Kathryn A. Colby, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Health Care Contracting and Payor Policies
Dr. Colby is a corneal surgeon with expertise in management of complex diseases of the anterior segment of the eye, with special emphasis on life-threatening neoplastic diseases of the ocular surface, pediatric corneal diseases and keratoprosthesis surgery in patients for whom a standard corneal transplant would be ineffective. She has initiated laboratory and clinical studies of corneal diseases, including Fuchs' corneal dystrophy and conjunctival melanoma. She played a key role in the implantable miniature telescope, the only vision rehabilitative surgery available to patients blind from macular degeneration.
A Multi-Center Study to Map Novel Genes for Fuchs’ Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy: This study, sponsored by the National Eye Institute, is attempting to determine what genes are involved in Fuchs’ dystrophy by examining DNA from families with Fuchs’ dystrophy.
Mitochondria in Fuchs’ Dystrophy: This project, which has been active since 1998, investigates the causes of Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy, a progressive dysfunction of the inner lining cells of the cornea (the corneal endothelium) that results in swelling of the cornea, reduced vision and eventually painful blindness. Despite the fact that this condition was described almost 100 years ago, we still do not know its cause. In our ongoing research into this condition, we have shown that the mitochondria (the energy-producing “powerhouses” of all cells) have abnormal appearance in Fuchs’ dystrophy. In collaboration with Dr. Nancy Joyce, an endothelial cell biologist, we have shown that it is possible to grow endothelial cells from Fuchs’ dystrophy corneas removed during corneal transplantation in the laboratory, this creating a model system to better study this condition. We have also examined the changes in cellular proteins in Fuchs’ dystrophy and this work has spawned the further research of Dr. Jurkunas. Most recently, we are investigating what role aquaporins (“plumbing” proteins that regulate the flow of water into cells) might play in Fuchs’ dystrophy.
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.
- 1977-1981: B.A., Natural Science, The Johns Hopkins University
- 1981-1986: Ph.D., Neurobiology, Brown University
- 1988-1992: M.D., Summa Cum Laude, Medicine, University of Maryland
- 1986-1988: Postdoctoral fellowship, Physiology, University of Maryland
- 1992-1993: Internship, Internal Medicine, Mercy Hospital
- 1993-1996: Residency, Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear
- 1996-1997: Chief Residency, Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear
- 1997-1999: Fellowship, Cornea, External Disease, Refractive Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear
- 1993-1996: Clinical Instructor, Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
- 1996-2005: Instructor, Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
- 2005-2011: Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
- 2011-present: Associate Professor, Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
- 1994-1998: Member, Massachusetts Medical Society
- 1996-present: Member, Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
- 1998-2004: Executive Board Member, Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
- 1998-2000: Chair, Young Practitioners Task Force, Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
- 1996-present: Fellow, American Academy of Ophthalmology
- 2007, 2009-present: Moderator for Annual Meeting Cornea Sessions, American Academy of Ophthalmology
- 2008: Reviewer for Annual Meeting Cornea Submissions, American Academy of Ophthalmology
- 2009-2011: Annual Meeting Program Committee Member, American Academy of Ophthalmology
- 2009-present: Basic and Clinical Science Course Committee Member, American Academy of Ophthalmology
- 2012-present: Program Director, Cornea Subspecialty Day, American Academy of Ophthalmology
- 2012-present: Chair, Cornea Subcommittee, Annual Meeting Program Committee, American Academy of Ophthalmology
- 1996-present: Member, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
- 1999-present: Member, Women in Ophthalmology
- 2003-present: Member, Cornea Society
- 2009, 2011: Annual Meeting Paper Contest Judge, Cornea Society
- 2011-present: Member, Young Practitioner Task Force, Cornea Society
- 2012-present: Member, Board of Directors Nominating Committee
- 2006-present: Member, New England Ophthalmology
- 1985: Young Investigator Award, American Society of Neurochemistry
- 1989: First Prize, Medical Student Research Day, University of Maryland School of Medicine
- 1990: Charles Wisseman Award for Excellence in Microbiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
- 1991: Election to Alpha Omega Alpha, University of Maryland School of Medicine
- 1992: Valedictorian, University of Maryland School of Medicine
- 1992: Summa cum Laude, University of Maryland School of Medicine
- 1992: Balder Scholarship Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, University of Maryland School of Medicine
- 1992: Janet M. Glascow Award for Academic Achievement, University of Maryland School of Medicine
- 1997: Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship, Heed Foundation
- 2003: Faculty Development Course Participant, Harvard Medical School
- 2006: Early Career Professional Development Program Participant, American Association of Medical Colleges
- 2007: Achievement Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology