Tiarnán Keenan, M.D., Ph.D.

Stadtman Investigator

Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications


Building 10, Room 10D45,
10 Center Drive,
Bethesda, MD-20892



Research Topics

Dr. Keenan’s research is focused on adult retinal disease, particularly age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of legal blindness in all developed countries. This includes research into the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of AMD, together with disease mechanism discovery.His experience and research span multiple disciplines. In genetics, his research into genotype-phenotype relationships has suggested that AMD consists of multiple partially distinct disease entities. His biochemical and anatomical research has provided insights into how AMD arises at the molecular level. In the clinical arena, his research involves examining how AMD behaves over time and how its progression may be slowed. For example, he has completed a landmark study of geographic atrophy, the dry form of advanced AMD, and is currently undertaking a detailed study showing how particular dietary patterns can slow down AMD progression. In the field of artificial intelligence, he is harnessing the power of deep learning to perform automated diagnosis, classification, and risk prediction of AMD from simple retinal photographs.Overall, the goal of his research is to understand why and how AMD comes about, so that new treatments can be designed that target the underlying disease more effectively.


Tiarnán Keenan is staff clinician in retinal disease in the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications at the National Eye Institute (NEI). He received his undergraduate and medical degrees as a scholar at the University of Oxford. Funded by the UK National Institute of Health Research, he completed integrated academic-clinical training in ophthalmology and biomedical research predominantly at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and the Oxford Eye Hospital. He was awarded a Ph.D. at the University of Manchester for biochemical analyses of human macular tissue in relation to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). As a Fulbright scholar at the Moran Eye Center (University of Utah), he conducted post-graduate research into the genetics and mechanisms of AMD. He was admitted as a fellow (FRCOphth) into the UK Royal College of Ophthalmologists and, as a Bayer Global Ophthalmology Awards Program awardee, completed fellowship training in medical retinal disease at NEI. He sits on the program committee for ARVO, is section editor for Eye, acts as grant reviewer for Fight For Sight (UK), and contributes to the Ryan Initiative for Macular Research.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Friday, May 17, 2024