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Joseph B. Ciolino, M.D.

Photo of Joseph B. Ciolino, M.D.
Specialty: Cornea and External Diseases
Phone Number: 617-573-3938
Fax: 617-573-4324
Location: Massachusetts Eye and Ear
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
Office Hours: Friday mornings
Board Certification: Ophthalmology
College Boston College
Medical School Georgetown University School of Medicine
Internship Brown Medical School, Rhode Island Hospital
Residency Ophthalmology, Albany Medical College
Fellowship Cornea, Refractive Surgery and External Disease, Mass Eye and Ear
Teaching Affiliation Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Biographical Profile:

Dr. Ciolino is a member of the Cornea Service whose clinical interests include corneal transplants, keratoprosthesis, and diseases of the anterior segment of the eye. As a clinician scientist, he conducts translational research on keratoprosthesis and ocular drug delivery. He is a named inventor on a U.S. patent application for a contact lens drug delivery device, and his research innovations have multiple direct therapeutic applications that may ultimately benefit a broad and diverse patient population.

Dr. Ciolino obtained his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and subsequently pursued an ophthalmology residency at Albany Medical College, where he served as Chief Resident in his final year. Returning to Boston for a two-year fellowship in Cornea, Refractive Surgery and External Disease, he received the nationally recognized Claes Dohlman Fellowship Award. He then joined Harvard Medical School’s full time faculty at Mass. Eye and Ear under the K12 Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program, a highly competitive institutional program funded by the National Institutes of Health. 

Working with collaborators at Boston Children's Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Ciolino has developed a drug-eluting contact lens capable of delivering various pharmaceutical agents, such as antibiotics, antifungals, and glaucoma medication. These drug-eluting lenses have the potential to improve surgical outcomes for patients with keratoprosthesis by both protecting the ocular surface of the eye and by preventing post-operative infections, and they may one day replace eye drops.

In addition to his clinical practice and his research program, Dr. Ciolino also supervises medical students and participates in training residents and fellows.  

Clinical Interests

Corneal transplants, keratoprosthesis, diseases of the anterior segment of the eye

Research Interests

Keratoprosthesis, ocular drug delivery


For a full publication list, please see his CV. A representative list (2003 - 2014) is available through

Ciolino JB, Stefanescu CF, Ross AE, Salvador-Culla B, Cortez P, Ford EM, Wymbs KA, Sprague SL, Mascoop DR, Rudina SS, Trauger SA, Cade F, Kohane DS. In vivo performance of a drug-eluting contact lens to treat glaucoma for a month. Biomaterials. 2014 Jan;35(1):432-9.

Ciolino JB, Hudson SP, Mobbs AN, Hoare TR, Iwata NG, Fink GR, Kohane DS. A prototype antifungal contact lens. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Aug; 52(9): 6286-91.

Ament JD, Stryjewski TP, Ciolino JB, Todani A, Chodosh J, Dohlman CH. Cost-effectiveness of the Boston keratoprosthesis. Am J Ophthalmol. 2010 Feb; 149(2): 221-228.e2. 

Ciolino JB, Hoare TR, Iwata NG, Behlau I, Dohlman CH, Langer R, Kohane DS. A drug-eluting contact lens. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Jul; 50(7): 3346-52.

Ciolino JB, Dohlman CH. Biologic keratoprosthesis materials. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2009 Winter; 49(1): 1-9. 

To learn more about Dr. Ciolino, click here to read his “Meet a Specialist” profile.