Samuel and Nancy Jo Altschuler Ophthalmology Surgical Training Laboratory

The Samuel and Nancy Jo Altschuler Ophthalmology Surgical Training Laboratory at Mass. Eye and Ear features state-of-the-art surgical training equipment for Harvard Ophthalmology residents, Mass. Eye and Ear fellows, and practicing surgeons. Some surgical courses are also open to trainees from other institutions.

With nine workstations—including a proctor station with advanced audio-visual controls, as well as a surgical simulator and training machines for vitrectomy and cataract surgeries, the facility is expanding training opportunities in new and exciting ways.


  • Realistic simulated surgical experience
  • Includes same equipment that is used in the operating room
  • More opportunities for trainees to practice surgeries
  • Advanced audio-visual system for group training
  • Video streaming for virtual teaching
  • Video recording capabilities
  • Fully prepped surgical tools

“The laboratory is a valuable resource for trainees and surgeons," said Carolyn Kloek, MD, former Director of the Harvard Ophthalmology Residency Training Program. “The simulated environment helps individuals build the skills and confidence they need to operate on patients. We believe that this increased access to preoperative training will enable our trainees to learn surgery in an innovative way that improves the quality of their surgical learning experience,” she said.

Surgical Equipment

  • 9 work stations with Zeiss ophthalmology microscopes
  • 2 vitrectomy machines
  • 6 cataract training machines
  • EYESI® Surgical Simulator
  • Proctor station
  • Bench area for dissection

Enhanced Training for Residents and Fellows

The laboratory offers trainees more opportunities to refine their surgical skills in a preoperative environment.

"This facility opens doors to so many new ways of teaching," says Lucy Young, MD, PhD, Director of the laboratory. "Learning not only comes from watching experts do their beautiful work, but also from watching mistakes. In the new laboratory, instructors can critique a trainee’s work on the central plasma screen. This helps prepare them for the real-life challenges in the operating room."

Expanding Educational Opportunities Beyond the Department

Harvard Ophthalmology faculty also offer courses that are open to trainees from other institutions. These courses focus on a wide variety of surgeries, including corneal transplantation procedures (such as DMEK), glaucoma surgery, cataract surgery, and vitrectomy.

Learn more about our upcoming cataract course and vitrectomy course.

Host Your Next Training Session at Mass. Eye and Ear

The Altschuler Laboratory can also be rented for training and research sessions. Contact Charles Ruberto (617-573-3474) or Ellen Weinraub (617-573-3151) in the Ophthalmic Education Office for more information.


The creation of the Altschuler Ophthalmology Surgical Training Laboratory was made possible with a generous gift from Samuel and Nancy Jo Altschuler in support of the Mass. Eye and Ear Bold Science, Life-Changing Cures, Campaign. Their gift was given in honor of Lucy Young, MD, PhD, a Mass. Eye and Ear retina specialist who performed sight-saving surgery for the Altschulers’ daughter, Lisa Jo Altschuler Flessel.