Patient Liaison

rich_godfrey.gif Hi, my name is Rich Godfrey, patient liaison at Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston. The Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is the largest independent eye research institute in the nation.

As a legally blind, macular degeneration patient myself, I understand the importance of having access to information about eye disease, the very latest in research, treatment options and ultimately, the possibility to find cures. When I was diagnosed in 1985 at age 37 and became legally blind three years later, I was at a loss for information. I didn't know where to turn. I wasn't even sure what questions to ask. Having experienced that, it is my goal to help other patients when they need it most.

For example, I believe it is important for patients to know of cutting edge vision research. At Schepens Eye Research Institute:

  • We are exploring the great potential of stem cell research and regenerative medicine to enable retinal transplantation and regeneration to become a reality. We are already seeing success in animal models and look forward to bringing this important therapy to the clinic.

  • We have assembled the largest research team in the world focusing on dry eye syndrome and related ocular surface disorders, and we have entered the clinical trial process with a novel, topical therapy.

  • We are researching new “molecular medicines” to reduce the failure rate in high-risk corneal transplantation.

  • We are researching the very important role of the immune system in eye it works and how we can control it.

  • We have assembled the largest low vision and visual optics research center anywhere, dedicated to understanding the capacity of reduced vision and improving low vision technology.

I believe it is extremely important for patients and their families to know that research centers like Schepens Eye Research exist and that the diseases afflicting them or their loved ones are being researched. And, that there is hope.

On a more personal note, it is also important for patients and their families to understand the impact of vision loss, the importance of low vision aids/rehabilitation and coping skills needed to maintain quality of life.

If I can help you by providing information on eye disease, related research, low vision resources or physician referrals, please call me at (617) 573-3523 or email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .