Maryam Tahvildari, MD, has been selected as the Abelson Family Fellow in Cornea at Mass Eye and Ear for the academic year 2020-2021. This fellowship was established by Dr. Mark Abelson and his family in 2011 to support the pioneering of new clinical research and translational research initiatives, while encouraging early stage clinicians and scientists to pursue academic careers in medicine and to search for new ways to prevent, treat, and cure disease. Dr. Abelson is an alumnus, former Professor of Ophthalmology, part-time, at Harvard Medical School, and a Mass Eye and Ear Trustee.
Dr. Tahvildari earned her medical degree at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran. She then completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Schepens Eye Research Institute, under the mentorship of Reza Dana, MD, MSc, MPH. During that time, she studied the immunology of ocular surface diseases, with a focus on developing strategies to increase allograft survival in a murine model of corneal transplantation. She subsequently completed her ophthalmology residency training at Kresge Eye Institute at Wayne State University. During that time, her research focused on ocular surface diseases in panuveitis. She also conducted translational research, investigating the mechanisms of immune dysregulation in experimental autoimmune uveitis. Dr. Tahvildari received the First Place Award in Research at the Kresge Eye Institute 64th Annual Clinical Conference for her research on autoimmune uveitis. She also attended the prestigious Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Resident Retreat.
Dr. Tahvildari has authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed publications on corneal diseases and transplantation, including Ophthalmology, the Journal of Immunology, Transplantation, and Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Dr. Tahvildari’s current research focuses on studying autoimmune conditions affecting the ocular surface and investigating treatment strategies that promote immune tolerance, bypassing the side effects of nonspecific immune-suppressants and cytotoxic agents.