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Lewis J. Ort Chair in Ophthalmology

School of Medicine

Established in 1989 by the Lewis J. Ort family

OrtLewisCumberland, Maryland, businessman LEWIS J. ORT devoted exceptional energy to improving his community and state, having chaired and served on scores of boards from the Shriners, where he spearheaded establishment of a burn treatment center in Santo Domingo, to the Maryland Advisory Committee on Economic Development. After treatment at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Mr. Ort chaired the advisory board, increasing its size and influence. Prior to retirement, he was president of Ort’s Incorporated and Fibred, both baking companies, where he developed a special process for producing soy fiber used in diet breads and a patented process for non-staling bread. Mr. Ort died in 2001.

Held by Justin Hanes

HanesJustinJUSTIN HANES, PhD, is the Lewis J. Ort Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, with secondary appointments in biomedical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, environmental health sciences, neurosurgery, and oncology. He is a leader of research at the interface of nanotechnology and medicine and is the director of the Center for Nanomedicine. Dr. Hanes is internationally recognized for designing and synthesizing new biodegradable plastics to create nanoscopic, drug/gene-filled particles, capable of targeted delivery to specific sites in the body. His lab recently discovered methods to make drug and gene-loaded particles that efficiently penetrate mucus barriers, which may allow for more effective therapies for eye diseases.

The Center for Nanomedicine has pioneered the use of high-resolution particle tracking; this technique provides insight into the barriers faced by nanoscopic drug and gene carrier particles. His research goals include characterizing the barrier properties of the mucus layer coating the eyes, designing new nanomedicines that bypass the mucus barrier of the eyes, producing safe, synthetic nanoparticles that efficiently deliver therapeutic genes to various cell types within the eye, including the back of the eye and the surface, and testing these various new systems in animal models of eye disease with collaborators from Wilmer Eye Institute and elsewhere.

Dr. Hanes received his PhD in chemical engineering from MIT and he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in oncology and neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins prior to his initial faculty appointment in 1998. He joined the Wilmer faculty in 2009.