Thaddeus P. Dryja, M.D.



Ophthalmic Pathology

Ophthalmic Oncology

Board Certification

  • Medical Genetics, Ophthalmology

Main Campus
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-573-3319
Fax: 614-573-3168



Thaddeus (Ted) Dryja, M.D. is a Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. Dr. Dryja is a 1972 magna cum laude graduate of Yale College (BA, chemistry) and a 1976 graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine (MD).  From 1976-1983 he completed an internship in medicine (Waterbury Hospital, Connecticut), a residency in ophthalmology (Mass. Eye and Ear) and fellowships in ophthalmic pathology and molecular genetics (both at HMS).  In 1983, he joined the ophthalmology department faculty at Mass. Eye and Ear and HMS.  From 1983-2006, he led a research team studying the molecular genetics of hereditary eye diseases while concurrently practicing general ophthalmology and ophthalmic pathology. In 1992, he became the director of the David G. Cogan Pathology Laboratory at Mass. Eye and Ear and in 1993 he became the Cogan Professor of Ophthalmology at HMS.  In 1996 he became a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.  His research discoveries included finding compelling evidence for the recessive nature of oncogenic mutations at tumor suppressor genes like the retinoblastoma gene, the identification and cloning of the retinoblastoma gene, and the identification of 16 different genes responsible for retinitis pigmentosa and other forms of retinal degeneration and retinal dysfunction.  In 2006 Dr. Dryja joined the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research where he was the Global Head of Translational Medicine in Ophthalmology (2006-2009) and then the Vice President and Global Head of Ophthalmology research (2009-2017).  In 2017, he retired from Novartis and returned to HMS.  He currently works as an attending eye pathologist in the Cogan Eye Pathology Laboratory at Mass. Eye and Ear.

Clinical Interests


Research Interests

Genetics of hereditary eye disease


For a full publication list, please see his biosketch. A representative list (2006 - 2012) is available through 

Ben-Arie-Weintrob Y, Berson EL, Dryja TP. Histopathologic-genotypic correlations in retinitis pigmentosa and allied diseases. Ophthal Genet. 2005; 26: 91-100.

Dryja TP, McGee TL, Berson EL, Fishman GA, Sandberg MA, Alexander KR, Derlacki DJ, Rajagopalan AS. Night blindness and abnormal cone ERG ON responses in patients with mutations in the GRM6 gene encoding the mGluR6 receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005; 102: 4884-9.

Wada Y, Sandberg MA, McGee TL, Stillberger MA, Berson EL, Dryja TP. Screen of the IMPDH1 gene among patients with dominant retinitis pigmentosa and clinical features associated with the most common mutation, Asp226Asn. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 May; 46(5): 1735-41.

Sandberg MA, Rosner B, Weigel-DiFranco C, McGee TL, Dryja TP, Berson EL. Disease course in patients with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa due to the USH2A gene. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Dec; 49(12): 5532-9.



  • Chemistry, Yale College, BA
  • Yale University School of Medicine, M.D.


  • Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Mass. Eye and Ear


  • Clinical Genetics and Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital
  • Harvard Medical School, Mass. Eye and Ear