Rachel M. Huckfeldt, M.D., Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology

Mass Eye and Ear

Director, Inherited Retinal Degenerations Fellowship

Research Summary

Center/Research Area Affiliations

Research Summary

Dr. Huckfeldt’s clinically-oriented research focuses on improving the care and visual outcomes of patients with inherited retinal diseases (IRDs). Her current research focuses on understanding pathways leading to retinal degeneration and improving the clinical care of patients with retinitis pigmentosa-associated cystoid macular edema.  These projects have the potential to increase our understanding of RP and other inherited orphan retinal degenerations.  Dr. Huckfeldt also leads Mass Eye and Ear’s participation in a number of clinical trials assessing gene therapies for the treatment of IRDs.

Select Publications

For a full list of publications, please see her CV.

Herzog ED, Huckfeldt RM. Circadian entrainment to temperature, but not light, in the isolated suprachiasmatic nucleus. J Neurophysiol. Aug 2003;90(2):763-770.

Schubert T, Huckfeldt RM, Parker E, Campbell JE, Wong RO. Assembly of the outer retina in the absence of GABA synthesis in horizontal cells. Neural Dev. 2010;5:15.

Huckfeldt RM, Vavvas DG. Neuroprotection for retinal detachmentInt Ophthalmol Clin. 2013 Fall;53(4):105-17.

Cronin T, Vandenberghe LH, Hantz P, Juttner J, Reimann A, Kacsó AE, Huckfeldt RM, Busskamp V, Kohler H, Lagali PS, Roska B, Bennett J. Efficient transduction and optogenetic stimulation of retinal bipolar cells by a synthetic adeno-associated virus capsid and promoter. EMBO Mol Med. 2014;6(9):1175-1190.

Huckfeldt RM, Bennett J.  Promising first steps in gene therapy for choroideremia. Hum Gene Ther. 2014 Feb;25(2):96-7.

View a complete list of publications on pubmed.gov »

View a complete list of publications on Google Scholar>>



BA, Biology and Psychology, summa cum laude, Washington University in St. Louis
MD, Washington University in St. Louis
PhD, Neuroscience, Washington University in St. Louis

Postgraduate Training

Internship, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Residency, Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology
Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, Therapeutics for inherited retinal disease, University of Pennsylvania
Fellowship, Medical Retina, University of Iowa

Academic Appointments

2015-present: Instructor in Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Ophthalmology
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
New England Ophthalmological Society 


1997-2001: Washington University Lien Scholar
2001: Phi Beta Kappa
2001: Stern Award for Undergraduate Research; Washington University Department of Psychology
2009: Alpha Omega Alpha
2010: Newton-Wellesley Hospital Hospitalist Award for Excellence on the Medicine Service
2011: ARVO/NEI Travel Award
2012: Heed Resident Retreat Attendee