Lloyd Paul Aiello
The Power List 2020 – Power List
Professor of Ophthalmology, Section Head of Eye Research, and Vice Chair, Centers of Excellence, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School; Vice President of Ophthalmology and Director, Beetham Eye Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA, USA
Piece of advice for your younger self?
No matter your successes or failures, keep your enthusiasm, persistence and dedication to your goals. Regardless of the challenges and changes you face over the years, it will be so much more rewarding than you could possibly imagine.
The most serendipitous moment of your career?
I am a third-generation ophthalmologist. My father helped pioneer laser photocoagulation for diabetic retinopathy and I was very involved in the initial identification and demonstration that VEGF was a major underlying cause of diabetic eye disease. When the first study results were released showing that VEGF inhibitors were remarkably effective in treating this condition, I broke the news to my dad by saying “Hey Dad, guess what? It works, and it's better than the laser!” He simply looked at me and said, “Took you long enough.” Indeed, it had been 16 years since the initiation of our VEGF studies. Then he smiled enthusiastically!
The most unexpected turn your career took?
Originally I was sure that I would make a career in emergency medicine, wilderness medicine, or marine wildlife photography. However, eventually I became the third-generation ophthalmologist in my family and now my wilderness and marine photography is my passion constrained to my free time.