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Deborah Pavan Langston, M.D., FACS

Specialty: Cornea and External Diseases
Phone Number: 617-573-4041
Fax: 617-573-4300
Location: Mass. Eye and Ear
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
Office Hours: Check with office
Board Certification: Ophthalmology
M.D. Cornell University Medical College
Residency Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Fellowship Cornea and External Diseases, Mass. Eye and Ear
Teaching Affiliation Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Biographical Profile:

Dr. Deborah Pavan-Langston is a clinician educator at Mass. Eye and Ear. Her primary clinical interest is in infectious disease of the anterior segment, with particular emphasis on viral infections such as herpes simplex and herpes zoster (shingles). She has achieved international recognition as an authority in ocular herpetic disease, and as a teacher and author. Her expertise is sought quite prominently in national and international health policy for the treatment of ophthalmic disease. As a former chair of the FDA Ophthalmic Drug Advisory Committee, she now serves on the President’s Commission on Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Committee at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Langston attended medical school at Cornell University Medical College and was the first woman to complete a residency in the HMS Department of Ophthalmology Residency Training Program. She also was the first woman to take part in a Cornea and External Diseases Fellowship at Mass. Eye and Ear.

Her research has resulted in innovations that have improved our understanding of infectious disease of the anterior segment and has greatly improved patient care. She was the first to report on many related diseases and treatments, including pain management, and her data contributed to the FDA approval of three drugs for the treatment of blinding corneal herpetic disease.

Dr. Langston devotes much of her time to the teaching of medical students, residents, fellows, faculty, and other practicing ophthalmologists through invited and regularly scheduled lectures locally, nationally, and internationally. She is the single author of the textbook, The Manual of Ocular Diagnosis and Therapy, which is one of the most widely read ophthalmic texts in the world. It comprises six editions and has been published in seven languages. She has published more than 250 original articles, reports and chapters, and many books.

Clinical Interests

Cornea and external disease (anterior segment), viral infections of the eye (Herpes simplex - cold sore virus; Herpes zoster - shingles; zoster pain management), keratoprosthesis implantation in Herpes simplex and zoster, and neurotrophic keratopathy

Research Interests

Anterior segment illness, ocular herpetic disease


For a full publication list, please see her CV.

Vidarabine therapy of simple and IDU-complicated herpetic keratitis. Pavan-Langston D, Buchanan RA. Trans Am Acad Ophth Otol. 1976;81:813-825.

Acyclovir and vidarabine in therapy of ulcerative Herpes simplex keratitis - a masked clinical trial. Pavan-Langston D, Lass J, Hettinger ME. Am J Ophthalmol. 1981;92:829-835.

Delayed Herpes zoster pseudodendrites: polymerase chain reaction detection of viral DNA and a role for antiviral therapy. Pavan-Langston D, Yamamoto S. Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113:1381-1385.

Cellular changes of the corneal epithelium and stroma in herpes simplex keratitis: an in vivo confocal microscopy study. Hamrah P, Sahin A, Dastjerdi M, Shahatit B, Bayhan H. Dana R, Pavan-Langston D. Ophthalmology. 2012,119:1791-1797.

Bilateral in vivo corneal nerve changes in herpes zoster ophthalmicus. Hamrah P, Cruzat A., Sahin A, Dastjerdi M, Pruss H, Zheng L, Shahatit B, Bayhan H, Dana R, Pavan-Langston D. Ophthalmology. 2013;120:1,40-48(including journal cover).

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