Reza Dana, M.D., M.Sc., MPH

Director, Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service and Associate Chief, Academic Programs


Cornea and External Diseases

Immunology and Uveitis

Board Certification

  • Ophthalmology

Main Campus
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-573-4331
Fax: 617-573-4300



Dr. Reza Dana is Director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the Claes H. Dohlman Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Dana is a clinician scientist who, as an ophthalmologist and an immunologist, has a particular interest in the molecular and cellular mechanisms of inflammation as they pertain to ocular surface and anterior segment pathologies, including dry eye, allergy, wound healing responses, and transplant rejection. He is also a Senior Scientist and W. Clement Stone Scholar at Mass. Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear, a member of the Committee on Immunology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program.

After graduating summa cum laude from St. Paul's School in Concord, NH, Dr. Dana received his undergraduate (Phi Beta Kappa), graduate, and medical education from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. After an internship in Internal Medicine, he performed his residency in Ophthalmology at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary in Chicago. This was followed by a clinical fellowship in Cornea and External Diseases at The Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. Subsequently, Dr. Dana came to Boston for additional fellowship training in Immunology and Uveitis at Mass. Eye and Ear, and in Ocular and Transplantation Immunology at Mass. Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear, where he was supported by both a Heed Fellowship and an Individual NIH-National Research Service Award grant. Additionally, Dr. Dana holds a MSc degree in Management from Harvard University.

Dr. Dana's research is supported by R01 funding from the NIH in addition to grants from private research foundations, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, the US Department of Defense, and the Harvard Department of Ophthalmology Joint Clinical Research Center. Dr. Dana has authored over 190 peer-reviewed articles, reviews and book chapters (58), and has given more than 100 invited and named lectures worldwide. In addition, he served as editor of the "Eye and Systemic Disease" volume of The Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology and served as member of the faculty of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Basic Clinical and Science Course where he is responsible for content in Cornea and External Diseases - the principal teaching tool for the thousands of American ophthalmology residents. He is Senior Editor of the Encyclopedia of the Eye. Additionally, Dr. Dana is on the editorial board of the journals Cornea, The Ocular Surface, and Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. He is a recipient of multiple awards, including the Research to Prevent Blindness William and Mary Greve Special Scholar Award and Physician-Scientist Merit Award, the Achievement Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Cogan Award of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology for his contributions to the field of ophthalmology and ophthalmic science.

Clinical Interests

High-risk transplantation, stem cells, graft-versus-host disease, immune-mediated corneal disorders, infection, autoimmunity

Research Interests

Corneal diseases and transplantation, dry eye syndrome, inflammatory corneal disorders, corneal stem cells, clinical trials


For a full publication list, please see his CV.

Liu Y, Hamrah P, Zhang Q, Taylor AW, Dana RDraining lymph nodes of corneal transplant hosts exhibit evidence for donor MHC class II-positive dendritic cells derived from MHC class II-negative graftsJ Exp Medicine 2002; 195: 259-68.

Huq S, Liu Y, Benichou G, Dana RRelevance of the direct pathway of sensitization in corneal transplantation is dictated by the graft bed microenvironmentJ Immunol 2004: 173:4464-9.

Chen L, Hamrah L, Cursiefen C, Zhang Q, Pytowski B, Streilein JW, Dana RVascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-3 (VEGFR-3) mediates induction of immunity to corneal transplantsNature Med 2004; 10: 813-815.

Cursiefen C, Chen L, Saint-Geniez M, Hamrah P, Jin Y, Rashid S, Pytowski B, Persaud K, Wu Y, Streilein JW,Dana RNonvascular VEGFR-3 expression by corneal epithelium maintains avascularity and visionProc Nat Acad Sci USA 2006: 103:11405-10.

Shen L, Jin Y, Freeman GJ, Sharpe AH, Dana RThe function of donor versus recipient PD-L1 in corneal allograft survivalJ Immunology 2007; 179: 3672-9.

Chauhan SK, El Annan J, Ecoiffier T, Goyal S, Zhang Q, Saban DR, Dana RAutoimmunity in dry eye is due to resistance of Th17 to Treg suppressionJ Immunology 2009; 182: 1247-52.

Chauhan SK, Saban DR, Lee HK, Dana RLevels of Foxp3 in regulatory T cells reflect their functional status in transplantationJ Immunology 2009; 182: 148-153. PMC2610348.

Saban DR, Chauhan SK, Masli S, Dana RThrombospondin-1 derived from antigen-presenting cells regulates their capacity for allosensitizationJ Immunol 2010; 185: 4691-4697. PMC3090006.

Lee HK, Chauhan SK, Kay ED, Dana RFlt-1 regulates cell migration via a protein tyrosine kinase-7-dependant pathwayBlood 2011;117:5762-71.

Jin Y, Chauhan SK, Annan JE, Sage PT, Sharpe AH, Dana RA novel function for programmed death ligand-1 regulation of angiogenesis. Am J Pathol. 2011;178:1922-9.

Chauhan SK, Jin Y, Goyal S, Lee HS, Fuchslugar T, Lee HK, Dana RA novel pro-lymphangiogenic function for Th17/IL17Blood. 2011; 118:4630-4

Chen Y, Chauhan S, Lee HS, Saban D, Dana RChronic dry eye disease is principally mediated by effector memory Th17 cellsMucosal Immunology 2014; 38-45. PMC3732510.

Chauhan SK, Saban DR, Dohlman TH, Dana RCCL-21 conditioned Tregs induce allotolerance through enhanced homing to lymphoid tissueJ Immunol 2014; 192:817-23. PMC3947335.

Dohlman TH, Omoto M, Hua J, Stevenson W, Lee SM, Chauhan SK, Dana RVEGF-trap aflibercept significantly improves long-term graft survival in high-risk corneal transplantationTransplantation 2015; 99: 678-686. PMID25606789.

Tahvildari M, Omoto M, Chen Y, Emami P, Inomata T, Dohlman T, Kaye AE, Chauhan S, Dana RIn vivo expansion of regulatory T cells by low-dose interleukin-2 treatment increases allograft survival in corneal transplantationTransplantation 2016; 100:525-32. PMID 26881788.

View publications on>>

To learn more about Dr. Dana, read his "Meet a Specialist" profile here.



  • Johns Hopkins University, BA
  • Johns Hopkins University, MPH
  • Johns Hopkins University Medical School, M.D.
  • Health Care Management, Harvard University, MSc


  • Ophthalmology, University of Illinois, Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary


  • Cornea, Wills Eye Hospital
  • Immunology, Schepens Eye Research Institute
  • Uveitis, Mass. Eye and Ear