1900s

1926

Frederick H. Verhoeff, MD, HMS Professor of Ophthalmology and Mass. Eye and Ear's first full-time researcher and pathologist, establishes the first endowed ophthalmic research unit, the Howe Laboratory, at Mass. Eye and Ear.

1949

The world’s first retina service, and first retinal disease fellowship, is established at Mass. Eye and Ear by famed HMS retinal pioneer and innovator, Charles L. Schepens, MD. Dr. Schepens is also credited with establishing the vitreoretinal subspecialty.

1958

Claes H. Dohlman, MD, PhD, considered to be the founder of modern corneal science, establishes the world’s first organized cornea subspecialty, and the first structured cornea fellowship program at Mass. Eye and Ear.

1966

Deborah Pavan-Langston, MD, becomes the first woman to be accepted into the HMS Ophthalmology residency program. Unlike her male colleagues, Dr. Langston is required to complete a two-year pre-residency fellowship. In 1973, she is appointed the first woman director of Mass. Eye and Ear’s Cornea and External Disease Service.

1971

Judah Folkman, MD, and colleagues at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School describe the isolation of a "tumor angiogenesis factor" (TAF) in the February issue of Journal of Experimental Medicine.

1974

The Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations formally opens. The laboratory was conceived as a multi-disciplined research effort between Mass. Eye and Ear and Harvard with the goal of understanding the disease mechanisms involved in retinitis pigmentosa and the more than 30 related diseases that affect the retina.

1986

The Rb gene, which is mutated in retinoblastoma, was identified by Thaddeus Dryja, MD, and colleagues at Mass. Eye and EarRb was the first tumor-suppressor gene (antioncogene) to be discovered, and provides an important cornerstone in understanding the molecular basis of cancer.

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