Anne Hanneken, MD

Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine
Department of Molecular Medicine


Research Focus

The focus of our macular degeneration research program is on improving the function of the cells that support the chemistry of vision, the rod and cone photoreceptors. With a unique multidisciplinary team of ophthalmologists, computational chemists, cell biologists and biochemists, we are using advanced computer modeling technology to design a treatment that will protect visual pigments in the photoreceptor cells and improve visual function. The focus of the research is to identify a treatment that will stabilize the delicate opsin proteins that activate the visual transduction cascade (a series of biochemical steps that are responsible for vision in all vertebrate species).


Johns Hopkins University, The Wilmer Eye Institute, 1988
Rush University Medical Center, 1985
M.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, 1984
Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital Medical Center, 1983
University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1982
B.S. (Chemistry), 1978

Professional Experience

2002-2008 Associate Professor, Molecular and Experimental Medicine (MEM), Scripps Research
2001-2002 Associate Professor, Cell Biology, Scripps Research
1994-2000 Assistant Professor, Cell Biology, Scripps Research
1990-2000 Assistant Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology, Duke University
1990-1994 Assistant Member and Head of Eye Research, Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, Scripps Health
1988-1990 Clinical Fellowship in Vitreoretinal Surgery, Duke Eye Center, Duke University

Awards & Professional Activities

Hornaday Vitreoretinal Award
Heed Foundation Award
Marianna Mead Award
Knapp Fellowship Award
Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology
Diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology
     Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
     American Society of Retinal Specialists
     The Retina Society
     The Macula Society
     The Campo Society
     California Medical Association
     San Diego Medical Society

Educational Lectures and Seminars:
October 15
American Academy of Ophthalmology: Neuroprotection for Retinal Detachment

June 9
National Eye Institute (NEI): The Retinal Origin of Visual Illusions in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Patients.

May 4
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO): Visual Hallucinations in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Patients are Induced by Proton Pump Inhibitors: Clinical and Electrophysiologic Studies.

March 19
Update on Age-Related Macular Degeneration - Scripps Mericos

March 16
Vail Vitrectomy Meeting: Neuroprotection for Retinal Detachment

January 15
Macula of Paris, France: Visual Perception Abnormalities in Macular Degeneration Patients

September 3
4th International Vitreoretinal Meeting, Vienna, Austria: Flavonoids protect Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells from Oxidative Stress-Induced Cell Death

June 18
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Fred Jacobiak Lecture, Harvard MEEI Graduation Lecture, Boston, Mass. Listen to your patients, they will teach you

June 19
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Mass. Harvard Mariana Mead Invited Lecture: The Retinal Origin of Visual Hallucinations in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Patients

April 9
Emory University Eye Center Vision Research Seminar. Atlanta, Georgia: Neuroprotection for Age-Related Macular Degeneration- a new perspective

Selected References

All Publications

Hanneken, A., Mercado, M. & Maher, P. Constitutive and Regulated Shedding of Soluble FGF Receptors Releases Biologically Active Inhibitors of FGF-2. (2021). International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22. PMCID: PMC7962449.

Anderson, D. M. G., Ablonczy, Z., Koutalos, Y., Hanneken, A. M., Spraggins, J. M., Calcutt, M. W., Crouch, R. K., Caprioli, R. M. & Schey, K. L. Bis(monoacylglycero) phosphate lipids in the retinal pigment epithelium implicate lysosomal/endosomal dysfunction in a model of Stargardt disease and human retinas. (2017). Scientific Reports, 7. PMCID: PMC5725462.

Adler, L., Boyer, N. P., Anderson, D. M., Spraggins, J. M., Schey, K. L., Hanneken, A., Ablonczy, Z., Crouch, R. K. & Koutalos, Y. Determination of N-retinylidene-N-retinylethanolamine (A2E) levels in central and peripheral areas of human retinal pigment epithelium. (2015). Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 14(11), 1983-1990. PMCID: PMC4626405.

Ablonczy, Z., Higbee, D., Anderson, D. M., Dahrouj, M., Grey, A. C., Gutierrez, D., Koutalos, Y., Schey, K. L., Hanneken, A. & Crouch, R. K. Lack of correlation between the spatial distribution of A2E and lipofuscin fluorescence in the human retinal pigment epithelium. (2013). Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 54(8), 5535-5542. PMCID: PMC3747789.

Hanneken, A. M., Babai, N. & Thoreson, W. B. Oral proton pump inhibitors disrupt horizontal cell-cone feedback and enhance visual hallucinations in macular degeneration patients. (2013). Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 54(2), 1485-1489. PMCID: PMC3588886.

Kalt, W., Hanneken, A., Milbury, P. & Tremblay, F. Recent research on polyphenolics in vision and eye health. (2010). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58(7), 4001-4007.

Gutierrez, D. B., Blakeley, L., Goletz, P. W., Schey, K. L., Hanneken, A., Koutalos, Y., Crouch, R. K. & Ablonczy, Z. Mass spectrometry provides accurate and sensitive quantitation of A2E. (2010). Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 9(11), 1513-1519. PMCID: PMC3013054.

Johnson, J., Maher, P. & Hanneken, A. The flavonoid, eriodictyol, induces long-term protection in ARPE-19 cells through its effects on Nrf2 activation and phase 2 gene expression. (2009). Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 50(5), 2398-2406. PMCID: PMC2672971.

Hanneken, A. & Maher, P. The efficacy of flavonoids in the protection of retinal pigment epithelial cells. (2008). Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech, 19(2), 39-40.

Maher, P. & Hanneken, A. Flavonoids protect retinal ganglion cells from ischemia in vitro. (2008). Experimental Eye Research, 86(2), 366-374.


Hanneken Laboratory Website

Learn More About Macular Degeneration

Honor Roll of Sponsors