Gena Heidary, M.D., Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology

Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Assistant Scientist

Research Summary

As the director of the Pediatric Neuro-ophthalmology service at Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Heidary’s research focuses on translational work towards the improved management and treatment of patients with visually threatening, pediatric neuro-ophthalmic disease and complex strabismus. Specific efforts have focused on the development of a method to non-invasively assess elevated intracranial pressure using otoacoustic emissions in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension or pseudotumor cerebri. Additionally Dr. Heidary has been working towards the development of a novel system to accurately assess visual field dysfunction in pediatric patients using Saccadic Vector Optokinetic Perimetry (SVOP). With this technique, “eye tracking” technology is used to evaluate pediatric patients for visual field loss.


1995: B.A., Classics, Stanford University

1996: B.S., Biology, Stanford University

1996: M.S., Biology, Stanford University

2003: Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania

2004: M.D., University of Pennsylvania

Postgraduate Training

2005: Internship, Presbyterian Hospital

2008: Residency, Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

2009: Fellowship, Pediatric Ophthalmology, Boston Children’s Hospital

2010: Fellowship, Neuro-ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Academic Appointments

2010-2014: Instructor in Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

2015-present: Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

Professional Memberships

1997-2003, 2010-present: Member, American Medical Association

2005-present: Member, American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)

2008-present: Member, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS)

2008-present: Member, Society of Heed Fellows

2009-present: Member, Massachusetts Medical Society

2013-present: Member, New England Ophthalmological Society (NEOS)

2013-present: Member, North American Neuro-ophthalmological Society (NANOS)

2014-present: Member, Consortium of Pediatric Neuro-ophthalmologists (CPNO)


2003: Robert M. Toll Prize for Best Research in Mental Health, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

2004: Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society

2007: Heed Foundation Retreat Attendee

2007: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Travel Grant Recipient

2008: Farley Fellowship Award, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA

2008: Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship Award

2011: Nomination for Best Abstract on Pediatric Cataracts (3 nominees), AAPOS 2011 Annual Meeting

2013: Best Poster Presentation, AAPOS 2013 Annual Meeting

2014: Best Poster Presentation, AAPOS 2014 Annual Meeting     

2015: Best Poster Presentation, AAPOS 2015 Annual Meeting     

2017: Achievement Award, AAO     


For a full publication list, please see her CV.

Peeler CE, Edmond JC, Hollander J, Alexander JK, Zurakowski D, Ullrich NJ, Manley PE, Heidary GVisual and ocular motor outcomes in children with posterior fossa tumors. J AAPOS. 2017 Oct;21(5):375-379. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Sheldon CA, Paley GL, Xiao R, Kesler A, Eyal O, Ko MW, Boisvert CJ, Avery RA, Salpietro V, Phillips PH, Heidary G, McCormack SE, Liu GT. Pediatric Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: Age, Gender, and Anthropometric Features at Diagnosis in a Large, Retrospective, Multisite Cohort. Ophthalmology. 2016 Nov;123(11):2424-2431. Epub 2016 Sep 28.

Wan MJ, Ullrich NJ, Manley PE, Kieran MW, Goumnerova LC, Heidary GLong-term visual outcomes of optic pathway gliomas in pediatric patients without neurofibromatosis type 1. J Neurooncol. 2016 Aug;129(1):173-8. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Wan MJ, Adebona O, Benson LA, Gorman MP, Heidary GVisual outcomes in pediatric optic neuritis. Am J Ophthalmol. 2014 Sep;158(3):503-7.e2. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

Heidary G, Calderwood L, Cox GF, Robson CD, Teot LA, Mullon J, Anselm I. Optic atrophy and a Leigh-like syndrome due to mutations in the c12orf65 gene: report of a novel mutation and review of the literature. J Neuroophthalmol. 2014 Mar;34(1):39-43.

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