah. She is a professor at the University of Utah Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah Departments of Neurobiology and Anatomy and Department of Pediatrics. As a vitreoretinal surgeon, she treats and manages adult and pediatric retinal cases. Her clinical interests include vitreoretinal surgical diseases, including retinopathy of prematurity, or abnormal blood vessel development in the eye of a premature baby; pediatric vitreoretinopathies; trauma; retinal detachments; and diabetic eye disease. She also has a special interest in age-related macular degeneration.