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Kathryn A. Colby, M.D., Ph.D.

Specialties: Cornea and External Diseases
Ophthalmic Oncology
Phone Number: 617-573-3938
Fax: 617-573-4300
Location: Mass. Eye and Ear
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
Office Hours: Tuesdays, Fridays, and 2nd and 4th Mondays, 8:30 a.m. - noon
Board Certification: Ophthalmology
M.D. University of Maryland School of Medicine
Residency Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Fellowship Cornea, External Diseases and Refractive Surgery, Mass. Eye and Ear
Teaching Affiliation Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Biographical Profile:

Dr. Kathryn Colby is a corneal surgeon who performs complex corneal transplantations and specializes in treating and diagnosing diseases of the cornea and external eye (especially Fuchs’ dystrophy); ocular surface tumors; keratoprosthesis; corneal infections; and conjunctival melanoma.

After earning her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and PhD in neurobiology from Brown University, Dr. Colby completed her ophthalmology residency training at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and then served as Chief Resident. Subsequently, she completed a cornea, external diseases, and refractive surgery fellowship with Mass. Eye and Ear.

As a clinician scientist, Dr. Colby conducts research into blinding diseases of the cornea, including Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy. Besides spearheading laboratory studies of this condition, she has advanced new surgical techniques, such as DSEK and other types of selective endothelial transplantation, to treat patients with Fuchs’ Dystrophy. An expert in the management of tumors on the surface of the eye, she also is studying how cancer stem cells affect conjunctival melanoma, a rare but potentially deadly eye cancer that is similar to skin melanoma. Also a clinical innovator, she played a key role in the implantable miniature telescope that helps treat end-stage macular degeneration.

Dr. Colby teaches and mentors HMS ophthalmology residents and corneal fellows, both clinically and academically. She also participates in the subspecialty education of pediatric ophthalmology fellows at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she is the founding director of the Pediatric Cornea Service.

Clinical Interests

Diseases of the cornea and external eye (especially Fuchs’ dystrophy), ocular surface tumors, corneal transplantation, keratoprosthesis, corneal infections, conjunctival melanoma, pediatric cornea

Research Interests

Fuchs’ dystrophy, clinical trials, ocular surface tumors


For a full publication list, please see her CV.

Pediatric herpes simplex of the anterior segment: characteristics, treatment, and outcomes. Liu S, Pavan-Langston D, Colby KA. Ophthalmology. 2012;119(10):2003-8.

Surgical placement of an optical prosthetic device for end-stage macular degeneration: the implantable miniature telescope. Colby KA, Chang DF, Stulting RD, Lane SS. Arch Ophthalmol. 2007 Aug;125(8):1118-21.

Immunohistochemical studies of conjunctival nevi and melanomas. Jakobiec FA, Bhat P, Colby KA. Arch Ophthalmol. 2010;128:174-83.

Characterization of retrokeratoprosthetic membranes in the Boston type 1 keratoprosthesis. Stacy RC, Jakobiec FA, Michaud NA, Dohlman CH, Colby KA. Arch Ophthalmol. 2011 Mar;129(3):310-6.

Wound anatomy after type 1 Boston KPro using oversized back plates. Cruzat A, Shukla A, Dohlman CH, Colby K. Cornea. 2013;32(13);1531-6.

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