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Emily Y. Chew, M.D.

Emily Chew

Director, Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications
Medical Officer

National Eye Institute (NEI), 
National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD



  • Retinal diseases
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Clinical trials
  • Epidemiology
  • Nutrition and vision

Current projects

Dr. Chew currently chairs the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2), which tested supplements containing plant- and fish-derived nutrients for preventing advanced age-related macular degeneration. She also chairs the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Eye Study, which is looking at the effects of tight blood sugar, lipid, and blood pressure control on diabetic retinopathy.


Dr. Chew is the author of more than 200 research articles based on her studies of retinal disease, including articles published in Lancet, Nature Medicine, and Science. She also serves on the editorial board of several major journals, including Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science and Retina.

Research highlights

Dr. Chew has analyzed, designed, or chaired several landmark clinical trials, including:

  • Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2), which found adding omega-3 fatty acids did not improve a combination of nutritional supplements commonly recommended for treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The plant-derived antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin also had no overall effect on AMD when added to the combination; however, they were safer than the related antioxidant beta-carotene.
  • Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), which found that nutritional supplements with high levels of certain antioxidants and minerals significantly reduce the risk of vision loss for people with intermediate age-related macular degeneration.
  • Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS), which found that laser treatment may reduce rates of severe vision loss by up to 95% in people with diabetic retinopathy.

See the spokesperson in action


National Eye Institute
(301) 496-5248
National Eye Institute

The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, leads the federal government's research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs that result in the development of sight-saving treatments.

Last updated: June 26, 2019