Brian P. Hafler, M.D., Ph.D.


Inherited Retinal Disorders

Main Campus
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-573-3621

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Dr. Brian Hafler is a member of the Mass. Eye and Ear Inherited Retinal Disorders Service, where he specializes in diseases in the retina, especially inherited retinal degenerations. As a full-time clinician-scientist, Dr. Hafler’s research primarily focuses on the development of gene therapy and oral neuroprotective therapy with the goal of using his research to develop therapies for these diseases.

Dr. Hafler earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and his PhD in Neuroscience from the Division of Medical Sciences of Harvard University. After completing an internship and an Ophthalmology Residency at the Yale School of Medicine, he performed a fellowship in Inherited Retinal Degenerations at Mass. Eye and Ear. He was a recipient of the prestigious Heed Fellowship and Foundation Fighting Blindness Clinical/Research Fellowship Award in 2014.

Clinical Interests

Inherited retinal degenerations, electrophysiology, electroretinography, and ocular genetics.

Research Interests

Retinal Degenerations, gene therapy, and stem cell therapy


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

Hafler BP, Klein ZA, Strittmatter SM. Progressive Retinal Degeneration and Accumulation of Autofluorescent Lipopigments in Progranulin Deficient Mice. Brain Res. 2014 Sep 16.

Grutzendler J, Murikinati S, Hiner B, Lam C, Yoo T, Ji L, Gupta S, Hafler BP, Adelman R, Yuan P. Rodriguez G. Angiophagy is a fundamental mechanism of microvascular recanalization in multiple organs. Sci. Trans. Med, 2014 Mar 5;6(226):226ra31

Hafler BP, Surzenko N, Beier KT, Punzo C, Trimarchi JM, Kong JH, Cepko CL. Transcription factor Olig2 defines subpopulations of retinal progenitor cells biased toward specific cell fates. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 May 15; 109(20):7882-7. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Benchabane H, Xin N, Tian A, Hafler BP, Nguyen K, Ahmed A, Ahmed Y.  Jerky/Earthbound facilitates cell-specific Wnt/Wingless signalling by modulating β-catenin-TCF activity. EMBO J. 30:1444-58.

Hafler BP, Choi MY, Shivdasani RA, Rowitch DH. (2008). Expression and Function of Nkx6.3 in vertebrate hindbrain. Brain Res. 1222:42-50.

View a complete list of publications on>>



  • Molecular Biology, Princeton, AB
  • Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Ph.D.
  • Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Division of Health Sciences and Technology, M.D.


  • Medicine, Yale School of Medicine/Yale-New Haven Hospital


  • Ophthalmology, Yale School of Medicine/Yale-New Haven Hospital


  • Inherited Retinal Degenerations, Massachusetts Eye and Ear