Michael J. Potter

Michael J. PotterMD, FRCSC

Visiting Professor, Dept. of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences




UBC Program in Neuroscience



Research Description

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the principal focus of Dr. Potter’s research program. Over the past ten years, Dr. Potter has been involved in multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trials of new medicines for retinal diseases. He has served as a PI on several clinical studies of verteporfin photodynamic therapy for choroidal neovascularization in AMD, including the TAP study, and the VIP, VIM, VER and VIO trials. He has also participated as a PI in the Anecortave Acetate and Posurdex trials for the treatment of AMD, branch retinal vein occlusion, and central retinal vein occlusion.

Currently Dr. Potter is the Principal Investigator of a randomized, controlled, double-masked Phase II pilot study of verteporfin photodynamic therapy (at a low or very low light fluence rate) combined with bevacizumab (Avastin) for the treatment of AMD. Other studies underway include an investigation of complement gene variants and the risk of AMD in an Asian population, funded by a grant from the CNIB; a study of the role of anti-retinal antibodies in AMD; and analyses of the clinical outcomes following the treatment of wet AMD with intravitreal bevacizumab.


Recurrence Fundus Photos. Fundus photography demonstrates (left) an inactive lesion after the final PDT clinic visit, and (right) a recurrence of choroidal neovascularization 18 months following. (Potter MJ, Szabo SM. Br J Ophthalmol. 2007;91:753)

Other areas of special interest:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – Combined clinical evaluations of retinal photography and laboratory testing of red cell disaggregation in diabetes mellitus
  • Macular function – Electrophysiologic and psychophysical testing to evaluate macular diseases
  • Developing teaching resources for ophthalmology/telemedicine on the internet
  • Melanoma-associated retinopathy – Collaboration with immunologist, Grazyna Adamus, PhD, Oregon Health Sciences University
  • Proliferative vitreoretinopathy – Developing a laboratory model and trial of viral inhibitors
  • A laboratory model of inherited eye disease using phototransduction cascade inhibitors
  • Anti-angiogenic and steroidal therapies for choroidal neovascularization in age-related macular degeneration
  • Clinical outcomes following photodynamic therapy
  • Idiopathic juxtafoveolar retinal telangiectasis

Recent Publications

Potter MJ, Szabo SM. Recurrence of choroidal neovascularisation after photodynamic therapy in patients with age-related macular degeneration. Br J Ophthalmol. 2007;91:753-6.

Potter MJ, Szabo SM, Li WW. Comparison of visual acuity outcomes in predominantly classic vs. occult lesions in age-related macular degeneration treated with photodynamic therapy. Eye., 2006 Sep 1; [Epub ahead of print].

Potter MJ, Szabo SM. One-year outcomes after photodynamic therapy in patients with age-related macular degeneration with poor baseline visual acuity. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2006;244:1026-8.

Verteporfin in Photodynamic Therapy (VIP) Study Group. Occult with no classic subfoveal choroidal neovascular lesions in age-related macular degeneration: Clinically relevant natural history information in larger lesions with good vision from the Verteporfin in Photodynamic therapy (VIP) Trial – VIP Report No. 4. Arch Ophthalmol 2006;124:660-4.

Bressler NM, Treatment of Age-related Macular Degeneration with Photodynamic Therapy (TAP) Study Group. Verteporfin therapy for subfoveal choroidal neovascularization in age-related macular degeneration: four-year results of an open-label extension of 2 randomized clinical trials: TAP Report No. 7. Arch Ophthalmol 2005;123:1283-5.

Potter MJ, Szabo SM, Sarraf D, Michels R, Schmidt-Erfurth U. Photodynamic therapy for subretinal neovascularization in type 2A idiopathic juxtafoveolar telangiectasis. Can J Ophthalmol 2006;41:34-37.

Potter MJ, Szabo SM, Ho T. Combined photodynamic therapy and intravitreal triamcinolone for the treatment of myopic choroidal neovascularization in a 13-year old girl. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2006;244:639-41.

Azab M, Visudyne in Minimally Classic Choroidal Neovascularization (VIM) Study Group. Verteporfin therapy of subfoveal minimally classic choroidal neovascularization in age-related macular degeneration: 2-year results of a randomized clinical trial. Arch Ophthalmol 2005;123:448-57.