Transformational Research

Multidisciplinary Collaboration Accelerates Finding Cures

researchers reviewing work in laboratory

Our research is focused on eliminating blinding diseases and disorders of the eye and visual system. Tackling these conditions with a multifaceted, multidisciplinary approach has been the mainstay of our past success in translational medicine. This approach has led to several groundbreaking advancements in clinical care, such as proton beam irradiation, photodynamic therapy, anti-VEGF therapies, and the Boston Keratoprosthesis (KPro), which have saved sight or improved vision for millions of people worldwide

Today, scientific collaboration continues to accelerate our understanding of blinding diseases and reveal new targets for therapy. Capitalizing on this momentum, the department’s research strategy focuses on areas of greatest unmet medical need, including retinal degenerations, macular degeneration, and diabetic eye disease, as well as optic neuropathies, particularly glaucoma. Programs in other areas—cornea and ocular surface, oncology, immunology, infectious disease, and vision rehabilitation—are also an important focus.

Most of these efforts are organized around multidisciplinary Centers of Excellence and Institutes, which provide platforms to advance important breakthroughs across the research spectrum, while emphasizing clinical care and training.

20 Years of Research Fuel Future Breakthroughs

eye witness newsletter january 2020Read the latest issue of Eye Witness to learn about the exciting research milestones Harvard Ophthalmology has reached over the past 20 years and the promising areas we are pursuing. 



20 Years of Major Research Advances

2004: Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program (K12) established 

2008Harvard Ophthalmology Centers of Excellence are created

2011: Corporate Alliance Program, which builds strategic industry alliances with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, launches

Harvard Ophthalmology Ocular Genomics Institute founded

Schepens Eye Research Institute joins Mass. Eye and Ear, creating the world’s largest ophthalmology research enterprise. Read the press release

2013International Training and Research Program is created 

Harvard Ophthalmology Ocular Regenerative Medicine Institute founded 

2014Grousbeck Center for Gene Therapy founded

Harvard Ophthalmology Infectious Disease Institute founded

2015: Mass. Eye and Ear’s Bold Science/LifeChanging Cures campaign kicks off with a goal of reaching $250 million by 2020 to fund research. To date, the campaign has reached $231 million

2018: Mass. Eye and Ear joins Partners Healthcare Systems. Read press release 

2019: The Tej Kohli Foundation pledges $2 million over five years to establish the Tej Kohli Cornea Program at Mass. Eye and Ear