Thaddeus P. Dryja, M.D.



Ophthalmic Pathology

Board Certification

  • Medical Genetics, Ophthalmology

Main Campus
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-573-3319
Fax: 614-573-3168



Thaddeus (Ted) Dryja is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale College and earned an MD degree from Yale University School of Medicine (1976). He did an ophthalmology residency at Harvard Medical School (1978-1981). After fellowships in ophthalmic pathology and in molecular genetics, in 1983 he joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School and the staff at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston. At Massachusetts Eye and Ear, he headed a research lab studying the molecular genetics of hereditary diseases of the retina, and he practiced general ophthalmology and ophthalmic pathology. Major accomplishments from his research laboratory included compelling evidence for the recessive nature of oncogenic mutations at tumor suppressor genes like the retinoblastoma gene, the identification and cloning of the retinoblastoma gene, and the identification of 17 different genes responsible for forms of retinal degeneration (e.g., retinitis pigmentosa) and retinal dysfunction (e.g., stationary night blindness). He became the David G. Cogan Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard in 1993 and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1996. In December, 2006, he joined the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is now the Global Head of Ophthalmology Research. Dr. Dryja is also currently a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and is one of the attending eye pathologists in the Cogan Eye Pathology Laboratory at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

Clinical Interests


Research Interests

Genetics of hereditary eye disease


For a full publication list, please see his biosketch. A representative list (2006 - 2012) is available through 

Ben-Arie-Weintrob Y, Berson EL, Dryja TP. Histopathologic-genotypic correlations in retinitis pigmentosa and allied diseases. Ophthal Genet. 2005; 26: 91-100.

Dryja TP, McGee TL, Berson EL, Fishman GA, Sandberg MA, Alexander KR, Derlacki DJ, Rajagopalan AS. Night blindness and abnormal cone ERG ON responses in patients with mutations in the GRM6 gene encoding the mGluR6 receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005; 102: 4884-9.

Wada Y, Sandberg MA, McGee TL, Stillberger MA, Berson EL, Dryja TP. Screen of the IMPDH1 gene among patients with dominant retinitis pigmentosa and clinical features associated with the most common mutation, Asp226Asn. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 May; 46(5): 1735-41.

Sandberg MA, Rosner B, Weigel-DiFranco C, McGee TL, Dryja TP, Berson EL. Disease course in patients with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa due to the USH2A gene. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Dec; 49(12): 5532-9.



  • Chemistry, Yale College, BA
  • Yale University School of Medicine, M.D.


  • Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Mass. Eye and Ear


  • Clinical Genetics and Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital
  • Harvard Medical School, Mass. Eye and Ear