The Eye Pathology Laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is one of the oldest in the United States. It was founded by Benjamin Joy Jeffries in 1868. The eye pathology laboratory was at the beginning just a cabinet that held the Infirmary's pathological specimens and drawings. Jeffries was later named the Microscopist and Curator of the Pathological Cabinet of the Massachusetts Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary.
It was not until 1891 that the first authentic pathology laboratory of the Massachusetts Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary came into being, complete with a microscope. Before long, it was in active operation and proving itself to be a valuable adjunct to ever more precise diagnoses. In order to advance the work of the department, a camera and other equipment for a photographic room were added.
The Eye Pathology Laboratory has undergone many generational changes. It has had a distinguished list of directors such as Drs. Frederick Verhoeff, David Cogan, Taylor Smith, Daniel Albert, Thaddeus Dryja, and currently Frederick Jakobiec. The laboratory is now located on the 3rd floor of the Mass. Eye and Ear (Suite 321) and was dedicated to David G. Cogan in 1982. It has an eight-head teaching microscope and digital photography capabilities. It also has an extensive slide collection and reference books that are important resources for the education of residents and fellows.
The eye pathology lab is still being enhanced with the projected acquisition of a new twelve headed microscope and a plasma screen for viewing slides by large groups, which will be used for diagnostic and teaching purposes, conferencing, and future TeleMed sessions.