Richard H. Masland, Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Distinguished David Glendenning Cogan Professor of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology
Professor of Neurobiology, Department of Neurobiology
Member, PhD Program in Neuroscience

Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Senior Scientist

Research Summary

Center/Research Area Affiliations

Research Summary

Dr. Masland studies the normal cell biology of the neural retina and its disorders. His laboratory has discovered a number of cell types within the retina and has given increased attention to listing all of the cells present in the retina, i.e. the retina "neurome." He has demonstrated that the retina is a system containing more than 60 cell types, which are organized into more than a dozen parallel informational channels. There are more than 15 different types of ganglion cells, each carrying a different transformation of the visual scene to the brain. With mouse genetics and computer vision collaborators, Dr. Masland's laboratory hopes to characterize the array of retinal ganglion cells in a murine model to more fully understand how ganglion cell types contribute to visual perception.

Selected Publications

For a full publication list, please see his CV.

Masland RH. Vision: Two Speeds in the Retina. Curr Biol. 2017 Apr 24;27(8):R303-R305. 

Masland RH. Systems neuroscience: Diversity in sight. Nature. 2017 Feb 23;542(7642):418-419.

Sanes JR, Masland RH. The types of retinal ganglion cells: current status and implications for neuronal classification. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2015 Jul 8;38:221-46.

Sümbül U, Zlateski A, Vishwanathan A, Masland RH, Seung HS. Automated computation of arbor densities: a step toward identifying neuronal cell types. Front Neuroanat. 2014 Nov 25;8:139.

Sümbül U, Song S, McCulloch K, Becker M, Lin B, Sanes JR, Masland RH, Seung HS. A genetic and computational approach to structurally classify neuronal types. Nat Commun. 2014 Mar 24;5:3512. 

View a complete list of publications on>>



1964: A.B., Harvard University

1968: Ph.D., McGill University

Postgraduate Training

1971: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neurophysiology, Stanford Medical School

1973: NIH Special Fellowship, Neurophysiology, Harvard Medical School

Academic Appointments

2017-present: David G. Cogan Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

1991-2009: Charles A. Pappas Professor of Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School

 2009 - Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

1989-1990: Professor of Neuroscience in Surgery, Harvard Medical School

1981-1989: Associate Professor of Physiology in Surgery, Harvard Medical School

1975-1981: Assistant Profess of Physiology in Surgery, Harvard Medical School

1971-1975: Associate in Physiology, Harvard Medical School

Professional Memberships

1967-present: American Association for the Advancement of Science

1972-1994: American Physiological Society

1973-present: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

1973-present: Society for Neuroscience

1992-2004: American Society for Cell Biology


1964: Woodrow Wilson Fellow

1971: Junior Investigator of the King Trust

1975: NIH Research Career Development Award

1983: Hoopes Prize, Harvard University (Excellence in Teaching)

1987: National Eye Institute MERIT award

1993: RPB Senior Scientific Investigator Award

1999: Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

2000: Irving M. London Award (Excellence in Teaching)

2002: Brian Boycott Prize (Research on the Retina)

2010: Fellow, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

2010: Proctor Medal, ARVO

2012: Alcon Research Award

2016: Distinguished Research Achievement Award (Harvard Medical School)