Wai T. Wong, M.D., Ph.D.

Wai T. Wong, M.D., Ph.D.
Wai T. Wong, M.D., Ph.D.

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

  • Investigator
  • Chief, Unit on Neuron-Glia Interactions in Retinal Disease


  • Ophthalmology
  • Retina
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic eye diseases

Current Projects

Dr. Wong is a retina specialist and sees patients at the NEI clinic. As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Wong is involved in numerous clinical trials on diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, early age-related macular degeneration (AMD), geographic atrophy (advanced dry AMD), and macular telangiectasia, a rare degenerative disease of the retina. His clinical interests also include retinal imaging and genetic diseases of the retina. Dr. Wong also works with members in his laboratory studying how inflammatory cells called microglia interact with retinal cells under normal and diseased conditions, and in animal models of AMD. He is investigating the possibility that microglia may be an effective target for new drugs or other approaches to treat AMD and other retinal diseases. Dr. Wong was awarded the Young Investigator’s Award from the Macula Society in 2014.

Research Highlights

Dr. Wong has served as the principal investigator on several clinical trials led by the NEI including:

  • Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2).This trial found that adding omega-3 fatty acids did not improve a combination of nutritional supplements commonly recommended for treating 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.
  • Pilot Study of the Evaluation of Subconjunctival Sirolimus in the Treatment of Bilateral Geographic Atrophy Associated with AMD
  • Pilot Study on Intravitreal Injection of Ranibizumab for Macular Telangiectasia with Neovascularization (MACTEL 1 & 2)


Dr. Wong has authored and co-authored more than 70 research articles on the study of the retina and retinal disease, including articles published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Neurobiology of Aging, Aging Cell, American Journal of Pathology, Current Opinion of Ophthalmology, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, PloS One, and Retina. He is a member of the Macula Society and serves on the professional advisory board of PXE International.

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.

National Eye Institute
(301) 496-5248