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Simmons Lessell, M.D.

Specialty: Neuro-Ophthalmology
Phone Number: 617-573-3412
Fax: 617-573-3851
Location: Mass. Eye and Ear
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Board Certification: Ophthalmology
M.D. Cornell University Medical College
Residency Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Residency Neurology, University of Vermont School of Medicine
Teaching Affiliation Distinguished Paul A. Chandler Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
Biographical Profile:

Dr. Simmons Lessell ranks among the top neuro-ophthalmologists in the world and is frequently sought for consultation by patients and physicians in the United States and abroad. He earned his medical degree at Cornell University Medical College and his MA with honors from Harvard University. He then completed one year of a neurology residency at the University of Vermont, followed by two years of neurology clinical practice and research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Lessell then went on to complete an ophthalmology residency at Harvard Medical School.  

An avid researcher, Dr. Lessell has authored more than 200 publications, chapters, and reviews, and he serves on the editorial board of two premier peer-reviewed journals—the Archives of Ophthalmology and the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology. He regularly contributes to medical literature with clinical observations of neuro-ophthalmic conditions and insights on diagnostic and therapeutic innovations.

During his career, he received R01 funding from the NIH for 13 consecutive years, a reflection of his deep intellect and prolific contributions to his field. Well known as a gifted clinician, teacher, and mentor, Dr. Lessell received the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2004, and in 2006 he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus at the HMS Department of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting. In 2006, Dr. Lessell was named the first Paul A. Chandler Professor of Ophthalmology at HMS, representing a lifetime of major accomplishments and unparalleled excellence in academic medicine. In 2014, he received the HMS William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award.

Clinical Interests

Optic nerve diseases, multiple sclerosis, strokes, brain and optic nerve tumors

Research Interests

Optic nerve disease, neuro-ophthalmology 


For a full publication list, please see his CV.

View a list of publications on »